Unify, Divide, or Status Quo?
Every 10 years or so, I find myself compelled to write to appeal to our independent, diverse profession to choose from the same three choices: 1. unify; 2. divide; 3. status quo. Since this is probably the most widely read publication and our professional membership rates are abysmally low, it still might be a good idea to poll the members to get some idea of what we the individuals would prefer.
Our independent nature served us well when we were outsiders, but since we were granted a seat at the table and the menu then changed to managed care, we don't seem to be able to present ourselves as a cohesive group. Now our independent nature works against us. At a time when consensus and diplomacy are called for, we're allowing factionalization to marginalize us all - and we're doing it to ourselves. They aren't dividing and conquering us - we are!
I have always preferred unification, where we can all get behind, support and be part of an organization that supports us, our patients, and our teetering health care delivery system. We're left considering division into two or more groups, which satisfies our philosophy, but weakens us as a group. We're already divided; why not make it official? By not actively choosing either of the first two choices, we're choosing the third. Yes, inaction is a choice that leads us further into stagnation, which is actually backward when compared to the forward movement of others.
Two other ways to move forward are:
- Constantly upgrading our efficiency as individual practitioners so the business of health care always chooses us;
- Publishing - if the majority of content written or spoken about musculoskeletal health was authored by a chiropractor, we would claim our rightful place as authorities in an area we seem to be abdicating.
Marc D'Aquila, DC
"I feel like I am a doctor, not a technician"
First, thanks for the great job of your publication. I always enjoy grabbing Dynamic Chiropractic and taking the time to read it.
Now, to the heart of your column: I hate negativity, so I will discuss with you what I feel is the way to go. I have practiced the CCST protocols (Dan Murphy seminars, ICA ... certification in spinal trauma and whiplash) since 1999; I see a lot of personal injury and workers' compensation patients. What gets me is the simple fact that many chiropractors prefer not to go down this pathway due to nothing more than laziness. I was taught in school (Palmer, class of 1953) that to get insurance reimbursement was a sham. Sure, it takes a little more time than usual to coordinate the diagnosis, codes, treatment plans, etc., but I feel like I am a doctor, not a technician. I am proud of my practice. I am even more proud of the fact that I have testified countless times for these cases, and built a reputation as a "chiropractor." However, the item I am most proud of is simply that, in the words of my brother, "never stop treating the patient because of insurance adjustors threatening to peer review your case."
I feel that I represent the best interests of the patient, regardless of what their insurance claims are. Perhaps I am not being specific enough for your column/thoughts; however, I feel that the "new wave" of chiropractors are the ones who will pave the way for recognition. I absolutely love your column about the ER chiropractor; it is very inspiring.
Dean K. Ziegler, DC, CCST, CCRD
"I do not think this puts us in a decent light"
In your issue of Dynamic Chiropractic for Oct. 21, 2004, on page 11 there is an ad for "Medical Technology for Spinal Decompression." In the lower part of the page, in the center column, there is a reference to "generate new revenue." I do not think this puts us in a decent light. The reason for trying or using an instrument should never be to earn more income, and to blatantly advertise it puts us in a vulnerable position for our detractors. I think this reference should be deleted or you should cancel the ad.
Phil Nadler, DC
Babylon, New York
Chiropractic "Cleverly Removed" From Best-Selling Book
I received an advertisement in the mail which I think needs a response. The ad was a bulk mailing to all chiropractors from a practice management seminar firm, "Teach the World About Chiropractic." This company is co-owned by Ben Lerner, DC, author of the Body by God text and course. The portion of the ad which I find most intriguing is that this company promotes the idea that chiropractors can see (presumably this entails evaluate and treat) upwards of 1,000, 2,000, or even 3,000 patient visits per week. As the name of the company implies, they are out to "teach the world about chiropractic."
In reading Dr. Lerner's book, Body by God, I find it interesting that at no place in his book is there ever a mention of chiropractic, and even more surprising, never a mention that he attended chiropractic college or has a doctor of chiropractic degree. The book on the whole is excellent. He outlines quite nicely a prescription for healthy living through diet, exercise, intellectual and spiritual growth. Cleverly removed from the references, from the dust jacket biography on Dr. Lerner, from the doctors who advised/inspired Dr. Lerner, and from the index, is any mention that Dr. Lerner is a chiropractor or is in any way affiliated with the chiropractic profession.
Now, I am not so naive as to fail to understand the logic here. Most would agree that chiropractic's greatest disadvantage is a lack of public credibility, and the mere mention of the word "chiropractic" may result in hindering book sales. No doubt, Dr. Lerner listened to his publisher and removed any suggestion that he is a chiropractor. Most would also agree that the reason we are so lacking in public credibility, the number-one reason given by the public, is that chiropractors "make you keep coming back forever."
Am I the only person struck by the irony that Dr. Lerner is advocating that chiropractors see 3,000 patient visits per week, and yet because of our lack of public credibility due to chiropractors just like him advocating 3,000 patient visits per week per chiropractor, he couldn't or wouldn't mention his own profession in his book promoting health?
John M. Ventura, DC, DABCO
Rochester, New York