No Longer Ignorable

By Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher
As my two sons grow from children to teenagers, it is amazing some of the silly things they do. You would think they would know better (you would think anyone at any age would know better). Did I do anything that silly? According to my mother, I did. To hear her tell it, I was worse. But in her wisdom, my mother explained the problem: I was expecting more from them. In anticipation of their maturing into adulthood, I was treating them more as adults and less like children.

Considering all the exposure experienced by chiropractic this year, it was commented: "Chiropractic is no longer ignorable." The truth of this comment is all around us. certainly the American Medical Association did not place a chiropractor on the CPT Editorial Panel or the Relative Value Scale Update Committee1 because they wanted to support chiropractic. A DC is on those committees because they could no longer afford to leave chiropractic out and maintain their credibility of representing all of health care.

Why else would Congressmen Charlie Norwood (R-GA) and Bill Brewster (D-OK) introduce the Family Health Care Fairness Act of 1995? It wasn't that long ago that most national politicians wouldn't give chiropractic the time of day.

USA Today (October 5, 1995) contains a front page article which relates the results of a study showing that people with acute low back pain who see family doctors "recover as well as those treated by orthopedic doctors and chiropractors." Imagine family practitioners being compared to DCs as if chiropractic was the standard they had to meet.

Over the past week, DCs across the country have been mailing and faxing their responses to Kelloggs, Acura, Este Lauder and the other companies that advertised during the rebroadcasting of the "20/20" segment on chiropractic. You can be sure that these companies can't ignore chiropractic.

Even the latest attack on chiropractic, A Victim's Perspective, demonstrates the profession's increased stature. In the past, chiropractic was just one chapter in a Barrett book, or one article in Consumer Reports. We are now worthy of our own text, and in hard cover no less! And from a slightly less authoritative publication, the Sept. issue of MAD magazine features the "Adventures of Harold Lipmeyer, Chiropractor."

Whether it be sports or media, research or clinical expertise, chiropractic is no longer ignorable. We must be either accepted or confronted.

But our new won respect is not without a cost. Just as my sons will have prove themselves further before they get the keys to the car, so we will have to continually demonstrate that the chiropractic profession is more than prepared to meet and compete in today's health care arena. This includes every DC. An irresponsible few could provide the fuel for the next article, broadcast or book that attempts to paint chiropractic unworthy of the public's respect, support and patronage.

There are many out there waiting for us to fail. And like an overexpectant parent, there are those who will look for chiropractic to mature at a pace beyond our resources.

Today's challenges are not to be taken lightly. We will struggle hard. But this is something chiropractors know how to do.

Your job is to be prepared, to be knowledgeable about what you do and why you do it. The world now takes chiropractic seriously. Instead of being ignored, you will be confronted. But with confrontation comes the opportunity to tell our story.


1. Chiropractic gains seat on key AMA Medicare Committee, Dynamic Chiropractic, Sept. 25, 1995, 13(20):1,50-1.

Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc)

Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.

Page printed from: