Lesson 5: Research
How much do you really know about your profession--
the history, politics, warfare, and science?
Like most students and practitioners, we focus on clinical issues like diagnosis and treatments, or on business management issues. Rarely do we have the time or interest to research the historical events that have led to the present state of affairs in our profession. Nor do most have the time to read lay publications or listen to popular radio/television to know what’s being said about our profession. Monitoring the media is a time-consuming effort, but important if we are to improve our image in the public.
If you want to be a writer, you must also do a lot of reading to learn the characters, events, and issues we face. While doing the research for my book, The Medical War Against Chiropractors, I knew little about our history other than the standard DD, BJ, and Harvey Lillard stories.
I had heard of DD Palmer’s book, but never was required to read it. I took the time in my research and found it to be a most fascinating look into the originator’s mind about his early concepts of neurophysiology. Although I had heard of the New Zealand Commission on chiropractic, I finally read it and found it to be the most comprehensive study at the time on our profession. As well, I had read of the Wilk et al. v. AMA et al. trial, but never knew the details until I began researching for my book. In fact, I knew very little about our profession's history when I began this task.
Little did I know I had not even scratched the surface about our medical foes, such as Morris Fishbein, the Committee on Quackery, H. Doyl Taylor, Roger Throckmorton, or most of the characters involved in the war on chiropractic.
Nor did I know about the paradigm shift in spine care until I began reading The Chiropractic Report, JMPT, and The BACKLetter. These periodicals will summarize the recent research findings and keep you abreast of the latest issues. Indeed, the more I learned about the latest research, it made me feel empowered to realize we DCs have been on the right track all along despite fighting the wrath of the medical profession.
If you are to write lay articles that explain, defend, or elucidate on our profession, you must do your homework and become painfully familiar with these issues. Of course, I urge you read my book first since it speaks of the most important issues we face. It will enlighten and empower you as a journalist as well as a professional chiropractor to know the contents of my book.