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Dynamic Chiropractic – July 17, 1995, Vol. 13, Issue 15

Information -- A Tool You Can't Afford to Ignore

By Deborah Callahan, MA, director of education and information resources, FCER
It seems like every week another magazine article or television news show makes a faulty, uneducated claim against chiropractic. This week it might be cerbrovascular accidents, next week, otitis media. These episodes send many chiropractors scurrying to collect published, credible data to refute the claims. Letters are then fired off to television executives and newspaper editors setting the record straight on chiropractic, and there is some sense of vindication, at least for the moment.

Frustration with allopathic treatments, curiosity about a different approach to health, or perhaps a friend's recommendation will lead millions of individuals to chiropractic physicians this year. As the profession has gained a wider acceptance and recognition as a effective form of health care, it has become, as we know all too well, prey for the skeptics and critics. These incidences remind us how important information is to our profession. The ability to silence critics through well documented research is a much needed weapon in any doctor of chiropractic's arsenal.

The key is to find ways to keep informed, not only on those occasions when you find yourself on the defensive, but every day. Keeping abreast of the current research does not mean that you have to spend your limited free time pouring over numerous research journals. But its does require that you do some homework. You will have to read a journal or two, and perhaps a newsletter. You also need to become aware of the types of information that is readily accessible to you, and when needed, to get your hands on it quickly.

This may sound like a daunting task, but it doesn't have to be. This profession has produced thousands of articles, conference proceedings, monographs, and reports. The research literature available on chiropractic is plentiful and growing every day. At FCER's Information Central we made it our business to serve as a clearinghouse for this information. Every day, our staff collects data and disseminates it in a variety of forms to the profession. FCER's Information Central offers a number of services to satisfy the information junkie, as well as the newsletter skimmer.

Under the umbrella of Information Central, we maintain a quarterly research journal, Spinal Manipulation: A Review of the Current Literature; an on-line literature search service; weekly fax newsletter, The Week in Chiropractic; a monthly newsletter, News Alert: A Manual Medicine and Holistic Health News Digest; and a financial services newsletter, Staying Financially Well.

Each issue of Spinal Manipulation critiques over 40 research studies selected from peer-reviewed journals. FCER's on-line literature search service allows us to retrieve on request scientific abstracts and article reprints on thousands of topics in chiropractic as well as the biomedical field. The Week in Chiropractic reports late breaking news in such areas as chiropractic and medical research, legislative action, and managed care. New Alert interprets information on alternative therapies, as well as chiropractic. After all, chiropractors don't practice in a vacuum, it's important to keep on top of the developments in related fields. Staying Financial Fit, the only financial newsletter written exclusively for chiropractors, offers sound financial advice.

Remember, information is a powerful tool. The times require that each and every member of the profession to be aware of the information resources available. Defend your profession, educate the public, your patients, and yourself. Keep informed, know where to find information, and use it!

If you would like more information on FCER's Information Central, call 1-800-637-6244.

Deborah Callahan, MA FCER Director of Education and Information Resources

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