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Chiropractic Research Review

Chiropractic Challenges in the New Health Care Environment

The practice of any health profession combines clinical, commercial and other personal motivations. The clinical motivation for chiropractic practice, in the context of a single patient, is providing the best health care and health benefits possible.

The most obvious nonclinical motivation in chiropractic (and all professional services) is financial reward.

This paper discusses the "clinical and nonclinical motivations in chiropractic practice and the social conflicts arising from practice variations." The author presents key points for the profession as summary:

* Traditional isolationist approaches in chiropractic practice will not be successful in the future.

* Competition and challenges within the health care community must be recognized.

* Chiropractic curricula must provide knowledge and skills specific to contemporary health care, including professional communication skills; management skills for patients commonly seen in chiropractic practice; and use of outcome measures and skills to perform and understand clinical research.

* Chiropractors must commit to continuing education and professional development in their professional life.

* Future decisions affecting utilization of chiropractic services will be based upon collective and individual practice data from chiropractic offices.

The author notes that the "new environment" of health care emphasizes quality and cost of service, creating significant new opportunities for the chiropractic profession. Taking advantage of such opportunities requires "...an understanding of the clinical and nonclinical motivations for chiropractic practice, the variations and other attributes of practice that arise from these motivations, and adaptations and changes to meet the new needs of the health care marketplace."

Note: This is a bold and insightful article, It asks chiropractors to examine practice motivations. It will be best appreciated by the mature and introspective reader.

Chapman-Smth DA. Clinical and nonclinical motivations in chiropractic practice and the social conflicts arising from practice variations. Topics in Clinical Chiropractic, March 2000:7(1), pp43-47.
Reprints: (800) 638-8437

Chiropractic Research Review

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