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Dynamic Chiropractic – April 22, 2008, Vol. 26, Issue 09

Looking Forward to the Future of Chiropractic

By William Harris, DC

"I will persist until I succeed. Always will I take another step. If that is of no avail, I will take another, and yet another. In truth, one step at a time is not too difficult.

I know that small attempts, repeated, will complete any undertaking."

- Og Mandino (1923-1996), whose motivational books have sold more than 50 million copies

When I entered the profession 69 years ago, chiropractic was recognized in only three countries. It's now recognized around the world and chiropractors practice their art in approximately 70 countries. The future of chiropractic is only as great as the men and women who enter the profession with zeal and determination to accept the responsibility of the value of chiropractic and its benefits to every person with a spine and nervous system.

Great chiropractors have made tremendous progress for the profession, and greater onesstill will come along in the next 25 years to enhance the health benefits chiroparctors can provide and patients can enjoy. The future always will remain bright for the conscientious and determined doctor of chiropractic who has fervor for the profession and what they do, and who is willing to assist in the profession's growth. Determined persistence is the key to lasting achievement.

In recent years, more chiropractiors have graduated than the population can absorb. Consequently, chiropractic income for new practitioners is on the downslide. It costs considerable money to go to school and then open an office. In days gone by (but perhaps not entirely gone by, especially if we look at recent actions by the American Medical Association), medical doctors fought with skill to limit utilization of chiropractic care. More recently, pharmaceutical manufacturers have been expending countless millions of dollars in the media to sell their drugs. This affects chiropractic by reducing its marketplace.

For chiropractic to regain and expand its status, and to support our ever-increasing graduates, we must have more widespread recognition in every form of media. For example, the dairy industry has a program whereby contributions from the entire industry are used collectively to fund extensive national advertising. Unless something similar is done, there will be a continuing reduction in the marketplace for chiropractic. Kent Greenawalt has already started a not-for-profit fund to spread the chiropractic message in the media - the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress. I recommend that all state associations have a budget for this and that individual chiropractors spend 3 percent to 5 percent of their income to build the fund so the profession will enjoy wider media coverage.

Advertising produces recognition and promotes growth of the profession. Advertising is power. Without it, we always will be a second-rate profession. In this electronic world, word of mouth is no longer adequate.

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