A Tribute To...
It seems lately that in almost every chiropractic publication we find a tribute to a chiropractor who has passed on. They were usually born in the late '20s or '30s and were instrumental in some type of political association, technique, college or philanthropy for chiropractic.
In March, my father, a chiropractor, passed away at the age of 83. His name is not important for the sake of this article. My father was not high up in the state or national organizations, but he always got together with nearby chiropractors to get adjusted and talk about practice. He told me, "We would all exaggerate the positive and not talk about the negative." We even had an annual Christmas party so all the families could come together and get to know one another.
My father didn't develop a technique, but he loved to go to seminars to learn more about different adjusting techniques, nutrition and of course, practice-building. He had shelves full of notes he took or bought at these seminars.
He didn't teach at a college, but he did teach thousands of patients how to take better care of themselves through chiropractic. He even had late-night office hours – not just to see more patients, but also to accommodate patients who didn't want to be seen walking into a chiropractor's office in broad daylight. "It was the '60s and times were different," I remember him telling me.
Dad certainly didn't raise millions of dollars for the profession, but he raised an incredible family that loved him and appreciated the fact they were not dependent upon drugs and surgery for life's bumps and grinds. The only time I remember going to a medical doctor was to get a school physical; never because I got sick. Dad always took care of us.
This was my dad, but it could just as well be your chiropractic father or mother, or a DC who inspired you to join this awesome profession. My cousin, also a practicing DC, was inspired to become a chiropractor by my father.
My father's brother, now also passed, said at my dad's funeral, "It looks like we are the older generation now." He was talking about our family, but this also applies to this profession. We 50- and 60-somethings are quickly becoming the older chiropractic generation.
I pray that in 30 years, my 12-year-old daughter, who now says, "I want to become a chiropractor like daddy and grandpa," will find the profession a little better after our efforts, as it was made better by the diligent work and unselfish love of that previous generation of chiropractors.
Michael G. Sweet, DC
Know Your State Laws Regarding Staff Training
In the March 1, 2013 issue, Dr. Miller presented opportunities for our colleagues to increase revenue by having staff perform procedures. [Training Staff to Perform Ancillary Procedures: Three Topics to Cover] He did make mention of some states requiring chiropractic assistant (CA) certification and the importance of doctors providing adequate training of CAs. The charts (Tables 1 and 2) Dr. Miller included gave a good overview of the article's content.
It's important to keep in mind that although a DC may be legally allowed to perform a procedure or render a service within a state, the DC may not be given the legal latitude by that state statute to extend the same authorization to an employee or holder of a "lesser license." Unlike federal law, which theoretically affects all DCs the same, state laws are state-specific. Some DCs may not realize it remains their responsibility to know their state law regarding chiropractic practice.
As important as a DC knowing what may or may not be done within their state's scope of practice, so too is it important that a DC know what directives can or cannot be given to non-DCs. The potential for not adhering to state law is fraught with inherent negative consequences, despite the possibility and potential profitability of rendering additional patient services.
H. William Wolfson, DC, MS
ACA Practice Development Committee Chairperson
Admission Standards Need to Change
It was refreshing to read Dr. Sandefur's perspective of the chiropractic profession published in a recent issue of Dynamic Chiropractic [Feb. 1, 2013 issue; see two other responses to her letter in the March 15 issue]. She clearly identified the deficiencies that continue to plague the profession. However, there is one glaring deficiency that Dr. Sandefur did not address: the low admission standards for entering students.
In my opinion, there will be little change in the prevailing attitude of future chiropractors if the chiropractic schools continue to accept students who are not critical thinkers. Many of the few critical thinkers we had are gone, lost to other health care professions.
Looking back on my 33 years of practice experience, very little has changed. The prevailing attitude among chiropractors is the same as it was 33 years ago; a clear, coherent and credible scope of practice has never been established; admission standards into chiropractic schools continue to decline; subluxation dogma continues to stifle the potential for real growth; and the separate and distinct philosophy has greatly contributed to the ongoing marginalization of chiropractors into mainstream health care.
Is there a solution? Herein lies the dichotomy. I do not believe the chiropractic profession will become extinct, as some have proposed; there will always be someone willing to carry on. On the other hand, the case is not the same for the survival of the chiropractor, as we are seeing.
Robert Falco, DC
Dynamic Chiropractic encourages letters to the editor to discuss issues relevant to the profession and/or to respond to a previously published article. Submission is acknowledgment that your letter may be published in a future issue of the publication. Submit your letter to ; include your full name, relevant degree(s) obtained, as well as the city and state in which you practice.