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Dynamic Chiropractic – March 25, 2008, Vol. 26, Issue 07

Reserving the Right to Disagree - Cordially

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher

"In the beginning, as newlyweds, we avoid conflict because we are so much in love and we believe that 'being in love' is about agreeing. We're afraid that if we disagree - or fight - we'll end up divorced.

Later, we avoid conflict because when we try to deal with our differences, things get so out of hand and our fights get so unpleasant and upsetting that we simply shut down. We become determined to avoid conflict at any cost. ... Often couples are so determined to avoid disagreeing that they quit speaking."1

Like most married couples, my wife and I don't always agree on everything. Our disagreements usually lead to a discussion by which both of us gain insight. The insight we gain is actually twofold: insight into the problem or situation, and insight into each other and how we look at things differently.

Attending a multitude of chiropractic events gives me the opportunity to talk to (and listen to) many DCs. Each time I do, I am enriched by the exchange. Most docs I speak with feel very comfortable communicating their thoughts on an article they have read recently in Dynamic Chiropractic. Many times, the article in question is one authored by me in this column.

The opinions expressed by these doctors are usually strongly stated. I really like that. I'd rather hear from someone who passionately disagrees with me than the usual niceties that are politely communicated, but with little conviction.

While you may not know it, the articles you will read in this and every issue are not necessarily reflections of what I (or our editorial staff) believe or support. Again, hearing people say the same thing does little to identify the issues or help us understand the value of our differences.

It has been said that "conflict clarifies." This is an important element of our internal professional debate that should be respected. One who sincerely disagrees with you (or me) and does so by focusing on the issue, rather than the person whose opinion they oppose, will provide insight into the problem or issue we are facing. We need contrast to really understand things as well as we should.

Having said all of this, we are always looking for articles with differing opinions. The pages of DC are large enough to hold more than one point of view. If you read something with which you don't agree or have a comment about, please share it! Your thoughts could spark a greater understanding by other readers. There is a synergy that takes place in meaningful discussion that grows with the number of people who participate.

This is your publication. It should reflect the full range of thoughts and points of view that are inherent within our profession. You may disagree with some of what you read, but you will gain understanding of how other doctors look at the issues that concern us all.


  1. Diane Sollee. The Coalition for Marriage, Family and Couples Education. Accessed at, Feb. 20, 2008.

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