Confessions of a Quackbuster

This blog deals with healthcare consumer protection, and is therefore about quackery, healthfraud, chiropractic, and other forms of so-Called "Alternative" Medicine (sCAM).

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

Advice to a future DC

Mark aka "futureDC" wrote:

There are "off the wall" practioners in every profession. . . .
Just as there are bad DC's who give chiropractic a bad name,
there are also good DC's who give chiropractic a good name.

My reply:

It depends on where the wall is, what kind of foundation it has, and how it's defined. If it's built on an illusion, then you've got a problem.

In other professions, such practitioners are indeed "off the wall", and are the exception.

In chiropractic, 95% of chiropractors give the rest a bad name.

I am NOT saying that 95% are dishonest, quacks, or bad people that don't help anyone. Not at all. Although some chiropractors have tried to convince me that I'm wrong, I still like to give the benefit of the doubt. I still think most chiros are sincere and are trying to give good treatment.

Unfortunately their education is so defective, the profession's foundation is so illusory, and the history of the profession is so loaded, that no matter how sincere and skilled they are, they will still be considered a liability in the healthcare system.

Good intentions aren't enough.

The continued use of the term "adjustment" implies the existence of (non-existent) chiropractic subluxations. The continued use of the title DC or "chiropractor" implies the manipulation of the spine to “correct a subluxation". While they’ve taken a huge leap in the right direction, NACM-minded DCs still need to abandon the old "ship" completely and find another name for their new "ship", one which is not tainted by a long history of quackery.

The title of chiropractor is like a ball-and-chain. It will forever leave a slime trail after it.

Mark aka "futureDC" wrote:

Though the 5-10% figure you guys say are ethically
practicing DCs is comparable to a pebble, it only takes
a pebble to cause a ripple in the waters.

My reply:

Water may ripple, but quicksand doesn't.......

Not only will you not make a difference in the profession, you will get persecuted. Plenty of others have tried and paid the price. It's not worth it.

Why use your life fighting an uphill battle with no hope of success? The moment you stop to get a breath, you will start sliding on that slime, back down the hill, and you will continually curse the day that DD and BJ were born. You may be able to achieve respectability among your clients, but you'll still have that slime trailing after you.

It's just not fair! But that's life in chiroland. You've got to be a masochist of dimensions to deliberately choose it *after* being warned.

Believe me, that slime is like a shadow, and bears no resemblance to how you see yourself in the mirror. Although you have not created it, you will only have yourself to thank for deliberately choosing a profess.....oops!....I mean "business", with so many unsolvable problems.

T. M. DC wrote:

To Mark:

I am not that altruistic to think that I will change the
profession. The question shouldn't even be if I want to
spend the rest of my professional career associated
w/ DC's or the guy that I shadowed. There are "off
the wall" practioners in every profession.

The problem with chiropractic is that it is not that there are a few bad apples in it but the fact that it is quite obvious that it is the safe haven for so many. A license to practice chiropractic is essentially a license to "make it up as you go." You will find that chiropractic has more than it's legal limit of "off the wall" practitioners.

The question should be if I want to practice like the guy
I shadowed and the answer would be "NO freakin' way".
Just as there are bad DC's who give chiropractic a bad
name, there are also good DC's who give chiropractic a
good name.

The ones that give chiropractic a good name are constantly having to battle the constant irritation of those who are "off the wall." Thus their "good work" is seriously negated by the imbeciles that harbor in the profession. This isn't about a few rogue chiropractors. These rogues have built entire organizations on their premises.

Show me the proof that Chiropractic has been disproven.
From what I understand "subluxation" theory has never
been proven nor disproven. Research has yet to be done
and I plan to go into research once I graduate.

So, you are content to go into a profession that has, as it base premise, an unproven entity? I was a fool thinking that "oh yeah, I will practice within good scientific and clinical principles" only to find out that it wasn't what I did, but it was what others did that seriously called into question my credibility.

For example, if I would meet a person and tell them who I was and what I did they would ask me questions "how come DC's make you keep coming back and back?" or "hey, I went to this one DC and he said that I had such a bad curve in my neck that I could die from it. Is this true?"
Both of these accounts are true. You see, you will be in battle with what other DC's have done, are doing, and will continue to do.

As per the subluxation. How credible is something when I can make up what a subluxation is to fit any occassion, can use any method to isolate it, and use multiple forms of treatment to correct it? Hell, I can even claim to adjust one without having to really touch the person. I can also claim to adjust ONE segment and claim that it will correct the others.

No, I want to be associated with a profession that teaches
me how to be a good NMS practitioner using manipulation
and other adjunctive therapies..

That's called being a physical therapist. Go to any college (non-chiropractic) and see if a DC degree can be used as advanced standing for being an ATC or anything. In fact, try to go out and find a job outside of chiropractic in the health care community with your DC.

Being a personal trainer, I see many clients with aches
and pains. Treating my clients/patients and combining
their treatments w/ exercise would be a bonus for them.

Are these people hiring you to treat their "aches and pains" or get them back in shape? You would spend three years and $100K to do what you could do with being an ATC? Hell, clinics are hiring ATC's. How come they ain't hiring no DC's?

I've seen this figure thrown out by Allen a few times on
chiroweb and rehabedge. How did the both of you come
out with a figure like this? Did you 2 personally go out
and meet every single DC out there, observe their
practice, and asked them how they practiced? I'm not
tryin to be a d*%k, I'm just wondering how you can come
to the conclusion that only 5-10% of DC's practice ethically
when there are approximately 67,000 DCs practicing in
the US. Also, out of this 67,000 only 20-25% (or less)
belong to some type of association. Though the 5-10%
figure you guys say are ethically practicing DCs is
comparable to a pebble, it only takes a pebble to cause a
ripple in the waters.

The 5-10%, in my opinion, is just a guesstimate. I tend to think it is higher than that but we really have no way of finding out unless one is willing to extropolate the data from multiple survey findings and examine the questions asked of the sample.

Read the whole thread: