We can all agree that if the public truly understood chiropractic’s therapeutic superiority for safely correcting many of the musculoskeletal and stress related ailments which are being treated with dangerous drugs and surgery that chiropractic would multiply in public utilization and respect. Instead we are permitting a massive public ignorance and misinformation to prevent rational utilization of chiropractic while our naysayers discourage any chiropractors from going to the media and press to set the record straight. They insist that going on talk shows would confuse the public as to what chiropractic is because all chiropractors do not think alike. The naysayers insist that we should hire a public relations firm and give them a million dollars and let them define what we are and what we do. In my opinion this is a mindless and short sighted way of thinking as well as being insulting to chiropractors. Furthermore it is counterproductive. No healthcare profession will always agree on everything. It is unrealistic and naive to think we can ever get 70,000 chiropractors or individuals of any group to agree on everything. That’s common sense. It will never happen.
Our facts supporting chiropractic over medicine are so overwhelmingly in favor of chiropractic care for many musculoskeletal and stress related ailments that it’s a no-brainer. Look at the New Zealand Report, the British Medical Research Council, the Canadian Study which was headed by Dr. Pran Manga, the world renowned RAND Corporation (Acronym for Research and Development), the worker’s compensation studies from States such as California, Oregon, Utah, and many, many others. We’ll not go into detail on these studies here since they have been covered many times in our journals. All of these studies bring out the therapeutic superiority, safety and cost effectiveness of chiropractic but thanks to the naysayers we aren’t bringing these facts out to the public with carefully selected chiropractic spokespersons. I don’t know of a single State chiropractic organization that has adopted a spokesperson program. Meanwhile our naysayers are erecting barriers against chiropractic going to the media and press with these facts.
The most cost efficient and credible approach to getting the message out to the public is for each State chiropractic association to carefully select chiropractors who have the interest, desire and willingness to contact every radio and television station within their State with our facts and get on their talk shows. Give them titles as “Official Chiropractic Spokespersons” and make sure that they agree to express only the views of their organization and NOT their personal views. To scuttle a spokesperson program over fears of minute differences is very foolish and self destructive. The naysayers need to shut up and stop being so paranoid and look at the big picture which is a lack of closer inter-professional cooperation which is killing 3,000 people every week from unnecessary surgery and medication reaction.
Our naysayers at one time insisted that we shouldn’t sue the AMA because it would make them angry at us and that they would retaliate against us. Big deal! It never happened. Instead the defendants hovered into a corner like a bunch of cowards. The chief architect of the “containment and elimination of chiropractic” Doyl Taylor took an early retirement and fled to Arizona and had his son come to court and testify that his father had crippling arthritis and could not come to court. Meanwhile, we learned that papa was on the golf course golfing every day which is hardly a pastime for someone too crippled to testify. In our second trial we were able to force Taylor to take a video deposition a nd he admitted under oath that he did not know if his information was fraudulent and he didn’t care. He was a disgrace to the AMA and everything that is decent and proper in healthcare. Doyl Taylor and the AMA spent millions of dollars and eleven years trashing chiropractic with proven lies and creating a stigma against chiropractic which remains to this day. The public needs to know this and we can’t expect organized medicine to publicly admit to the people their dishonest conduct and ask us for our forgiveness. (Although they were forced to publish it in their journal) We must expose their lies.
During WWII Dr. Irvin Hendryson who was a member of the AMA Board of Trustees conducted a clinical study of a chiropractor within an U.S. Army Hospital. The study showed that chiropractic was therapeutically effective but the AMA buried this information for over fifty years and then disseminated its lies contradictory to its own study. It took our lawsuit and a threat of a contempt of court citation before the AMA grudgingly released the WWII chiropractic hospital study for public information. The public needs to know how dishonest the AMA has been and why such misconception of chiropractic exists.
