I have spoken at many chiropractic colleges and found the same thing in the majority of them: students who are positive, hard working, bright-eyed, who want to learn and are excited about chiropractic; and the small group of cynical, know-it-all, look-down-their-nose-at-you students. These traits do carry over into professional life. Generally I have found that the successful DCs during their student years were active in many of the college functions.
Why do all men and women in our profession who are workers, strivers and doers recognize each other no matter which side of the fence they're on? For that matter, why are your enemies sometimes more admirable than your friends?
Why will there not be a merger between the ICA and ACA in the near future? It is because of the drug issue. Physical therapy will have nothing to do with the merger. Nope, drugs will be the issue.
No good deed in our profession ever goes unpunished. Most people who stand up for patient rights and speak about service, kindness, love of the profession and the patients, and are giving back to both the colleges and profession, are looked upon as religious fanatics or country bumpkins. The vast majority really tend to respect and admire anyone who has the courage of their convictions and the willingness to stand up publicly for what they believe.
When are the chiropractic colleges going to stop running into the medical camp and stop worrying about the acceptance by "higher authorities." If they continue there will require four years of pre-chiropractic college (verses two years now). Did you know that some are trying to get 90 prerequisite hours? Oh, I'm sure they will tell you that they are concerned about a "glut of chiropractors" in the profession today, but I see it very differently! The 50,000 DCs do not a glut make. A 10 or 15 to one ratio of MDs to DCs is not my idea of a fair fight.
Speaking of college presidents, how about earlier "hands on experience" and philosophy and history of chiropractic in the beginning year and a half of chiropractic college? Everyone preaches it, but very few do it. It sure would turn out better, stronger, more courageous DCs in the long run.
Has anyone ever heard of chiropractic proctology? It seems that someone in Oregon has. I'm not sure where it came from or why it would be supported, but does that mean that there are also chiropractic gynecologists, dentists, immunologists, and anesthesiologists? The idea is ridiculous, but the purpose is funding "no bucks, no Buck Rogers." That obviously means if I can't be a chiropractor I need to do other things to make the bucks because I don't have the courage of my convictions or the attitude to carry them out and work as hard as other health care practitioners.
It's time for every DC in the United States to join the ICA. We may not be the strongest or the largest but we are the most dedicated. The DCs working to promote the program are many and remember one thing: No government in the world ever prospered through the use of "mercenaries."
I could never understand why everyone didn't come down and experience a D.E. meeting at one time in their life. It changed mine and has kept changing it for the past 23 years. It has also taught me to admire other workers even though they weren't on my side.
After 10 years on the Commission of Accreditation of the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), I've learned several things. The extreme, unfair, political venue that existed in the beginning has changed for the better. The people I disliked in the beginning, I came to partially admire, because they were hard workers, and I do admire hard work. Politics are still not gone from CCE or the Commission; just look at the recent FCLB gripe and moan about accreditation of Brideport and Sherman. It's about time the FCLB understands that their power comes from political appointees, not from God. Having been on the Board of Examiners for eight years I can say it's time for a little humility in the FCLB.
They can be a great positive force in our profession but need to understand where the power comes from.
The advent of managed care and change in the insurance environment have caused panic and fear among many of our brothers and sisters. It is an unfounded fear. It has created the need "to go back to basics," which is caring for patients, setting fees that patients can afford, and giving high quality intense, focused service. Don't forget that during part of the '70s, most insurance companies did not cover chiropractic care. Many successful practices were started during that time and continue today. It's just a matter of going back and actually having to work. It may not be a great recruitment tool, work harder in order to be able to serve, but it also complies with all the basic laws of the universe, better to give than receive; do unto others, etc.
Never, never, never give up. Isn't it about time the good old boy networks in the profession fell by the wayside? It's about time the women in our profession started to move up to the forefront. I believe in term limits for officers of all national association officers, assembly people, etc. We're not talking about getting rid of wisdom and guidance, but we are talking about altering the "Good Old Boys Network" that exists throughout the profession. While it was beneficial at times, it is now becoming a roadblock to growth.
The sun always comes up in the morning. Men and women who serve and love other men and women are doing the right thing. Become happy and stay that way. The opposite of courage is not cowardice but conformity. Keep doing what works, and stop doing what doesn't. What do you stand for?
Vaya con Dios.
John Hofmann, DC
Allen Park, Michigan