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Shaping Health Care Policy

Christine Goertz, DC, PhD

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#DCMeToo: A Female DC's Perspective on Gender Bias

Editor's Note: The following is reprinted verbatim (except for formatting and a slight title change) with permission from the American Chiropractic Association. While only the first 290 words appear below, you can read Dr. Goertz's entire post and join this important conversation here.

Thanks to the bravery of women who are now coming forward with their #MeToo stories, a much-needed conversation has been initiated across the country, a conversation that illustrates the very different experiences that men and women can have in male-dominated professions such as Hollywood, the media, and yes, even chiropractic. The timing could not be better for the American Chiropractic Association's new Commission on Diversity, which will focus on how to better support and expand opportunities for both women and minorities within the ACA.

I am not going to pretend that I understand the professional barriers within chiropractic imposed by race or ethnicity. However, I have a great deal of experience in navigating these waters as one of a very small handful of women who has served in chiropractic leadership roles since I was a student.

Recently I had a business conversation with an older male in a chiropractic leadership role. The conversation started with his declaration that he had been looking forward to getting a hug from me all afternoon, launched into a discussion that was, frankly, condescending and then concluded with him referring to me as a "pretty lady."

gender bias - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark I felt uncomfortable throughout the discussion and yet I was silent. The same silence I have practiced more times than I can count for almost 30 years in similar and, in truth, far worse situations. I am only now realizing that my silence makes me complicit, in that an opportunity is lost to create a more common understanding – even if some of the conversation needed to get there is uncomfortable.

To be clear, with very few exceptions, I think my male colleagues in chiropractic, including this one, are wonderful people who respect women in general, as well as me personally.

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