What Is Preventing The Chiropractic Profession From Taking Its Rightful Place In The Health Care Arena?
By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher
Recently, at a seminar conducted by the Texas Chiropractic Association in Dallas, some thoughts on the development of chiropractic were presented. Part of this seminar involved group discussions to answer the question:
What is preventing the chiropractic profession from taking its rightful place in the health care arena?
The chiropractors involved did not know they would be discussing the question as part of the seminar.There were no pre-meditated answers. This was a case of concerned practitioners discussing the issue for themselves. There were no political or special interest organizations telling them how to answer.
Before you read too much further, stop and think about it.
What do you think is holding our profession back?
While these answers could not be considered a true survey of the chiropractic profession, the answers given should be considered by all, especially those who have chosen to serve the profession in leadership capacities.
If these answers, when combined with your answers, don't mirror your state and/or national association's agenda, you may want to think about how receptive that association is to its membership. Each association should be a reflection of its membership. The agenda of your association (how it intends to spend your money) should be the amalgamation of all of the concerns of its members.
This is why a members' right to vote, be represented, and have access to those in positions of decision making is so important. If the association's structure does not allow for the free flow of ideas and goals, then that organization is not functioning as a true association, it is merely an advocacy group.
This is how the chiropractors in Texas responded:
The primary problem holding chiropractic back was cited as:
Poor Public Image -- Lack of Public Education and Awareness
It is believed that the consumer public is not aware of, nor appreciates the value of chiropractic care. It was also stated that unacceptable behavior by individuals and small groups within the chiropractic profession has created a poor image for chiropractic.
The second concern was:
Lack of Professional Unity - Intra-Professional Disharmony
Many DCs still desire one national association. They see the current situation of the increasing number of national organizations as a step backwards, not towards unity.
Several other concerns were included which received equal weight:
Lack of a Collective Chiropractic Theory
Chiropractic's Lack of Access and Competition in the Health Care Market Place
Insufficient Patient Education
Poor Inter-Professional Communications
Ultimately, one group drew one conclusion that attempted to consolidate most of what was keeping the chiropractic profession from its rightful place in health care:
Simply put, this group of chiropractors felt that we are essentially our own worst enemies, that we are the primary element keeping the chiropractic profession back.
This question can ultimately be brought down to a personal level.
Think about it: What is keeping you from being the practitioner you need to be and want to be?
Are you engaged in certain practices that perhaps would not be considered totally acceptable if they were known?
Is quality care being sacrificed for success?
Has the vision that you once had for yourself as the consummate health care professional been smothered by the concerns of everyday practice?
If this or anything else is preventing you from taking your place as the health care professional you'd like to be, perhaps it is time for a change.
It is never too late to renew your commitment to the chiropractic you love and continue working yourself toward that vision.
But you have to start now.
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