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Dynamic Chiropractic – November 21, 1990, Vol. 08, Issue 24

Doctor, You Should be a Political Leader

By Brian James Porteous, DC, QME

Today, more than ever, the doctor of chiropractic is required to be both politically knowledgeable and active.

What the activity consists of can be scheduled on the fringes of time or can be an intricate part of daily work depending on hours, temperament, and talent in a variety of directions.

No person lives apart from society, and the doctor of chiropractic, more than most, finds that legislative decisions, trends, opinion polls, rapidly accelerated technology, and social changes all affect him directly.

Each day, decisions are made on very public levels that will alter the tax structure, the availability in price of supplies, purchasing methods, the practice earnings, employee relationships, and community status. For this reason a chiropractor must keep informed. Everything that happens at the neighborhood, state, and national levels has an effect on practice, profit, and personal principles.

Being active in local groups is essential to the chiropractor in private practice. By being visible and taking part in the life around him, he becomes a known quantity and established personality; a citizen who functions as a vital part of the community. He may serve on school boards, lend a voice to zoning commissions, and take part in civic improvement organizations. Often he may serve as a talent official or as a member of a county board. He may devote time as an officer to the local or state chambers of commerce or work as one of a group devoted to civic development or maintenance. No matter how small or large the community is -- school buildings, transportation operations, and utility franchises all require the voices of responsible citizen groups.

The doctor of chiropractic can be instrumental in establishing various state policies by working with chiropractic boards, college and university groups where contact has been made, and state legislatures.

He may well become a state legislator himself. We have urged that more chiropractors be represented in these policy-making legislative groups, which already have a strong representation of lawyers and professionals in the medical field.

A chiropractor active in political work may well consider,as his career progresses, running for political office. Here the viewpoint of the private practitioner can be put to work productively, and the chiropractor can offer not only academic background but grassroot practicality.

The chiropractor who does not hold office can nevertheless contribute much to dialogues with those who do hold office. He will want to ask representatives questions about their stand on such matters as insurance equality, community help matters, drug prevention programs, and more; for these and other matters are subject to frequent changes of law which may or may not be beneficial to the public.

The best way of communicating interests in these matters is to let others know he cares about causes of various kinds. He may rely on conversations or letters, suggest debates, or arrange round tables with legislators and community spokespeople.

Letters to the editor often draw citizen interest. An editor may be interested in preparing an editorial on a matter of importance suggested by the doctor of chiropractic. Student discussion groups may turn to the chiropractor for background material and topics in the news. Ward committee people and precinct captains often will vie hard for the support of a citizen whose position on health and social issues is well-documented and agreeably presented.

The doctor of chiropractic in private practice is a political person, as every citizen in the community, for the simple reason that with a democratic form of government everybody is a political being. At best, the doctor of chiropractic will bring to issues the assets of disciplined reasoning and analytical ability.

Thoughtful convictions well presented are not likely to lose patients but gain supporters who value the concern for the world.

Every doctor of chiropractic is certain to find it worthwhile to define goals and forward community welfare by being an informed member of the body politic.

Readers are invited to write to me:

Brian Porteous, D.C.
2042 Business Center Drive
Irvine, California 92715

Please include your self-addressed, stamped envelope. Thank you.

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