If we took all the past scandalous behavior of the AMA and combined it with the staggering malpractice problem they have they are very vulnerable to criticism. Meanwhile our naysayers are concerned about a small speck that chiropractic had in its eye and so they are afraid to expose the huge log that political medicine has in its eye. Chiropractors can purchase an entire year of malpractice insurance for about the same price that some MD’s pay just to get one or two weeks coverage. Actuaries establish the insurance rates based on incidence of injuries based on facts and NOT bias. Chiropractic is the safest healthcare profession in the world proven by these actuarial studies while medicine is one of the most dangerous.
Go to www.chesterwilk.com and view my documentary which tells it like it is. The insight company produced this documentary and they say it will reach tens of millions of households world-wide. Celebrity host Hugh Downs will do the introduction of this documentary on TV in all fifty States on cable television. When you combine the positives and negatives you create electricity. You can’t have electricity without a positive and negative pole, and you can’t have a powerful message without using the positives of chiropractic with the negatives of medicine. But it must be done with accuracy, credibility and authority if it is to have viewer and listener impact. I can work with any State chiropractic organization willing to get started with this vital program.
The official chiropractic spokesperson program requires a doctor with a special kind of interest and temperament to want to get on talk shows and face the public. The State associations need to search out these special chiropractors and give them the job. They need to be knowledgeable, articulate and trustworthy and have the desire to do this kind of thing. It can be challenging but very rewarding and satisfying. Every State association has the potential of contacting dozens of talk shows. If official chiropractic spokespersons succeed with getting on ten to twenty percent of the talk shows contacted the impact can be great. If this is done simultaneously in all fifty States the impact would be phenomenal.
The best part is that radio stations can patch our chiropractic spokespersons into their studio by phone and their message can be heard even nationwide. The spokespersons won’t even have to leave their homes or offices, and it won’t cost an arm and a leg while the P-R is very credible.
Talk show producers often ask, “Who do you represent?” If it is a private caller their chances of getting on any talk shows are slim, but as an official State chiropractic organization spokespersons their chances are improved a hundred-fold. The producers realize that a spokesperson speaks for hundreds or thousands of chiropractors and potentially millions of patients. Ideally more than one official spokesperson per State multiplies the exposure. It is extremely important that spokespersons have official letterheads from their State associations to show that they are genuine spokespersons.
The bottom line is that the chiropractic profession needs to wake up and become PROACTIVE instead of REACTIVE! Until chiropractors wise up and adopt this proactive program of educating the public in every State, they will continue to face public ignorance and remain the underdogs excluded from hospitals while struggling with insurance companies such as Kaiser Permanente Mid Atlantic States, or defending our right diagnose such as in Texas, or forever defending chiropractic’s safety as not causing strokes. If we don’t become proactive we will forever be fighting these “forest fires.”
Our lawsuit helped level the playing field but we must assertively and proactively take advantage of what he have going for us. There are special radio and television media directories available on the market providing all of the radio and television stations in the country. These directories provide the locations, direct telephone numbers, fax numbers, e-mails and subjects they interview. The directories provide the names of all of the producers on every talk show so you can call them and ask for them by name which gives you the advantage. For example, Oprah has seventy-four producers and the directory provides all of their names. If one producer does not accept what you offer you try another. The directories provide advice on what approach a particular talk show prefers that you use whether it be fax, e-mail or direct phone calls, etc. These directories will be our vital weapon for truth and public education and can be handed to us on a silver platter if we have the common sense to use them. Christ instructed us that if we have a light we don’t put it under a basket or a bowl.
These national radio and TV directories are really great and they are protected by copyright and cannot be photocopied but our national organizations should purchase them and divide them up between the State organizations. The directories are not cheap but they are worth every penny if you use them. Spokespersons using these directories will be able to compete with the billion dollars a month P-R program of the drug houses and come out winners because we have the truth and solid facts on our side. The question is if we have the common sense to use them. I hope so for the sake of our patients and especially the 90% of the people who do not use chiropractic care.
Dr. Wilk is available to speak at the State conventions to provide the preparation and documentation to speak with authority, impact, accuracy and credibility. Dr. Chester Wilk, 1700 Des Plaines Ave, Park Ridge, IL 60068. Tel. 847 825 0500.