Think again! About the Differences Between Opinions and Objectives

By Gerard Clum, DC

One of the wonderful things about democracy is that we are able to have, and in fact encourage, differences of opinion. Yet, I am sure every freedom-loving American is dedicated to the principles that make our country and our culture the most envied in the world.

It's the same with chiropractic. Sure, we have opinions - many opinions, as manifested by different political and association affiliations. We have different methods of running practices and different philosophies that we adhere to. Some have general practices, and some prefer to focus on areas of specialty. These variations do not mean we don't have similar desires, wishes, goals and visions for our beloved profession. But despite the differences, we are all dedicated to educating our patients with respect to the wisdom of practicing prevention and maintenance as an approach to well-being. And, yes, we are dedicated to making more people aware of the benefits of good health through chiropractic. We are also dedicated to the principles of natural health and to utilizing the skills we learned in chiropractic college.

Straight or mixer, urban practitioner or rural practitioner, older DC or young graduate, and regardless of the college each of us attended, there's no argument about our overall goals and aspirations.

We would like to have more consumer awareness, more understanding of the benefits of chiropractic care, more recognition of our educational institutions, more respect of our qualifications, more recognition of our research, more attention to our health successes, more positive exposure from the media, and a stronger sense of professionalism that is consistent with consumer expectations. We would like a more stable existence for all chiropractors, young and old. We would like to increase patient visits to chiropractors - to increase our "market share," so to speak, to be able to pass on to the next generation a strong, well-accepted, financially sound profession that has put many of its trials, tribulations and adversities behind it.

This is a big order, but it can be accomplished. It's all part of the plan formulated by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress to raise the public's awareness of the chiropractic profession through its mass-media marketing program.

The Campaign for Chiropractic was never designed to change the way chiropractors think or practice. Rather, it endeavors to change the way consumers perceive the profession. Its major purpose is to make consumers more aware of the benefits chiropractic care offers, and to motivate patients to seek out a chiropractor as a resource, to assist them with regaining their health and then maintaining it.

How does the foundation expect to do it? It will be accomplished through a consistent campaign of mass-media exposure that will be generated from funds contributed by DCs, chiropractic associations, colleges, students, producers and suppliers of services.

The plan is to utilize national television, radio, consumer publications and other dynamic media to bring the benefits of chiropractic care to the eyes and ears of the consumer. This is a long-overdue campaign that is desperately needed if the chiropractic profession is to grow and prosper.

To do this, the foundation needs everyone's help through tax-deductible contributions to the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress, as well as through active participation and moral support of the program.

This is an opportunity for chiropractors to focus on our commonalities, rather than our differences; to deal with objectives, rather than opinions ... all for the good of the profession.

If there ever were a time to come together in a unified marketing campaign, this is it. I urge every chiropractor to accept the responsibility of helping our profession to help itself.

Gerard Clum, DC
President, Life Chiropractic College West

Editor's note: For further information on the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress and its Campaign for Chiropractic, please send an e-mail to .

Dr. Gerry Clum served as president of Life Chiropractic College West for 30 years. He also is a former founding board member and president of the Association of Chiropractic Colleges and World Federation of Chiropractic. Currently, he is a member of the executive committee of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress.

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