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Dynamic Chiropractic – February 22, 1999, Vol. 17, Issue 05

Fast Food Chiropractic?

To Improve Chiropractic Care, We Had to Adjust Our Thinking

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher
When I was young, my father made the most incredible hamburgers. He started with fresh, lean ground beef. He mixed the beef by hand with various spices, and fashioned each patty to about one inch thick. He only made them one way: his way. Each layer of condiments and veggies had to be combined just so to create the right flavors.

This was what I understood a hamburger to be and the quality that I expected whenever I ate one. Anything that didn't measure up, and few did, just wasn't a "real" hamburger.

I had my first burger almost 40 years ago, before the burger chains populated every street corner. Back then, when you went into a place that made hamburgers, they may not have been as good as my father's, but they were thick, juicy, and made by hand with fresh ground beef.

Fortunately, the art of burger making was not lost when my father passed on. My brother, Darrell, carries on the tradition. When Darrell comes to visit, my sons ask him to make "real" hamburgers and then invite all their friends over. (My forte is Caesar salad. If you want the recipe, go to my "Talk Back" forum at

As good as the "real" hamburgers were, Corporate America had a different idea: press and freeze the meat into "quarter pounders." The fresh ingredients have fallen victim to the food warmer. It's perplexing that millions of people buy and eat these hamburgers every day!

But partnering with corporate America was not all bad news for the hamburger. What used to be an occasional meal has developed into a full-blown industry that has served trillions of burgers. The business folks took the essence of what people wanted and figured out how to package it so that people would buy it.

You may have noticed corporate America venturing into the chiropractic profession in your area. Apparently, the business folks see the potential for the adjustment as they did for the hamburger. This reality caught me between the eyes as I paged through the January 11, 1999 issue of People magazine. There on page 133 was a full-page, four-color advertisement for Camber Chiropractic. While this was obviously a regional advertisement, the verbiage is something you should read:

To Improve Chiropractic Care, We Had to Adjust Our Thinking


Before creating Camber Chiropractic, we looked at everything from your point of view. What you want most is quick relief from back and neck pain, and speedy return to normal daily activity. Nothing complicated. No gimmicks. Just focused, short-term treatment.

That's what Camber gives you at 25 clinics throughout Los Angeles and Orange counties. Each headed by two well-respected chiropractors in the community.

You want convenience, too. So our attractive, contemporary clinics are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. M-F; 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. on Saturday.



Your Camber doctor makes this promise. If you're not pleased with your Camber experience, we'll refund your money. So call toll free for the clinic near you: 1-877-321-CAMBer (2262). Or visit

Camber Chiropractic
We Treat You Better

To some, the Camber ad is blasphemy; others may see it as the natural progression of a developing profession. Either way, it's happening. Corporate America has discovered chiropractic and has enough faith in it to invest millions of dollars. (Of course they are hoping to make millions more in the venture.)

While your job is to continue to work for the health of the patient, regardless of payer or affiliation, there is one aspect of this scenario that should give you pause: Who now will be telling the chiropractic story?

In the past, the public has learned about chiropractic from MDs, the news media and popular magazines. Now we may be facing an era where corporate America may not only teach the public about what chiropractic is, but ultimately define our professional scope in the process.

Once again, factionalized by our own inability to work together, the chiropractic profession in the United States is poised to fall victim to yet another outside interest, leaving the average practitioner helpless to effectively resist. I hope we can retain the essence of chiropractic in the face of "fast food care."

Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.

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