Imagine What More Could Be Achieved With Your Support
Regarding the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (F4CP), I feel compelled to write this letter to the profession.
I am now in my fourth year of practice and continue to support the F4CP. The foundation generated 33 billion positive messages regarding my profession in 2013. I don't contribute a lot, but something, and I hope to do more as my practice grows. I am grateful that my profession has a not-for-profit foundation with a mission to get more positive coverage of chiropractic care.
There is so much positive to share and more patients who deserve to know how chiropractic care can influence their lives for the better. Contributors can use all of foundation's material for their practice. I have F4CP "champion" posters hanging on my wall and use the foundation PSAs as well. I especially like the fact that regular press releases / advertorials and social media positive chiropractic messages are sent to thousands of news sources each month. I usually copy them and hand them out to my patients.
I also read the F4CP e-newsletter every month, as it tells me what the foundation has accomplished in the past 30 days and the new stuff it is always creating. You can see for yourself at www.f4cp.com. The website also lists every doctor and student who is a current contributor – more than 4,500 of us, but still only 7 percent of the profession. General Halstead is even listed as a monthly contributor.
Not only can I see the names of the people who are making all the positive press possible, but I also wonder why so many of my colleagues are not doing the same. To the men and women of my profession, I humbly ask that you take a look at what the F4CP is accomplishing and become a contributor. Many small and large vendors in our profession, state associations and colleges see the value in this positive press campaign and are contributors. Both the ACA and the ICA are behind the foundation's efforts.
Imagine what more can be achieved in terms of positive press when a greater percentage of DCs and student DCs get behind this campaign. Thank you, Kent Greenawalt, for making this possible.
Lance Cohen, DC
La Jolla, Calif.
A Lesson in Hygiene: What Do You Do in Your Office?
I wanted to share something interesting I noticed at a recent chiropractic seminar. I found it rather disturbing, both personally and professionally. No names will be mentioned and this is not an indictment of any one person or organization.
The seminar itself was fine. Seeing colleagues I hadn't seen in years is always a nice bonus. On the first break, like most, I headed off to the men's room. I noticed two gentlemen already "doing their business" as I walked in with two doctors from the seminar. When I'd finished, I went to wash my hands and noticed that only one of the other four men had also done so! I know for certain that one of my colleagues had just walked out of the washroom without washing his hands. I knew who I was not going to shake hands with!
At points in the presentation, the instructor was discussing the feet. He asked us all to palpate our own feet, and also had a volunteer for him to demonstrate how to locate the bones of the feet and then adjust them. This was all done barefooted, of course. At times, the instructor would switch volunteers. Not once did he use any method of cleaning his hands, nor was there any hand sanitizer provided for us to use.
The sponsor of the seminar was offering free foot scanning to all the participants. This scanning was also done barefooted. To my shock, there was no routine cleaning / disinfection of the platform between scans. In fairness to the seminar promoters, sanitizer was offered after I questioned their procedures. However, I should not have had to ask. It should have been routine protocol.
I do not have wash sinks in my treatment rooms. My protocol is to have hand sanitizer in every room, and use it before and after touching a patient. As I like to think of it: before is for the patient; after is for me. If I work on someone's feet, I always re-sanitize before I move upward to the patient's back and neck. Contact portions of physical therapy devices are sanitized before each use. My office restroom has both hand soap and sanitizer. We also sanitize the countertops, telephones, keyboards, etc., on a regular basis.
Just because we are chiropractors and believe in the body's natural ability to fight disease as part of normal function, does not mean we shouldn't practice routine hygiene. If you do not think patients notice, you are wrong. I have patients who are health care workers, at various levels in doctors' offices and hospitals. Many have commented that they appreciate knowing my office follows proper hygienic protocols. What do you do in your office?
David Kerschner, DC
East Greenbush, N.Y.
Open Letter to the Profession
From 1895 through the 1980s, chiropractic was attacked by medical boards of various states. Chiropractic martyrs served jail time, and were tarred and feathered and run out of town for "practicing medicine without a license." They paid a heavy price for us to serve life today as chiropractors.
