Health care is a special kind of human activity involving a moral endeavor that is grounded in a pledge or covenant of trust. The tradition and the very nature of health care is one that cannot be pursued effectively without the virtues of modesty, honesty, intellectual truthfulness, empathy, and the removal of unwarranted self-interest.Society recognizes these traits as the valued characteristics that mark doctors as members of an ethical community, dedicated to doing something other than promoting their own self-interests.
This covenant obliges the doctor to be competent and to use this competence in the patient's best interests. Health care providers are intellectually and morally obliged to act as advocates for the sick and injured who present to us. The agreement is that we will always place the patient's best interests in the highest regard, and that we will protect and defend the welfare of our patients.
Today, this covenant of trust between doctors and patients is significantly threatened. There are a plethora of practitioners and practice-building organizations devoted to developing patient dependence on the doctor. Some are devoted to the primary principle of financial gain at almost any cost, which leads to the erosion of the sanctity of the doctor-patient relationship. When a doctor yields to the temptation of placing his or her own financial needs first, this changes the trust relationship with the patient. Giving in to financial need and greed also changes the doctor's role as healer, helper, and advocate for the patient.
Our first obligation must be to serve the good of those who seek our help, and who trust us to provide it. We must be patient-centered, not doctor-centered. Any deflection from the priority of placing the patient's well-being first places the patient at risk. Only by providing truly caring services and by becoming an honest advocate for our patients can the integrity of our profession be affirmed. Honoring our doctor-patient covenant is also how we expand the public's trust for our profession.
William Moreau, DC
Providing "Championship Care": Advice for Budding Sports Physicians
I would just like to make two comments regarding the interview with Dr. Miller. I echo many of his sentiments and remarks, and would like to offer a few additional resources for the chiropractor interested in pursuing the field of sports injury care. [Editor's note: See "Championship Chiropractic: An Interview With Michael Miller, DC," in the June 18, 2005 issue. To access a printable version of the interview online, visit www.chiroweb.com/archives/23/13/03.html.]
There are many resources available in this arena to assist individuals entering this market. Additional education is the key component in developing your base knowledge before entering or seeking to be an expert within the sports injuries field. As such, there are many CCSP (Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician) and DACBSP (Diplomate of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians) programs offered. These programs are governed and tested by the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (www.acbsp.com).
Athletes are well-aware of common injuries in their sport and can be more knowledgeable than the average physician. Therefore, it is important to present yourself as a well-educated expert.
Furthermore, there is strength with number and association. Many doors can be opened through the association of other providers. There are a large number of events at which chiropractors are needed all around the country, as well as individual athletes who need care on a referral basis; informatoin is available through the American Chiropractic Association Sports Council (www.acasc.org). This membership increases the strength of our profession and can increase your marketability when seeking opportunities with sports teams, organizations, and events.
Additionally, the FICS (Fédération Internationale de Chiropratique du Sport - www.fics-online.org) provides a similar opportunity for international events, and the U.S. Sports Chiropractic Federation (www.usscf.com) provides an interface for chiropractors and Olympic-level athletes participating in international events in the United States. The U.S. Olympic Committee (USOC) also provides a chiropractic internship at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colorado. This requires an extensive background and a minimum of five years' experience as a team physician. This is a very worthy experience, and should you be selected, it is an experience you will always remember. Further details on the OTC internship are available through the ACA Sports Council. Needless to say, one must have an extensive curriculum vitae to apply.
Further resources may be available within your state, as there are several state sports councils, most notably in New Jersey and Florida.
I hope these resources will aid budding sports physicians in their quest to provide championship-level care.
Ted L. Forcum, DC, DACBSP, FICC, CSCS
P.S. This letter was dictated from the 2005 U.S. Track and Field Championships.
Remembering the Life of Thomas Morris
I've been hearing stories about Tom Morris for the past 22 years, even though I'm not a chiropractor and never knew him. Yet I still had goose bumps as I read Joseph C. Keating's articles, "Tom Morris, Defender of Chiropractic," Part I and Part II (Dynamic Chiropractic, Dec. 1, 1999 and Jan. 12, 2000.)
Here's why. The Morris genius was and is real. I know this because I know his grandson and granddaughter, and I also know a man named Ted Harwick, who knew all of Tom Morris's children. Over the years, I have heard countless stories of the intellectual brilliance of this family, both from the Morrises and from people who know them, that are no less astounding than Keating's depiction of Tom Morris. So, it delights me to read this account because it absolutely matches every story I know.
Keating's account of Thomas Morris is an outstanding tribute to a man who continues to be revered and kept alive by a loving and appreciative family. It will be my great pleasure to share Joseph Keating's articles with them.
Please convey my heartfelt thanks to Dr. Keating.
Cathedral City, California
|Editor's note: "Tom Morris, Defender of Chiropractic," is available online at www.chiroweb.com/archives/17/25/09.html (Part I) and www.chiroweb.com/archives/18/02/11.html(Part II).|