“The doctor of the future…”
Yea..yea… every chiropractor knows how the rest of the saying goes. The problem is they assume Edison was talking about us. That his prediction is some sort of birthright of chiropractic and that it will just be a matter of years before chiropractors are fully embraced in this role. You can even get your Doctor of the Future trucker hat on Zazzle. Or…not.
This is not the role of chiropractic nor should we desire to have such a role. We are specialized practitioners. We are not primary care physicians or primary care doctors even though the CCE and even some of our supposed straight organizations will try to sell us on that as well. It’s a load of third-party pay lies. One they should be ashamed of.
Heck, if you read most chiropractor’s Facebook posts, you will soon see they consciously or unconsciously believe we are the alternative to medicine. That it should be “chiropractic first, drugs second, surgery last.” That is rubbish.
Sure, if someone is expressing suboptimal health and function, they should be checked for the presence of vertebral subluxation. But when should we not be checked? As long as we continue to parade as if we are an alternative form of treatment for condition x, y and z, we will be treated as such.
One goes to the chiropractor to ensure they have a good nerve supply. That the normal, restorative functions of the body are not being interfered with by vertebral subluxation.
Chiropractors are either schizophrenics or have not thought this one through. They want to assume a primary healthcare role but want to be “wellness” doctors at the same time. “Come to me instead of your medical doctor. I can fill that void.” Really? Really?
That is a ridiculous concept on several levels.
- The public will never buy it.
- It is a lie. We have no training as such.
- It is not philosophically congruent.
- Last but not least, it harms our image and adds to our negative brand equity.
Medicine is a valuable profession. It serves a great purpose and many a chiropractor and their families have benefited greatly from its services. Obviously the profession has strayed far from its roots and leaves much to be desired in maintaining optimal health, and has serious flaws when it comes to unnecessary drugs and surgery. Still, its contributions cannot be argued. Besides, there is a growing trend in holistic medical and naturopathic practitioners.
Chiropractic has no business trying to fill this role. Forget that we are not trained for such a task, but we also have a unique offering to the world that no one is addressing. If we could give up our fixation on replacing medicine (a crazy notion that is causing more harm than good) and focus on what we do and what we could offer to society, our impact would be massive.
If everyone understood that like the dentist, the chiropractor is a specialized practitioner and that everyone should have their spine and nervous system checked on a regular basis because that is what people do, do you think that might have a huge impact on the system everyone is screaming about?
Do you think a society that understands that importance versus the dangers of modern medicine may act a little differently? That their bodies may function a lot differently?
Chiropractors becoming THE doctor of the future is a futile concept, not based in reality or in our philosophy. Chiropractors need to become the chiropractors of the future. Ones steeped in their professional objective and practice.
Besides, Edison in a few short sentences later had this to say. “Surgery, diet, antiseptics — these three are the vital things of the future in preserving the health of humanity.”
Everything has its place.
It’s time for chiropractors to step into their’s instead of stepping on the toes of giants as we scramble trying to avoid being squashed.
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Steve Tullius, D.C., ACP
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