Time to Address the Issues Facing Our Profession
I would like to personally thank Drs. Ventura, Dougherty and Justice for taking the time and effort to write their open letter to the chiropractic profession in the July 29, 2009 issue of DC. The five points they make are 100 percent valid and should have been addressed years ago by our profession.
Until we are willing to step up to the plate and objectively address these issues (regardless of how the cards fall), we will continue to at best tread water and at worst drown while other health care professions move forward and grow. My hat's off to these doctors for putting the spotlight once again on this important topic. One would hope that this profession would eventually wake up and decide to stop dodging this important issue and instead tackle it head on.
Greg Dutson, DC
San Antonio, Texas
Another Avenue for Success
Editor's note: The following letter is the opinion of the author; while the American Chiropractic Association is mentioned, the letter does not necessarily represent the opinion of the association.
I have an idea that will seem like mutiny to some and intriguing to others reading this publication. I have been a failure as a practicing chiropractor. Yes, I have seen more than one patient do better than they imagined possible, but I have been a financial failure in more than one office in more than one state.
I was a registered nurse before I attended chiropractic school. I contacted a college recently about their physician's assistant program. To many of you, this is a tremendous step backward and insulting to consider. To others, this is a way to pay back your student loans and support your families. It's the possibility of a steady job with benefits and flexibility. You all know at least one chiropractor who is working in another field.
The program would be two years. Someone with experience as a physician's assistant could take a one-year program to receive a masters' level physician's assistant degree.
To all chiropractors, I ask this question: What is your opinion of asking the American Chiropractic Association to contact colleges that offer physician's assistant programs and request to tailor a program for chiropractors that would take one year to complete? We have a incredible amount to offer patients in preventative medicine, examination and diagnosis. Very few of us are educated in medication use and diagnostic testing outside of X-ray and MRI/CT scan; any one of us would need at least a year to understand drug use and prescriptions There is a real shortage of primary care providers to manage chronic health conditions such as diabetes, high blood pressure, and chronic congestive heart failure.
Before you get your philosophical knickers in a twist, I am not proposing a dual PA/DC degree; this is an advanced tract for those wishing to become a physician's assistant. How many of you would oppose the ACA doing this?
Alicia Nossov, RN, DC
An Evolving Cancer: The Profit Paradigm of Insurers
I read Dr. Baird's recent letter to the editor, "Who Commits More Insurance Fraud?" with great interest. Dr. Baird is spot-on in his assessment of the abuses of some of the major health insurers. He brings to light an evolving cancer, namely the profit paradigm of these companies. I consider some of their practices/tactics extortive and abusive to both patient and provider.
I recently became deluged with faxed offers (and now telephone calls) to negotiate claims that in the past were simply and correctly paid according to the patient's plan and available benefits. The timing of my own reaction to these heavy-handed offers with Dr. Baird's thought-provoking letter could not have been more perfect. I strongly urge all of my colleagues to read Dr. Baird's letter and to band together in unity to meet this latest challenge to our professional health head-on, and to engage our state and national organizations to action as well.
David Wedemeyer, DC
Costa Mesa, Calif.
We Must Get the Message Out
Thanks to Dr. Christopher Kent for his informative and revealing article, "Medicare: Penny Wise and Pound Foolish" [Aug. 12 DC]. It makes me feel good to have someone verify what I knew was true all along. After the "beatings and threats" we have taken from Medicare, it appears that Medicare's leaning on our profession may be about something other than just saving money.
Chiropractic amounts to about 1/1,000th of Medicare expenses, and statistically we save Medicare hundreds of dollars each time a patient visits our office. I may have a persecution complex, but I just have to believe its actions to limit chiropractic are not just about saving money. Any rational person would come up with this conclusion.
I put a summary of Dr. Kent's column in my weekly column "No Bones About It," passed out copies to all my patients, and have a message on my letter board. I feel we must get this message out. My digital message board says, "Medicare patients save Medicare $300 every time they come into this office." Surely, the media is interested in this news. If not, why not?
Don Selvidge, DC
Dynamic Chiropractic encourages letters to the editor to discuss any issue relevant to the profession, including response to articles that appeared in a previous issue of the publication. All letters should be e-mailed to with "Letter to the Editor" in the subject field. Submission represents acknowledgement that your letter may appear in a future issue of DC, but does not guarantee publication. We receive considerable correspondence and endeavor to publish as many perspectives as possible.