In today’s edition, we’ll be talking all about current and past attacks on our profession by the medical field heavy weights…..what’s at risk and why. In addition, we’ll be sharing some personal opinions, some facts, and some research.
If you’ve seen our videos before, then you know this is where we talk about issues related to health, chiropractic, evidence, and research and how those things all fit into a comprehensive approach for treating different conditions. Thank you for taking time out of your day to give us a read. I know your time is valuable and I will always try hard to fill our time with valuable content.
Right off the top today, I want to say that Dr. Tom Hollingsworth from Corpus Christi, TX was instrumental in helping with this edition and he is our guest on the Chiropractic Forward podcast Episode #9, where we spend about an hour discussing all of this. So, go listen to Episode #9 at www.chiropracticforward.com or on iTunes for the words straight from Dr. Hollingsworth’s mouth.
When Chiropractors start talking about the attacks we’ve endured and ARE enduring, we can go on for hours. We’re going to try to convey a very serious and meaningful message about it all right here today, but without getting into a three hour conversation.
I can only hope that all chiropractors in practice are well-aware of the trials and tribulations this amazing profession has not only been through, but overcome and grown from as a result. It is profound. The unfortunate reality is that most do not know and, if they do, they normally lack any important details to truly place their knowledge in the correct context.
As a former board member of the Texas Chiropractic Association myself and a current member of the leadership statewide, I am intimately aware of many of the issues, both current and historical.
And I think, from the top here, it’s important to say that, even though I am a TCA member and leader, my opinions may or may not represent the opinions of the TCA, but I am NOT representing the TCA in this capacity.
We have all heard the stories of chiropractors being jailed for practicing. I remember a story from a documentary by Jeff Hayes called Doctored, where a chiropractor is recalling how his father, who was also a chiropractor, was in a bowling league. There was a medical doctor on the other team that refused to bowl against his father’s team simply because the team had a chiropractor on it.
Now, let’s run through the BIG ATTACK first. Folks, if you don’t know about Wilk vs. AMA, please do yourself and all other chiropractors a big favor and go check it out. To put it into a very brief blurb, basically, after 11 years of court proceedings, Dr. Chester Wilk and four other chiropractors, led by attorney George McAndrews, ultimately prevailed in proving the American Medical Association guilty of violating the Sherman anti-trust act. Meaning the AMA and several other medical institutions like the American Hospital Association, the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Physicians, and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals were found guilty of conspiring to eliminate chiropractic from the Earth. According to Chiro.org….”the suit claimed that the defendants had participated for years in an illegal conspiracy to destroy chiropractic. On August 24, 1987, after endless wrangling in the courts, U.S. District Court judge Susan Getzendanner ruled that the AMA and its officials were guilty, as charged, of attempting to eliminate the chiropractic profession.“
Basically the AMA and others were proven guilty of the following acts against Chiropractic:
- Encouraged ethical complaints against doctors of chiropractic.
- Opposed chiropractic inroads into workmen’s comp.
- Opposed chiropractic inroads into health insurance and made it difficult for patients to get covered for chiropractic care.
- Opposed inroads into hospitals.
- Contained or eliminated Chiropractic schools.
- They conducted nationwide conferences on Chiropractic.
- Distributed anti-Chiropractic publications and propaganda.
- Helped other organizations prepare anti-chiropractic literature.
- Deemed it unethical for medical doctors to refer to, or accept referrals from, chiropractors.
- And, they discouraged colleges, universities, and faculty from cooperating with chiropractic schools.
It’s funny to me that things have progressed to the point now that two of those organizations came out last year in support of Chiropractic for the treatment of acute and chronic and low back pain – the American Medical Association and the American College of Physicians.
You’d think winning the Wilk vs. AMA case would have put the battle to rest right? Well it didn’t. The Texas Medical Association has been historically more aggressive in their continuing battle to rid the world of the scourge of chiropractic. The TMA’s political arm has attacked chiropractors running for office as quacks and as being no different than Dr. Pepper or Dr. Jekyll. The TMA sent out direct mail to the voting districts with that message. Just a couple of years ago people! It’s real, it’s hate, and it’s NOW!
The worst part is that the TMA….or Evil Empire…Originator of the Opioids…..they raised over $400,000 in one dinner just a year or so ago. And they know that the Texas Chiropractic Association cannot raise that sort of money so, because they can, the attacks keep coming and the rights keep getting chipped away at while we play defense rather than offense. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could just co-exist some day? If research and evidence mattered, we could, but that would mean releasing some control on their Monopoly and the TMA is there to protect their members. That’s it. They don’t exist to protect the patient. That’s the Texas Medical Board’s job. The TMA is there to keep ANY other health profession from expanding their scope into their territory. In fact, if they can just get rid of the professions they cannot control….that’s the BIG IDEA there, folks, and you need to understand it, receive it. Feel it.
The TMA sued Texas Chiropractors challenging their right to diagnose a patient. Can you imagine? The nerve of these people. Down in Austin, Judge Rhonda Hurley ruled against chiropractors, agreeing that we cannot diagnose, but more on her later. Texas Chiropractors appealed and won the appeal. The TMA appealed that and the Supreme Court of Texas finally ruled in favor of the Texas Chiropractors after 7 years of a legal battle. You’d think that would put things to a rest right? Nope. Not with the TMA.
