DOCTOR OR TECHNICIAN

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One of the charges leveled at straight chiropractors by the mixers is that we are merely technicians. They believe that by concerning ourselves with only locating and correcting vertebral subluxations and also because disassociating ourselves from the art of diagnosis that we should not be called doctors. There is a movement among the mixing community to refer to themselves as chiropractic physicians, partly to make the distinction between, in their opinion, the chiropractic “doctor” (mixer) and chiropractic “technician” (straight).
The mixing schools have concentrated their efforts on developing their curriculum in the area of diagnosis, hair analysis, nutrition analysis and therapy, acupuncture, physiotherapy, etc. Straight schools and straight chiropractors in the field have been developing the art of locating, analyzing, and correcting vertebral subluxations.
Webster defines “technician” as “a specialist in the technical details of a subject or occupation”. Is Van Cliburn a technician? Van Cliburn does not desire to write music, arrange it, copy it, lead the orchestra or play the cello. He plays the piano, very well. It is interesting to note that Webster also defines the word “artist” as “3. One specially skilled in the practice of a manual art or occupation.” In that sense, Van Cliburn and straight chiropractors are artists. However, straight chiropractors becoming “specialists in the technical details of” correcting vertebral subluxations are in a sense becoming technicians. The mixer is also becoming a technician. He is attempting to become a specialist in the diagnosis and treatment of disease by “chiropractic methods.” Those methods being whatever is allowed in the state in which he or she practices. The mixer cannot treat disease by use of drugs or surgery.
However, the inference that the mixer is making with the word “technician” is a person with limited abilities, knowledge and expertise. An x-ray technician can take and develop x-rays but not analyze them. A draftsman can draw the blueprints of a building but he is not an architect, he is only a technician. A dental technician can clean the teeth and take x-rays but he or she cannot practice dentistry. A mixer by law in all states is limited. He cannot practice medicine. He may be able to do more than most technicians in most fields but whatever his scope of practice, he is limited. The x-ray technician must ultimately turn the films over to the doctor. The draftsmen can only begin to work when he has been instructed what to do by the architect. The dental technician either sees the patient before or after the doctor but his procedures are subservient to the work of the dentist. The straight is not a technician. He can carry out his objective from beginning to end, locate, analyze and correct vertebral subluxations. He may choose to have a technician take x-rays, do graph readings, etc., but, he is the doctor. The mixer is a technician. Ultimately every patient under his care will have to be referred out for medical care or surgery. His scope of practice is limited to treating certain diseases and in a limited manner. Every patient of his will ultimately need medical care for some disease he cannot treat. Even the diseases he does treat (usually musculoskeletal) often need more treatment than he can give. That is why a certain segment of our profession wants the right to prescribe. The mixer is denied the greatest tools for the treatment of disease drugs and surgery. I believe deep down inside every mixer understands this. He knows he is only a technician, is limited in his scope and is embarrassed by it. To compensate, he points the finger at the straight and says he’s the technician. The straight, on the other hand is confident and content in what he is doing. He is not the x-ray technician who secretly wishes he was a radiologist or the draftsman who desires to be the real architect or the dental technician who longs to be the dentist. Mixers are moving toward medicine, toward hospitals, toward parity with the medical doctor. Until that day comes when they can do everything that a medical doctor can do including drugs and surgery they will not feel fully satisfied. For until that day they are only technicians. v6n5

 

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