With sincere misgivings about utilizing or repeating the latest outrageous attack on chiropractic recently unveiled by the Texas Medical Association's Political Action Committee, but as a prelude to my evaluation of its twisted concept of health care, I reproduce a recent document created by that "Quack PAC." [See images below.]The TMA's actions have just made my blood boil! Shades of 1963, when the AMA decided to form a Committee on Quackery.Back then, the arrogance and all-powerful position of the AMA emboldened the organization to act with impunity, regardless of the illegality of its activities. The AMA boldly stated in its "internal memoranda" that its goal was to first contain, and then eliminate, the profession of chiropractic.
Imagine the arrogance of the AMA's thoughts and actions: Just because it did not like chiropractors, it could eliminate the entire profession in all 50 states? The AMA was no more interested in "patient safety" by eliminating chiropractic than the tobacco companies were interested in people's health by selling cigarettes.
The AMA, we now know, is interested in one thing: a monopoly over all health care delivery. I could list the many social programs the AMA has been opposed to, but suffice it to say, its goals are not lofty, its intent is not honorable and its methodology is not laudable.
It is no surprise that in Texas, the Texas Board of Medical Examiners and the Texas Medical Association have taken up the subversive objectives of the AMA under the ruse of a state medical board trying to "protect the innocent public" from quackery. Let's see who's looking in a mirror.
The real quackery in this latest despicable Texas Medical Association PAC advertisement is the deceit of the hypocritical political medical action committee. Apparently all is fair game in politics, but I am certain many of the practicing clinical medical physicians in Texas are humiliated by the actions of their political organizations, just as members of the AMA were appalled to learn of the action of their national association.
The ad pictured is technically not deceptive; of course Dr. VanDeWalle is not licensed as a medical physician by the medical board. So what? The fact is Dr. VanDeWalle never claimed to be. Neither are the thousands of dentists, podiatrists, optometrists, psychologists and yes, even doctors of divinity, who are all "doctors," licensed by their respective boards to practice their non-allopathic method of healing, serving and caring.
After the AMA was found guilty of conspiring to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession, it changed its tactics under an ongoing court injunction. And therein lies the issue that has not gone away.
The issue simply is that the AMA has in the past, and will in the future, continue to be one of the major causes of, not solutions for, the health care crisis in America. By its power and influence, the AMA has managed to "contain and eliminate" lower-cost and more effective health care providers from offering services that would impact the AMA directly as competition in health care delivery.
The AMA fought (and continues to fight) nurse practitioners and physician assistants who would be able to deliver primary care; doctors of chiropractic who are viewed as a competitive model to medical care, particularly in the neuromusculoskeletal arena; naturopathic doctors, who would be competing with medical physicians; psychologists who would infringe on psychiatrists; midwives competing with obstetricians ... the list goes on.
While it is "legal" to petition the legislature to address a grievance, what is not legal is the subversive activities that are going on behind the scenes. What the medical associations are doing suggests in my opinion, racketeering.
You read that correctly: The RICO (Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations) Act of 1970 should be considered being used against the individual and collective medical associations in some fashion. (See the AMA News, July 20, 1990.) Am I delusional? Let's look at the facts.
Doctors in the state of Washington can attest to the fact that the Washington state medical groups (with a supportive brief filed by the AMA) attempted to eliminate chiropractic providers from doing truck-driver physicals. The Texas Medical Board is trying to systematically reduce doctors of chiropractic to essentially a no-health-authority practitioners and is now trying this underhanded method to see that a doctor of chiropractic does not get elected to the Texas legislature [Dr. VanDeWalle lost the runoff election]– not based on a lack of qualifications, but a lack of an MD degree! Travel to Virginia, where the Virginia Medical Board (a composite board) is attempting to define what a doctor of chiropractic can do. (By the way, most board members are medical physicians, with only one DC member.) The AMA has sent its disciples to destroy any competition that would interfere with the medical monopoly.
In my opinion, this is toying with the RICO Act, and apparently the AMA did not learn its initial lesson with Wilk et al v AMA et al, where the AMA was found to have engaged in a "lengthy, systematic, successful and unlawful boycott" of members of the chiropractic profession. Maybe it is time for the profession to consider another attack against the AMA and its estimated 1,900 state, county and local affiliates – in court, where "rules of evidence" and "discovery" will be the determining procedure to be followed and not some propaganda piece in a newspaper.
There is still a conspiracy existing in the health care delivery system and if anyone does not believe it, the attack against the doctor of chiropractic running for the Texas State House of Representatives is a good place to start.
Musculoskeletal Care: No Contest
As you can undoubtedly see, I am extremely troubled at the AMA and its affiliates, who have for decades enjoyed a privileged class, akin to the fourth branch of government. What's more, they have contributed to the escalating cost of health care delivery by their monopoly on the marketplace, and have subverted every attempt to reform the system.
But most revolting and inexcusable, they are covering up the lack of training and skill of medical physicians in areas where their own studies show that chiropractic excels; and while doing so, contribute to the pain, suffering, unnecessary surgery and drug addiction / dependency of millions of patients.
Evidence from many trials and many research projects clearly demonstrates the superiority of chiropractic services in the treatment of musculoskeletal conditions:
- 1972 – Rolland A. Martin, MD, director of Oregon's Workmen's Compensation Program, "A Retrospective Study of Comparable Workmen's Industrial Injuries in Oregon": "Examining the forms of conservative therapy the majority received, it is interesting to note the results of those treated by chiropractic physicians. ... A total of twenty-nine claimants were treated by no other physician than a chiropractor. 82% of those workmen resumed work after one week of time loss. Their claims were closed without a disability award. ... Examining claims treated by the M.D., in which the diagnosis seems comparable to the type of injury suffered by the workmen treated by the chiropractor, 41% of these workmen resumed work after one week of time loss."
