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Dynamic Chiropractic – June 19, 1995, Vol. 13, Issue 13

Chiropractic Besieged by Two Deadly Enemies

Are We Headed for Extinction?

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher
There have been many attempts to destroy the chiropractic profession. The medics, led by the American Medical Association, have been found guilty of that endeavor. Others, like Drs. Katz, Slaughter, DuVall, and the other orthopractic minions, have been widely criticized for what many believe to be attempts to divide the chiropractic profession. Of course we have even experienced efforts from within chiropractic to wipe out other segments of our profession, or to cause a split that would cripple us.

Fortunately, these devisive efforts have been largely unsuccessful. Chiropractic still stands as the full expression of our combined health care philosophies. We may not always agree, but together we are chiropractic.

This is important. If even one small segment of this profession is eliminated, or even left without representation, we run the risk of becoming unbalanced. Our strength lies in our unity and our diversity.

Until now our enemies have been obvious. Their efforts to destroy us have been clearly identifiable and their attacks have sounded the alarms that brought chiropractors of every philosophy to attention. Once faced with our unified determination, they retreated into their dens, waiting for another opportunity to catch us off guard.

But over the past several years there have been two enemies that have quietly but persistently worked very hard to severely undermine our profession. They have been successful where all others have failed. It is possible that they will triumph over us without our ever realizing their presence.

Who are the enemies: the first is EGO. The egos of various members of this profession have held us back time and time again. They have squandered precious resources on internal battles at the sacrifice of progress and establishment. EGO has separated one DC from another and one organization from another, to the extent that the concept of unity has become almost intangible.

Consider for a moment the dental profession. For the most part, they have few enemies. They have found their place in society and number 196,336 (1994 ADA Master File) in the United States alone. Without a "threat" to unify them, their national association has a membership of 140,015, over 71 percent of the licensed dentists in the United States. One wonders which came first: unity, strength or numbers?

The second enemy is even more insidious: APATHY. Every time this profession fails, it is because APATHY prevails. When considering what could have been, you'll see APATHY has won again. It is probably the single greatest reason for this profession's inability to reach the vast majority of the public. We just don't care enough to invest the money and time needed to tell our story.

How did these enemies gain such a terrible advantage over this profession? You'll get various answers from different people, but the answer can probably be found in the mirror.

Having had the pleasure to talk to thousands of DCs, I know that most DCs have a big heart and a strong commitment when they understand the need. Many chiropractors have told me, "If there is ever anything I can do, just let me know." Now is the time, I'm asking you.

I'm not asking for myself, Dynamic Chiropractic or any other self-interest. This is for you.

The Chiropractic Centennial Foundation has filmed a one-hour documentary about chiropractic and health care choices (please see the article beginning on the front page of this issue). Their plan is to reach over 50 million households with the story of chiropractic. They have already committed the money for the filming costs. But they need your help to put it on the air.

This will be one of the very few opportunities to reach millions of patients to explain the important differences between health-centered care and disease-oriented care. If we can influence the way millions of people think about their health, and the health of their family members, then we should be able to influence their health care choices.

Chiropractic's survival has always depended upon our patients. If we are ever going to win, or at least survive, the battle of health care reform, we must significantly increase our patient base, at least 50 percent more.

It doesn't matter who you are: individual DC; chiropractic vendor; rich or poor; any philosophy; any age. Call (toll free) 1-800-258-3962 and donate what you can. No matter how much your practice may have declined, or how scared you are, it won't get any better just by wishing.

The time for action is now. We all need to come together for our future and the future of chiropractic.

You have my personal thanks.

DMP Jr, BS, HCD(hc)

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