Diagnosis and Chiropractic

     Recently I had an opportunity to talk to a group of about 100 students at a chiropractic college, one that is not known for being straight, either traditional or objective. This particular group was a class whose instructor was gracious enough to give me two hours of her class time. Because the class had not come specifically to hear me speak, many of them were totally antagonistic toward my presentation of straight chiropractic. In fact, I can say that I have not ever experienced that kind of enmity before. (I guess I need to get out more often into less friendly environments. Or maybe the problem is that too many schools and groups will not allow me on campus to speak to their students). What I was not prepared for was the unwarranted confidence the students had in their ability to diagnose.

It is unfortunate that these students were actually taught the irrational and arrogant falsity that they are as good as medical doctors in screening people for medical conditions. Actually, one or two of them even thought they were better than medical doctors because, as students, they had found something that a medical doctor had missed. Perhaps, it does not take too much teaching or convincing to believe that you are as good or better than a medical doctor. It seems that prideful arrogance, the “first deadly sin,” comes natural to most people. If that is the case, then it would be relatively easy to convince a medopractic student that he or she is as good a diagnostician as a medical doctor. Of course, criticizing the medical profession’s diagnostic skills help to convince ourselves that we are as competent as them. Forget the fact that even if we were equally as skilled in diagnosis as the medical doctors, we would still fall woefully short.
Thinking that a few hours of classroom lectures on diagnosis (usually taught by a chiropractor with no medical training) makes a chiropractor as competent as a medical doctor who spends at least as much time in the classroom plus two years in a sixty-hour-a week internship may be the greatest divorcement from reality that exists within our profession. To be able to properly diagnose you must see many people in all kinds of situations and see the non-classical conditions. Chiropractic students and even chiropractors do not have that kind of opportunity. For every chiropractor who finds something a medical doctor misses, there will be a hundred that miss something the average medical doctor will find.

The real humor is in the fact that many of these chiropractors believe that straights are a danger to the public.Who is more dangerous, an unqualified person trying to perform a procedure or someone who does not claim the ability and refuses to perform that procedure under any circumstances?

We may be turning out brighter students in our chiropractic colleges than we were fifty or sixty years ago, but from some of the irrational thinking that I recently heard, I would say that many, for all their education, truly do not have a clue as to the reality of a medical type chiropractic practice and are being taught by those who do not have a clue themselves. v14n4

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