- 1975 – Richard C. Wolf, MD, "A Retrospective Study of 629 Workmen's Compensation Cases in California": The significant differences between the two groups appear to be as follows: Average lost time per employee - 32 days in the M.D.-treated group, 15.6 days in the chiropractor-treated group. Employees reporting no lost time – 21% in the M.D.-treated group, 47.9% in the chiropractor-treated group. Employees reporting lost time in excess of 60 days – 13.2% in the M.D.-treated group, 6.7% in the chiropractor-treated group. Employees reporting complete recovery – 34.8[%] in the M.D.-treated group, 51% in the chiropractor-treated group."
- 1979 – Scott Haldeman, DC, MD, PhD, Royal Commission of Inquiry on Chiropractic in New Zealand: "The Commission accepts the evidence of Dr. Haldeman, and holds, that in order to acquire a degree of diagnostic and manual skill sufficient to match chiropractic standards, a medical graduate would require up to 12 months' full-time training, while a physiotherapist would require longer than that."
- 1980 – John McMilan Mennell, MD, prominent medical educator and author: "Q: The musculoskeletal system comprises what portion of the body? A: As a system, about 60% of the body. I think my testimony was that if you ask a bunch of new residents who come into a hospital for the first time how long they spent in studying the problems of the musculoskeletal system, they would, for the most part reply, 'Zero to about four hours,' I think that was my testimony."
- 1987 – Susan Getzendanner, United States District Court Judge: "Even the defendants' [the AMA's] expert witness, Mr. Lynk [a PhD economist], assumed that chiropractors outperformed medical physicians in the treatment of certain conditions and he believed that was a reasonable assumption."
- 1998 – Annals of Internal Medicine, published jointly by the American College of Physicians and the American Society for Internal Medicine: "The Agency for Health Care Policy and Research (AHCPR) recently made history when it concluded that spinal manipulative therapy is the most effective and cost-effective treatment for acute low back pain … Perhaps most significantly, the guidelines state that unlike nonsurgical interventions, spinal manipulation offers both pain relief and functional improvement." [Emphasis added]
- 1998 – Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery: "Second only to upper respiratory illness, musculoskeletal symptoms are the most common reason that patients seek medical attention, accounting for approximately 20 percent of both primary-care and emergency-room visits. Musculoskeletal problems were reported as the reason for 525 (23 percent) of 2285 visits by patients to a family physician, and musculoskeletal injuries accounted for 1539 (20 percent) of 7840 visits to the emergency room. ... Nevertheless, seventy (82 percent) of eighty-five medical school graduates from thirty-seven different schools failed to demonstrate such competency on a validated examination of fundamental concepts."
- 2012 – Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery: "In the United States, musculoskeletal disorders represent the most common health complaints, accounting for more than 130 million physician visits and 10% to 28% of all primary care visits each year and costing approximately $850 billion a year. These costs account for a substantial portion of the country's health care expenditures. ... Despite these facts, our own institution [the Johns Hopkins University Medical School] has had no required medical student musculoskeletal clerkship rotation or elective for several decades, and a landmark study in 2003 by DiCaprio et al. found that only 20% of allopathic medical schools in the United States had a dedicated musculoskeletal clerkship, making the quality of musculoskeletal training for medical school graduates inadequate. Clawson et al. surveyed 5487 second-year residents in the United States and found that most reported being ill-prepared in the area of musculoskeletal medicine, and another survey of pediatric residents identified orthopaedics as the main area in which they believed that their medical school education had been deficient. ... This discrepancy appears to persist beyond the training years and into the realm of clinical practice. In a survey of family care physicians, 51% said that they had insufficient training to address musculoskeletal issues, which may be related to the fact that 56% of the respondents stated that medical school was their only source for formal musculoskeletal instruction."
Cost-effectiveness and patient satisfaction, evidence and outcomes are all clearly evident and not contested. The education and training of the DC is superior for NMS conditions, and for anyone to call the DC a quack when the very definition of Quack – a person who falsely pretends to have medical skills or knowledge – is unquestionably the medical physician, whose limited training and skills are obvious from their own tests and studies. This should cause concern about who is calling whom a quack.
I dedicate this to all those who have been and are still suffering from the misinformation disseminated by the medical profession and its organized Quack PACs. May they find relief and health from the knowledge and truth displayed above and in many, many other studies and admissions. (For example, see the Medical Times, New York, 1921, 'Sympathetic Segmental Disturbances-II' by Henry Winsor, MD, pages 267-271.)
Editor's note: Click here to review supporting documentation / references used in the writing of this article.
Dr. VanDeWalle lost the Jan. 28, 2014 run-off election for Texas House District 50 to Celia Israel, garnering 41 percent of the vote to Israel's 59 percent. To learn more about Dr. VanDeWalle, read the app version of this article. (Click here to register for the free app.)
George McAndrews served as lead trial counsel for the successful plaintiffs in the celebrated 14-year antitrust case, Wilk et al v. AMA et al.; and as lead plaintiff's counsel in the racketeering case Chinnici v Central DuPage Hospital et al. (1990). Learn more by clicking here.