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Dynamic Chiropractic – September 1, 1996, Vol. 14, Issue 18

It's Time to Play Hardball

By Chester Wilk, DC
It seems that every time the chiropractic profession makes a significant gain toward educating the public on rational health care the American Medical Association and its allies seem to find a new low in which they can promote more ignorance and prejudice.

When the Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) came out with a study providing solid proof that what we do, adjust the spine, is the preferred treatment for low back ailments, the AMA attacked the government agency and were able to shut down its publishing of future guidelines. The AMA added insult to injury by publishing its own guidelines and misrepresenting on the cover of this booklet that it provides the "latest information on all treatment options ...," totally omitting any reference to spinal manipulation as though it does not exist. This is unforgivable; it's fraud by exclusion.

They didn't stop there. The AHCPR also spent millions of dollars on researching headaches, which was halted completely when the AMA and its allies were able to shut down that study also. Although it was almost finished, the report will not come out. This is like the infamous book burnings of WWII.

The saga continues. We took the AMA and its allies to court and beat them for violating the antitrust laws, and so they now are supporting legislation which would create a privileged class of people who could violate the antitrust laws and not have to worry about being found guilty. Let's face it, doctors, they are playing hardball and unless we deal with it appropriately, our profession and the people who deserve the best health care without being tainted by ignorance and prejudice will continue to be injured.

Whenever we get unfairly attacked some of us immediately advocate purchasing advertising space in some newspaper to set the record straight. The problem with that approach is that for every penny we spend, they can spend dollars. Or I get chiropractors who call or write to me saying that we should march on Congress. Quite frankly, that just makes us look bad. If we have something to offer we should learn how to communicate it effectively and go to the media with it. We need to organize speaker bureaus on every state level and seek out those chiropractors with an interest and willingness to learn how to do it effectively. Then once they perfect their communication skill they should contact every radio, TV station, and newspaper in the state with their message.

We have been too passive in this area and should become much more assertive with our facts. This should not be confused with being aggressive, which disregards the rights of others. There is an old saying that if something looks like a skunk, walks like a skunk, and smells like a skunk, then it must be a skunk. The manner in which health care is bastardized by the selfish interest groups in medicine is outright obscene. I know that I sound like a hard-liner, but I have truth and facts to back up my charges. Truth supported by solid facts is our greatest strength. When you are right and you know you are right, and support it with irrefutable well-documented facts, you have earned that right to tell it like it is.

The AMA and its allies want to play hardball. Well, we can play that game, too. The different is that we have truth on our side. I just think that in any honest battle that truth will prevail. We will see.

Meanwhile, if you will contact the top talk shows in your town and tell them that I am available to speak to them by phone, then contact me as to a time, we can start that hardball game. My book, Medicine, Monopolies, and Malice should be in most of the health and book stores soon, and if not, people will be able to order it. We have a great publisher who agrees with me that this should be a real winner.

The publisher has mailed out between 400 and 500 books around the country to leading magazines and critics. The Alternative Medicine Digest will be carrying a book review which is prominent in health food stores. Also, the American Library Association has come out with a positive review which will influence libraries. This is just the beginning.

I've said it before, but it is worth repeating: If we can get an organized group of chiropractors in every state to start contacting every radio, TV, and newspaper in town and tell them about this book and how this profession is finally asserting itself for the truth, nothing can stop us. You can do these talk shows yourself or contact me, and I'd be happy to do them. After you have made a specific contact with someone on the station, then you can send them a book. The book will speak for itself.

The publisher is working on setting up talk shows as well, and so together, we can work as a team and bring out the truth honestly and candidly as never before. I believe that this profession is poised at a threshold of a major explosion in terms of public awareness and respect for chiropractic. Just wait and see.

You can contacted me for talk shows at 5130 W. Belmont Ave., Chicago, Illinois 60641. Tele: (312) 725-4878.

Chester Wilk, DC
Chicago, Illinois
Speaking My Mind

Click here for previous articles by Chester Wilk, DC.

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