In referencing a blog of mine from November 11th, 2015 called “Healthcare in Texas: The Battle Against a Monopoly. A True Story About David & Goliath,” I reminded myself of some more RECENT, more MINOR attacks. I’ll put the link in the notes.
- The Texas Medical Association attempted to remove Doctors of Chiropractic from the high school concussion oversight teams. They wanted to allow simple high school trainers, but not chiropractors.
- The same year, the TMA attempted to remove Chiropractors’ ability to perform physical exams on school bus drivers.
- That same year, they tried to introduce legislation to remove our ability to perform high school exams on athletes, a function chiropractors have been performing for generations.
That stuff isn’t enough, though. The TMA decided they don’t want Texas Chiropractors doing VONT testing. VONT stands for vestibular ocular nystagmus testing and neuro diplomates, only after significant extra training, are allowed to perform VONT. Not good enough for TMA since it’s messing with their territory. Since the TMA is only interested in total destruction, they saw a chance to amend the original suit and now, the suit threatens not only VONT, but also the subluxation complex, the term “Neuro” as it fits in neuromusculoskeletal, and….yes….somehow they have found a way to include our right to diagnose again. Even though we already won that case. You cannot make this stuff up folks. Chiropractors treat nerves, muscles, and bone but they don’t want “neuro” in the description. That’s really what part of the suit is. They just want chiropractors treating the musculoskeletal system. That’s it. I think the winner here is the TMA’s attorney honestly because this stuff is absolutely absurd. Or so one would think. That same Judge, Rhonda Hurley down in Austin got hold of this second case and guess what….she ruled against Texas Chiropractors once again. I think she’s either a Chiropractic hater, or she’s in the TMA’s pocket somehow, or she has a family member that is a medical doctor, or she just doesn’t understand the material very clearly. Who knows the reason?
Regardless, Texas Chiropractors get to appeal this case. Aren’t we lucky? Hopefully, the appeals court is as reasonable as the last appeals court we had to go through. But, for now, we are most definitely in jeopardy.
I’d like to take just a second to direct everyone to an excellent video on YouTube that the Texas Chiropractic Association published about a year and a half ago concerning a lot of this. The link will be in the description below, but you can also find it by going to YouTube search and entering the term “The Texas Chiropractic Defense From The Texas Medical Association A Timeline.” This ten minute video sums up what kind of constant attacks our profession is STILL enduring today. If you think you’re just showing up for work and humming along, and everything is rosy and there’s a rainbow above your office, you’re mistaken. Danger lurks at all points and even if we chiropractors in Texas win, they’ll keep coming back for more. Vigilance, being knowledgeable, and being active are the keys to continuing to enjoy your professional privileges.
The best thing we can do at this point is to stress to you all the need for you to understand the gravity of the situation here in Texas for the Chiropractic profession. Everyone knows that what happens in Texas with over 5,000 chiropractors in it will happen elsewhere. In fact, the TMA’s attorney, Mr. Bad Bragg, has previously stated that if they can get the domino to fall in Texas, he has 7 or so other states ready to follow suit, and then on and on. So, if you think this doesn’t affect you, you are incorrect. Dead wrong. Wake up. It’s bigger and badder than you.
We also know that an appeals process is expensive and it takes everyone, all chiropractors, to fight the powers we are up against.
If you would like to donate and be a part of this victory, I would direct you to the TCA, since they are leading the way on this. You can also go to www.chirotexas.org/cdi, which is a fund that pays for the appeals process, so you’ll know it’s going to the right place to help the most.
Did you know that research and clinical experience shows that, in about 80%-90% of headaches, neck, and back pain, in comparison to the traditional medical model, patients get good or excellent results with Chiropractic? Chiropractic care is safe, more cost-effective, it decreases your chances of having surgery, and it reduces your chances of becoming disabled. We do this conservatively and non-surgically. In addition, we can do it with minimal time requirements and minimal hassle on the part of the patient. And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, we can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health!
Please leave us a comment and let us know what you think or what suggestions you may have for us for future episodes. If you love what you hear, be sure to check out some of my other blogs and videos, check out my podcast called Chiropractic Forward which you can find at www.chiropracticforward.com. As the podcast builds, so will the website as we add more content, educational products, and a little further down the road, webinars, seminars, and speaking dates as they get added. And….SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!! We cannot make a difference without your help.
Till next time……
The Amarillo Chiropractor Blog is written by Dr. Jeff Williams.
Amarillo TX Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic Clinic provides customized chiropractic care to the Amarillo TX, Canyon TX, Pampa TX, Happy TX, White Deer TX, Dumas TX, Groom TX, Conway TX, Panhandle TX, Claude TX, Clarendon TX, Borger TX, Tulia TX, Hereford TX, Fritch TX, Bushland TX, and Vega TX communities.
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Show Note resources
- The Texas Chiropractic Defense From The Texas Medical Association A Timeline.