But we've become complacent, believing that reason has won. Not so! For example, an all-out battle rages in Arizona, where veterinarians are attempting to steal chiropractic from the chiropractic profession and claim it as its own (as are vet boards in 48 states). They prosecute chiropractors even though no laws exist in Arizona statutes prohibiting chiropractic on animals.
On April 16, 2014, I was charged by the Arizona vet board with "practicing veterinary medicine without a license," even though I am a chiropractor certified to work with animals since 1998. At the hearing, the secretary told me, "This will only take a few minutes and you can be on your way," convinced that the board would make its ruling without a fight.
I pointed out that chiropractic is a separate health care practice in all 50 states, evidenced by separate licensure. It's not synonymous with veterinary medicine. I suggested the board research the Wilk suit.
The vet board attempted to entrap me into stating that I "manipulated" as opposed to "adjusting." However, I remembered the reprimands handed out in chiropractic school when students mentioned manipulation instead of the correct term, adjustment. During the hearing, the board also stated its intention to eliminate chiropractors from animal work while taking chiropractic services over for themselves.
Unable to ensnare me with semantics, board members stated, "We need to do some research." I was advised that I would be given three to five days' notice prior to the next hearing, and then the board adjourned.
I estimate that at least 10 percent of the animals I see were treated by vets who gave up or advised owners to euthanize the animals. During 16 years, only two of those animals were actually beyond hope. The balance lived healthy lives despite death sentences.
Vets can take a six-weekend course and get certified as "veterinary chiropractors." No such certification is recognized in at least 48 states. Chiropractors may take the course to earn the same useless certification. These certifications mislead their holders since, often, veterinarians using the term chiropractic can be charged with practicing chiropractic without a license; while chiropractors using the term veterinary are practicing veterinary medicine without a license. The result? Nobody wins!
Owners must decide whether they want a vet who "dabbles" in chiropractic to address their animals' neuromusculoskeletal health, on the side; or if they want a true professional to deliver chiropractic care.
Chiropractors who seek certification in chiropractic for animals only need to learn differences in skeletal anatomy and warning signs to know when it's appropriate to refer. The chiropractor isn't attempting to master veterinary medicine. On the other hand, a vet going through the six-weekend program attempts to learn an entirely foreign approach to health care.
Today, veterinarians act together in a concerted effort to completely eliminate chiropractors from animal care, while on the other hand, trying to practice "chiropractic," exclusively, with a severely limited understanding.
A precedent does exist in the Wilk, et al., v AMA, et al., anti-trust suit. The suit against the AMA laid a foundation for chiropractors to pursue a similar legal argument today.
Article VI of the Constitution, the "Supremacy Clause," also states that federal law (e.g., the Sherman Anti-Trust Act) must be upheld by courts as prevailing law over state laws and constitutions to the contrary. My first goal is to get the charge against me dropped as having no basis in law. The next goal is to pursue litigation in federal courts to hold the veterinary board accountable for its abuse of power, applying nonexistent laws to create, maintain and enforce restraint of trade in violation of the Sherman Act. The precedent would allow chiropractors in all states to permanently level the playing field in the health care marketplace regarding animal work.
If you've ever worked with animals; if you've ever thought of working with animals, but were intimidated by the "legal" climate; if you're a full-fledged animal chiropractor waiting for the axe to fall, or if the axe has already fallen for you – act now. Find out what you can do to help. Please e-mail me at .
Thousands of animals' lives are needlessly lost to euthanasia every year. The unnecessary suffering from pain and dangerous drugs is staggering. Vet boards nationwide infringe on the rights of animal owners to choose care for their animals, although parents have the right to choose care for their children. And veterinarians are trying to steal your profession!
Make a stand for health care justice, just as our chiropractic forefathers did. It's time to stop rolling over. The next battle is on our shoulders. (P.S. Oklahoma chiropractic statutes prove it can be done.)
Rick Boatright, DC