How the Profession Can Unite


I just got an email from the Ontario Chiropractic Association asking me to answer some questions. All the candidates got the same email, to answer some questions so the OCA can create a profile, put it up on their website in order to help equip all of their eligible voting members, to be more informed when it comes time to cast your vote.

The first question was “how is it that you set yourself apart from your opposing candidate?”

About a year ago I had an experience where I hurt my shoulder, probably through some repetitive strain right here in the office and it wasn’t getting any better.

I was talking to my GP, who is also a chiropractor, and he said, “go see our colleague across town on Bank. He is a genius when it comes to shoulder injuries and soft tissue. He’s really, really good at it and he’s a great guy. More than likely, he’s not even going to charge you for the visit.”

So I thought, “okay, that’s a strong recommendation”, but I am not going to show up at a doc’s office that I don’t know, get some care and not pay for it.

I showed up at the clinic, filled out the paperwork and paid in advance.

When I went into the treatment room, I had my phone, wallet, keys and the statement all in one little pile and I sent it on the window ledge. The doc comes in and he starts the assessment process. He’s assessing my shoulder, my neck, my upper thoracic mobility, and he does a little bit of treatment.

As I was going through this process, I’m thinking, “you know what, I could not practice any more differently than this chiropractor, we have very, very different practice styles”,


There was nothing about what he was doing and his philosophy that threatened me in any way. Conversely, there was nothing about what I do that threatened him.

In fact, he was very inquisitive and he wanted to know more about my viewpoints and how it is that I did things with patients. Close to the end of the visit, he notices the statement, he says, “Paul, I wish you  hadn’t paid for your visit.”  And I said, “Todd, I, I’ve never met you before today. There’s no way I’m going to come into your office and take treatment for free.”

His response to me, “If we cannot take care of our own, then where does that leave us as a profession?”

I wanted to hug him.

Despite the fact that we do things so differently…in his mind, we are the same.

This was echoed last weekend on Friday night. There was a social event right here in Ottawa and there were chiropractors of all brands that showed up, subluxation type docs, ones who love pediatrics and expectant moms, sports injury, soft tissue, pain-based docs.

Everybody showed up.

It was a great evening. It is by far the best part of this whole election process to date because I got a chance to interact with people with divergent points of view, with civil discourse.

They wanted to know about how I did things and what my viewpoints were, and I was able to learn from them.

There was no sanctimony. There were no ad hominem attacks.

It was a delightful evening and we all had a great time. What I got from the experience is that we are way more similar than we are different.

So from my point of view, the profession is best united through mutual respect and civil discourse, not through heavy-handed regulation.

Having said that…

Dr. Wise and I agree that there is a fringe element that makes unsubstantiated claims that tarnish our image. This last year has seen historic gains in Chiropractic.

Chiropractors are being invited to work in Nurse Practitioner clinics, the government is hiring Chiropractors to work in rapid assessment clinic for the hip, back and knee….

These inroads that are being made can’t be compromised because of unethical behavior.

Our college has been effective…maybe not as fast as some would like, but effective. The College of Chiropractors of Ontario has a singular mission…

To protect the public interest.

Tomorrow I’m going to send you another message and it’s going to be about something a little bit more contentious…that is the issue of keeping neuro in scope of practice.

I’ll talk to you tomorrow.

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