What If…?

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It’s always interesting to play the “What if?” game. In fact, novels have been written on the subject. What if the South had won the battle of Gettysburg? In reviewing my notes for a program I am putting together on the history of the chiropractic profession, and knowing where the straight movement is today, I began to think about the idea. What if Sherman College had decided to pursue CCE accreditation in 1977? (They actually did for a short time but stopped because of a philosophical reason and alternately pursued accreditation from SCASA). What if they had had CCE approval for the past 33 years? We might assume they would be better off today since they did eventually pursue CCE approval. They believe that they will be better off 33 years from now than they are today or at least no worse off.

Would ADIO (later Penn Straight) have come into existence? If Sherman was a CCE school then there would not have been a need. ADIO was an important part of my life for 17 years, so I am very interested in that part of the “what if history.” Since Reggie Gold was the great moving force behind the formation of ADIO, I called him to get his opinion. He said what I thought he would say. There would not have been an ADIO. The second school was started so an accrediting agency could be formed, needing at least two schools with a straight philosophy. I suppose that every graduate of ADIO, mixer or straight, who is in practice today, can be thankful that Sherman took the course of action that they did. Most ADIO graduates would never have gone to chiropractic school if there had been no ADIO. Most students were there because of its location in the Northeast. There would have been no SCASA and Sherman College would have been alone as a straight school. They may not have even had the name Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic.

I would suggest that pretty much everything that is going on at the school today would have been going on at that time. They, more than likely, would have made significant curriculum changes twenty years ago and would not have had to “choose” to make them recently. Would their philosophy have been the same as it is today? I think that would have depended on the complexion of the faculty. Would the people who have taught there for the past 20+ years have stayed around to teach or would they have abandoned the school? It is difficult to stay on faculty unless you and the school have a similar vision and that is the real issue. There is no doubt that the accrediting agency plays an important part in establishing the school’s vision. They technically should not, but they do. None of the schools that were straight prior to the CCE have gotten any more straight since the CCE was founded and most have become less straight as time went on (if there is such a thing as “less straight”). Of course, there are dedicated straight chiropractors at many CCE schools, but most of them feel like they are bailing out a sinking ship with a thimble.

We will probably never know where Sherman would be today if they had followed through on CCE. The next 5 or 10 years may give us a hint but we will never know for sure. I like to think that the school would still be graduating straight chiropractors. After all, there are mixing schools in existence today that still graduate some straight chiropractors. That is something to give us all encouragement. Sure, it would be nice to graduate many straight chiropractors rather than some, but it has not worked out that way. However, those few straights from mixing schools remind us that regardless of which way Sherman ends up, there are still those that will desire to practice straight chiropractic. The task of those of us interested in seeing that happen is to make sure there is a program, information and organizations that students can be involved with that will give them the philosophy, the direction, and the tools to follow that desire. If so, and that is a big if, chiropractic will not die.  

 

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