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Dynamic Chiropractic – July 1, 2009, Vol. 27, Issue 14

Memorable Lines

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

If you take a moment, you can probably think of a few of your favorites. Memorable lines, usually in motion pictures, are those few words that encapsulate the essence of the entire movie or event.

Some of my personal favorites include the following:1

  • "Here's looking at you kid," from "Casablanca." Rick Blaine's (played by Humphrey Bogart) toast to Ilsa Lund (played by Ingrid Bergman), a woman he loves deeply, but gives up after he regains her love.

  • "You're gonna need a bigger boat," from "Jaws." Police Chief Brody's (played by Roy Scheider) comment to Captain Quint (played by Robert Shaw) after seeing the great white shark face to face for the first time. The shark goes on to destroy the boat and eat Quint alive.

  • "Gerry, I'm a woman! We don't say what we WANT! But we reserve the right to get pissed off if we don't get it. That's what makes us so fascinating! And not a little bit scary." From the movie "Sliding Doors," this is a response from Lydia (played by Jeanne Tripplehorn) after her boyfriend Gerry (played by John Lynch) asserts, "You never said you wanted to get married." They ultimately have a messy break-up, with Lydia becoming quite vindictive.

If you listen carefully, you can occasionally hear memorable lines in real life. Such was the case when I attended the 10th Biennial Congress of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC). If you haven't ever attended this event, you've missed one of the most exciting meetings in the chiropractic profession. The congress is held every two years, usually in a place you would distinctly enjoy visiting. This latest one was just held in Montreal, a beautiful city with plenty of great restaurants. What sets this event apart is the international aspect. The congress begins with the meeting of representatives from chiropractic national associations in 92 countries,2 setting the stage for this truly global event.

This year's program, "Celebrating Chiropractic in the 21st Century" (held April 30 through May 2), included prominent speakers from around the world. The three-day educational program included numerous sessions and workshops on a plethora of techniques, philosophy and research topics. In addition, there were meetings of the International Federation of Sports Chiropractic (Federation Internationale de Chiropratique du Sport - FICS) and the chiropractic colleges, and a gala banquet to end it all.

More than 1,000 doctors of chiropractic from around the world joined together to celebrate all that we are accomplishing as a profession and discuss where we are headed. It was a time to renew friendships and make new ones. Many U.S. and Canadian DCs enjoyed the unique opportunity to learn about chiropractic in other countries firsthand from the doctors who practice there.

But the defining moment for me came on the first day of the program during a panel presentation on the latest cutting-edge chiropractic research. It was a standing-room only crowd, with many recognizable faces in the audience. The presentations were very exciting to hear. The sophistication of today's chiropractic research is certainly developing well. One can't help but be enthusiastic about our future, given what our scientists are discovering.

The usual Q & A session began at the end of the presentations, with several prominent doctors posing questions and providing thoughtful reactions to the material presented. One of the last to the microphone was a young chiropractic student from Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC). She and a few of her fellow students are interested in pursuing research positions after they graduate and were wondering where to begin.

The answer came from Mark Erwin, DC, PhD, who is the Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation (CCRF) Scientist in Disc Biology - a research chair position - and an assistant professor for The Spine Programme, Division of Orthopaedic Surgery, University of Toronto, in affiliation with Toronto Western Hospital. (Canada's chiropractic research chair program began in 2001 when Dr. Greg Kawchuck was awarded the first chair position; Dr. Erwin was awarded the second research chair in 2003.)

Dr. Erwin is known for his ground-breaking research in intervertebral disc disease. And while most of us listening expected to hear about the additional education required or the right research projects to work on, his answer to the chiropractic student's question was clearly more on target: "Find something you are passionate about."

For me, that summed up the entire event. I was in a room packed with doctors from around the world who had traveled the globe out of their love for chiropractic. We were to spend three days listening to presenters who had dedicated their lives and spent the past 10, 20, 30 or more years working to better understand and teach how the chiropractic adjustment provides the health benefits it does. It was a conference filled with passionate people.

If you have yet to attend the WFC Biennial Congress, you will have another chance in 2011, when it will be held on Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on April 7-9, 2011. Mark your calendar and plan to attend. You have much to be passionate about. Share that passion with your patients and your colleagues as we continue to advance this great profession.


  1. AFI's 100 Years ... 100 Movie Quotes. A list of the top 100 movie quotations in American cinema
  2. A list of all WFC national association members and their representatives can be found at

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