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Dynamic Chiropractic – February 28, 1990, Vol. 08, Issue 05

Do It Again Roy!

By Joseph Keating Jr., PhD

In 1981, in an effort to demonstrate to Index Medicus the unreasonableness of its policies toward the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), he surveyed the existing medical literature and could find no positive mention of chiropractic medicine. Shortly thereafter, Roy W. Hildebrandt, D.C., founding editor of the JMPT, received notification that National College's blind-peer-reviewed journal of chiropractic science would be indexed in one of the most significant and most widely disseminated sourceworks of biomedical research. Dr. Hildebrandt had cracked the "science barrier" for the profession, and the rest is history. The JMPT stands today as the preeminent scientific forum in chiropractic.

The task has not been an easy one. After years of pleading with the American Chiropractic Association and other chiropractic organizations for the establishment of a legitimate, authoritative, critical and indexed scientific periodical, the National College of Chiropractic (NCC) decided to take the bull by the horns. Joseph Janse, D.C., president of NCC, made the commitment of college resources to sustain a scholarly publication committed to high standards of critical review. Dr. Janse accepted the stipulations set by the soon to be editor-in-chief; absolute editorial control of all aspects of review, lay-out, acceptance/rejection, and advertising. With these guarantees Dr. Hildebrandt set about to establish a competent editorial board, set policy, and solicit quality manuscripts from chiropractic physicians. The first issue of the JMPT was published in March, 1978, and Dr. Hildebrandt would serve as editor for the JMPT's first nine years (1978-1986).

A decade later Dr. Hildebrandt is back in the saddle of a chiropractic science journal, and seems destined to repeat his earlier victories. Now in its second year of publication, the American Journal of Chiropractic Medicine (AJCM) has been attracting a number of very high quality papers, including case studies, clinical reviews, reliability trials, reviews of the literature, surveys, philosophical and historical essays, commentaries, and a lively Letters to the Editor section. The quarterly journal's editorial board is comprised of scholars in biology, chiropractic medicine, engineering, orthopedics, and the social sciences. AJCM articles are already widely and regularly cited in the chiropractic scientific literature.

Resistance to the juxtaposition of "chiropractic" and "medicine" in AJCM's title may inhibit a good number of chiropractors from subscribing, but the paid circulation of AJCM has grown to 1,300. This resistance seems to echo the early scorn directed at the JMPT as a national college "house organ." Dr. Hildebrandt has been through it before, and perseveres once more in pursuit of principle. The term has an important role to play in the chiropractic profession's transition from isolation to integration with the wider health care community, for it intrinsically defines chiropractic care and the chiropractic profession as a part of the wider system. Despite Dr. Hidebrandt's repeated assertions of his non-surgical, non-pharmaceutical orientation to chiropractic medicine, however, many chiropractic physicians nonetheless seem to feel that the term implies a capitulation to the profession's traditional foe: political medicine. Others feel that use of the term will lead to loss of professional identity and autonomy. A few doctors have been disappointed the AJCM does not advocate pharmaceutical privileges for DCs. Whether one agrees or disagrees with the AJCM's title or stance, however, Dr. Hildebrandt deserves recognition for having taken a predictable controversial position and sticking with it. Since he seems to offend at both ends of the political spectrum in chiropractic, perhaps he is doing something right.

Manuscripts and subscriptions may be submitted to Roy W. Hildebrandt, D.C., editor, AJCM, 24W760 Geneva Road, Carol Stream, IL 60188. "Information for Authors" is published at least once per annual volume. The subscription rate per year for individuals is $45 in Canada, Mexico and the USA ($55 elsewhere), and for students, interns, and residents is $30 per year in Canada, Mexico, and the USA ($35 elsewhere). Try it -- you'll like it!

Click here for previous articles by Joseph Keating Jr., PhD.

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