This was the first chiropractic meeting co-sponsored by the WHO. The opening speaker was Dr. Mikhail Mikheev, senior medical officer, Division of Occupational Health, WHO, Geneva. He emphasized that the worldwide back pain epidemic plaguing society and occupational health could only be overcome through recognition of the unique skills of the chiropractic profession and interprofessional cooperation between chiropractic and medicine.
He explained that this was why the WHO, on his directive and in collaboration with the World Federation of Chiropractic, is planning to publish a text titled Chiropractic in Occupational Health. The goal of this text is "to provide occupational health physicians and managers worldwide, with an introduction to chiropractic services and their potential role in occupational health programs." Available in 1995, the book will be edited by John Triano, MA, DC.
The initial scientific review meeting for this proposed WHO text, discussing chapter contents and authors, was just one of the meetings comprising the 1993 World Congress of Chiropractic. WHO invitees to this meeting were senior occupational health specialists from China, Russia, Singapore, and Sweden, all meeting with doctors of chiropractic for the first time. Those attending the meeting at the invitation of the WFC included Drs. Charles Anderson (United States), Gunnar Andersson (United States), Tom Davis (United States), Phillip Ebrall (Australia), Paul Hooper (United States), Charlotte Leboeuf (Denmark), Palle Pederson (England), Jean Robert (Switzerland), and Patrick Venditti (United States).
Other highlights of the 1993 World Chiropractic Congress included:
- A donation of $10,000 to the WHO project from the Chiropractic Council of Japan.
- A three day academic program on occupational health with leading chiropractic and medical speakers from Europe and North America. The program included the most prominent back pain medical researchers in the United Kingdom, such as Dr. Tom Meade (principal researcher in the British trial of chiropractic) and Dr. Gordon Waddell of Glasgow (a critic of traditional medical management based on rest and medication, who explained that only two treatments for back pain are supported by adequate scientific evidence -- early exercise and skilled manipulation as in chiropractic practice).
- Presentation of impressive, original research from chiropractors around the world. Top awards went to researchers from the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic (AECC), Jennifer Bolton, PhD, et al., and Palle Pederson, DC, et al.; National College, Patricia Brennan, PhD, et al.; and Palmer College, Dennis Marchiori, DC, et al. The research competition was sponsored by Life College, Life College West, National, and Palmer.
- Special WFC Honor Awards for distinguished service to the chiropractic profession to Felix Bauer, DC (Australia, radiology), George McAndrews, Esq. (USA, Wilk case attorney), and Walter Wardell, PhD (U.S., chiropractic sociologist and historian), and Mr. McAndrews' after dinner speech at the WFC/FICS Banquet.
- Attendance and reports from chiropractors in over 40 countries. Dr. Garrett Moscos, formerly of California, spoke of the rapid growth of chiropractic in Saudi Arabia, supported by royal patronage. Dr. Kyree Myhrvold, president, Norwegian Chiropractors' Association, reported that Norway has become the first country in Europe in which the government health plan pays for advanced imaging (MRIs, CAT scans, etc.) ordered by chiropractors.
- A well-attended British Chiropractic Association luncheon for members of parliament. This luncheon was certainly timely: The first legislation to license chiropractic in the United Kingdom, where there are now 800 chiropractors, is about to be introduced in parliament and is supported by all political parties and the medical profession.
- A high-powered debate on the future of chiropractic education around the world. College president speakers included Dr. Sid Williams (Life), Dr. Jim Winterstein (National), Dr. Donald Kern (Palmer), Dr. Jim Parker (Parker), and Professor Brian Kliger (Anglo-European). One issue discussed was the increasing number of MDs retraining themselves to become DCs. DC/MD speakers included Dr. Udo Kastner (Austria), Dr. Sira Borges (Brazil), and Dr. Edward Lee (Hong Kong).
The meeting was an opportunity to discuss plans for several new chiropractic colleges around the world. A second chiropractic college is now established in South Africa, a second U.K. college will likely open in Glasgow, Scotland in 1994, and Life College and the University of Arizona are collaborating on plans to establish a research program, then a chiropractic educational program at Ain Shaims University, Egypt.
Kudos must go to the British Chiropractic Association organizing committee, chaired by Dr. Tim Jay, which worked exceptionally hard to make certain that the 1993 World Congress of Chiropractic was a success.
WFC Research Council to Coordinate Centennial Academic Programs
On the strength of its international leadership and the quality of its continuing education programs in both the 1991 Toronto and 1993 London Congresses, the WFC, under the leadership of WFC Research Council Chair Dr. Scott Haldeman, has been given responsibility for coordinating the 1995 Centennial Celebration academic programs, in Washington, D.C., July 5-9 and Davenport, Iowa September 13-17. The main scientific program will be in Washington, and the main history program in Davenport.
DCs should plan to clear those Centennial dates now and make arrangements to attend both meetings. Chiropractors will want to take part in the excellence and excitement marking the chiropractic profession's first 100 years.