The cry for unity in the chiropractic profession, while nothing new, is bellowed today as loudly as ever. Numerous attempts have been made over the years to merge the national organizations and more recently significant efforts have been aimed at eliminating multiple state organizations. While these efforts have met with limited success, they have unequivocally failed to address the reason why there are multiple organizations in the first place. The problem is that there is a difference of opinion in the fundamentals of what defines the chiropractic profession as well as what its future should be. It is for this reason that the International Federation of Chiropractors and Organization (IFCO) after careful deliberation has chosen not to be part of the Chiropractic Summit. It is the intent of this position paper to state for the record why IFCO has not joined or otherwise engaged in the recent movement that has been labeled the Chiropractic Summit.
The mission of the IFCO is to support and advance the practice of chiropractic that is exclusive for the location, analysis, and correction of vertebral subluxation because vertebral subluxation, in and of itself, is a detriment to the fullest expression of life. Our ultimate goal is to ensure the future of chiropractic as a separate and distinct profession and to secure and insure public access to vertebral subluxation correction.
The stated goal of the Chiropractic Summit (as listed on their website) is to work on the following five key critical issues:
1. National Health Care Reform/Medicare Reform & DoD/VA/PHSC 2. Doctor Practice Satisfaction & Self Esteem 3. Profession wide collaboration, grassroots mobilization and self regulation. 4. Reimbursement/Anti-discrimination 5. Public Relations – telling the chiropractic story and promoting the brand (competition and cultural authority).
While practitioner success and satisfaction are critical, the IFCO maintains that when the public is educated regarding our unique practice objective, which includes people of all ages from birth to death, practice volume increases. Unfortunately, the public is too often confused by the myriad of mixed messages it receives from the profession at large. Moreover, success is not necessarily dependent on third party reimbursement which appears to be a key concern of the Chiropractic Summit.
Clearly, IFCO and the Chiropractic Summit do not share a common ideology making it difficult, if not futile, to work together to achieve certain general goals. For example, IFCO is being encouraged to attend Summit 2011 because there will be important discussions on the inclusion of drugs to the chiropractic scope of practice. IFCO strongly maintains that there is no meaningful discussion to be had on drug inclusion in chiropractic. Chiropractic is, was, and always should be a drugless profession. No drugs. No surgery. Period. Drugs, surgery, and the treatment and alleviation of symptoms and disease using these modalities are the objective of the field of medicine.
Furthermore, history has taught IFCO that when we do attend meetings such as these in the name of unity, that whatever is decided may later be publicized as being a decision made by all the groups in attendance, regardless of how those groups actually voted. IFCO refuses to be misrepresented or used as a pawn to accomplish some other group’s master plan.
Key critical issues for the IFCO are to assist chiropractors in any legal way that is practical; to promote, protect and advance chiropractic and to facilitate the public access to and knowledge of the services of chiropractic for the purpose of correcting vertebral subluxations because subluxations, in and of themselves, are a detriment to the fullest expression of life in all people at all times.
The Chiropractic Summit espouses the tagline, “One Voice. One Message. Securing a Better Future.” Under the “One Message” button on their website, articles for professional development include the following: Multidisciplinary Practices require Keen Compliance Tactics, Five Reasons Why Incorporating Nutrition Will Launch Your Success, Five Ways to Increase Your Income in Three Weeks, and Integration, Integration, Integration – Practicing Chiropractic Within a Multidisciplinary Healthcare System. It should be noted that the five ways to increase your practice that are suggested and apparently promoted by the Chiropractic Summit are to offer 1. massage, 2. nutritional supplements, 3. exercise or rehab therapy, 4. weightloss programs, and 5. merge your practice with a friend’s practice in the same town. How can IFCO possibly be unified with this “One Message?”
Clearly, the Summit’s tagline, “One Voice. One Message. Securing a Better Future” is in no way representative of the IFCO’s voice, message or future. Inevitably, when multiple groups merge, the minority groups risk their identities. IFCO believes our voice and our message are critical to securing chiropractic as a separate and distinct profession. In fact, it maintains this position so strongly that we refuse to risk our objective amidst the cry for unity. Unity for unity’s sake is pointless. For all of these reasons, IFCO chooses not to attend or participate with the Chiropractic Summit.
Approved September 1, 2011