The Pride Is Back

President’s Message, Robert Braile, D.C.

We’re over the hump! We’ve broken through! In fact, it’s cool to be us! What I am speaking about is the pride chiropractors are feeling about who they are. For the past century the opposition to chiropractic would openly and bluntly call us any thing they felt like, and say anything they wanted about us.

Through these time many a chiropractor was ridiculed just for proclaiming the fact that they were a chiropractor. Many a colleague felt as an outcast among the business and other professionals in his or her community. We were taught to associate through country club or civic club memberships so as to blend in and be accepted as a professional in our respective communities.

Something is now different. Now you see more young DCs proudly proclaiming their independence as chiropractors. Now you hear more people speaking in friendly terms about chiropractic. Now you see those who are blatantly prejudice against chiropractic peddling their wears on some remote web site. To the general public, it has become tasteless to call a chiropractor a quack! Yet just a few decades ago, this type of bigoted reference was common place when referring to chiropractors. And not unlike other minorities, it is unacceptable to dismiss chiropractic just because it is different.

In fact we are celebrating our heritage and uniqueness more. This was evident when the Centennial in Davenport was far better attended that the one in Washington. More young and elder chiropractors are feeling better about who we are and where we came from. Even the colleges are more boldly proclaiming their uniqueness in agreeing to the chiropractic paradigm in the Association of Chiropractic Colleges paradigm statement.

Even in these days of shrinking insurance reimbursement and managed care, many chiropractors who feel the pride in chiropractic are experiencing growth in their practices and income. More chiropractors are teaching the principles of chiropractic to more patients, who are in turn spreading the word and building chiropractic practices. No longer are many chiropractors watering down the message of chiropractic. Now they are proud to tell the patients the fullness of what we do, and the patients are listening to the message and not rejecting it out of hand.

We can see this in the ICA itself. More people feel good about the ICA, it’s heritage, history, and separate and distinct stance on chiropractic. Even in the turmoil of managed care and shrinking per-patient reimbursement, ICA ranks have swollen to a near all time high. Our seminars & conventions are better attended than ever. The excitement and energy around ICA is growing on a daily basis.

But with success come more work. ICA is embarking on a record number of new and precedent setting projects. We have just released the chiropractic practice guidelines originally formulated by the two state organizations in Florida. This document represents a bi-partisan approach to creating guidelines for chiropractic that 99.9% of our profession can live under. The ICA has edited this document to remove the references to Florida law and situations unique to Florida. The result is a standard of care ready for the entire profession to have input. In the coming weeks and months the entire profession will have the opportunity to participate in the widest consensus process ever undertaken in chiropractic. We do not want these guidelines to be viewed as ICA practice guidelines, but rather as a set of guidelines put together by the entire profession, for the entire profession. We invite everyone to participate regardless of membership.

The next step is bringing the entire profession together on a complete set of chiropractic codes. The Council on Chiropractic Codification has been formed to do just that. This process has already involved hundreds of individuals, working toward a fist draft. Now we need to expand the process to include the entire profession, world wide. The ICA is proud to take the point on this project, but wants the profession to know that we are not creating a set of ICA codes. Rather, we are assisting in setting up a set of codes for usage by the entire profession.

Again the pride issue returns. Hopefully we have moved beyond the petty issues that have separated us for so long. Hopefully we have moved beyond the egos that suggest that the only way to advance is to have one group gobble up the other. Hopefully we as a profession can be mature enough to work together on projects, with the entire profession watching us, for the common good of all chiropractors.

A good example of this maturity is the newly formed Alliance for Chiropractic Progress. For the first time in recent history ICA and ACA are sitting down as equal partners to formulate a campaign to change public awareness and increase patient flow into chiropractors offices. This historic process has ICA and ACA working with equal voice toward creating and disseminating the messages we intend to spread to the world.

I feel we have regained the pride in who we are and where we are going. The concept of being separate and distinct is now considered a point of celebration by almost everyone in chiropractic. This is in contrast to the past where some considered the concept of being separate as a point of stagnation, and the reason we were being held back.

I myself am proud of our accomplishments. I am proud of the ICA leadership who have had the vision to stay the course through some tough times. I am proud of the membership who have been the nerve spark that has kept ICA going and moving. I am proud of our heritage and all those who gave the ICA such a strong foundation and principle. I am proud of our founder B.J. Palmer, who started this organization and charged it to change the world. But, most of all I am proud of every chiropractor in his or her office, who day in and day out leans over that adjusting tables and delivers a life restoring adjustment. I am proud of every practicing DC who spreads the chiropractic message to their community.

Yes I am filled with Pride. Pride over the ICA, its leaders, members, all practitioners, and all the patients we serve. Its good to see that after a dubious 100 plus years of chiropractic history,

"The Pride Is Back!"