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).

Thursday, January 20, 2005

Opinion: Set record straight about chiropractic school

January 18, 2005

Opinion: Set record straight about chiropractic school

By Wayne C. Wolfson My Word

There is no shortage of misinformation circulated by opponents of chiropractic health care in their last-minute attempt to derail Florida State University's chiropractic school.

One of the more egregious claims is that prominent members of the Florida Legislature circumvented the Board of Governors -- the new governing body for the State University System -- and ramrodded the chiropractic school through the political process during the 2004 legislative session. This is sadly distorted.

Final plans and funding for the school were approved by the Legislature and signed by the governor in March 2004. Planning and work on the school dates back nearly 10 years, starting with successful efforts to establish an endowed research chair in biomechanics and chiropractic at FSU in 1995. In 1999, the Legislature directed the Board of Regents to study the chiropractic-school issue, and a report was published in February 2000, with subsequent appropriations made to FSU in both 2000 and 2001.

Recently approved medical schools at both FSU and the University of South Florida were created in a similar fashion.

The impetus for a chiropractic school at FSU was the result of a specific request by the university. FSU sees the value for Floridians: the university's most recent legislative budget request included the chiropractic college as a priority.

Florida stands to benefit through the development of the program. The school will help control spiraling health-care costs by researching health-care treatments that reduce the need for expensive drugs and surgery.

The school will stimulate access to the chiropractic profession by providing the same affordable tuition scale for chiropractic students, as is currently provided to Florida students in all other licensed professions.

Chiropractic continues to grow in popularity and gain mainstream acceptance as a credible, safe health-care option. Chiropractic is licensed and regulated in all 50 states and many foreign countries; most health-insurance plans now include chiropractic care; and chiropractic treatment is covered under Medicare and Medicaid. Chiropractic is accessible to all branches of the U.S. military and to our nation's veterans. Regardless of the naysayers' attacks, chiropractic care is here to stay.

We deserve to have the best available selection of health-care interventions. A quality educational program for chiropractors in Florida puts the well-being of the public as the highest priority. Those who seem to enjoy this unproductive debate would do well to put the public health ahead of their own interests. It is imperative that the Board of Governors give its approval to the program so that the chiropractic profession can continue to progress and help meet the health-care needs of Florida's residents.

Wayne C. Wolfson, D.C., practices in Orlando. Dr. Wolfson is past chairman of the Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine.