Medical Reply


Medical reply in Macon Telegraph newspaper on 12/31/2012

Dr. Smith makes several compelling points in his piece “More than Medicine.” Yes, medicine needs the broadest possible approach to understanding and treating many conditions, especially the musculoskeletal conditions in which he offers expertise. And yes, medicine has too often disparaged others who have valuable insights into alternative and potentially useful approaches to such understanding and treatment. I would like to point out, however, that many physicians are open to consultations with other providers, including chiropracters (I have done so myself), and there are excellent physicians in Middle Georgia who study and offer alternative approaches.

Further, there is the excellent National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health which oversees studies on the safety and efficacy of CAM. This Center, by the way, is directed, by a physician, J.P. Briggs, M.D.. Finally, Dr. Smith suggests medicine is somehow atheistic. At Mercer, many students and physicians have strong faith backgrounds and we have an active Christian Medical Student Association. I would urge Dr. Smith to consider these points, and to consider whether a less polemical approach might further the integration of chiropractic medicine into “traditional” medicine.

Richard L. Elliott, M.D., Ph.D.


My Reply to Dr. Elliott:

I want to thank Dr. Elliott for his response although much was taken out of context and other points were noticeably avoided.

Dr. Elliot admits he is not closed-minded to chiropractic care in that he is one of the “flowers in the desert” as attorney George McAndrews referred to cooperative MDs who refer to chiropractors (not chiropracters as Dr. Elliott mistakenly wrote). 

But let’s be honest that the vast majority of MDs do not refer to DCs. The medical war and boycott of chiropractic and other CAM methods is clearly entrenched among the mainstream medical bigots. When CAM practitioners are on staff in every public hospital, then I will admit the integration of chiropractic care has finally happened.

As well, the majority of medical PCPs are not trained in musculoskeletal disorders that explains the galling abuse, addictions, and deadly danger of narcotics for chronic pain, the use of ineffective and dangerous epidural steroid injections causing meningitis that have been exposed recently in the news along with the tsunami of unnecessary spine fusions that are based on an outdated and disproved disc theory.

This summation is not only my opinion, but that of numerous spine experts such as the editor of an international spine research newsletter from GWU who said spine medicine is the poster child of inefficient spine care.

Dr. Elliott also took out of context my comment about medical atheists. In fact, it was not me but Dr. Frances R. Collins, Director of NIH, who made an unnerving admission that 60% of all MDs and scientists were atheists. I am certainly not accusing every MD or med student of being  atheists, but the vast majority apparently are according to Dr. Collins. If Dr. Elliott has a problem with his claim, I suggest he respond to Dr. Collins, not to me.

My comment concerned the irony that Mercer University, a Christian-based college, might have a similar amount of doctors who disclaim the “god-factor” in health care. As I wrote, they have taken the “bio” out of biology.

This antipathy of the holistic god-factor in healthcare, aka, vitalism, is a hot issue that stokes the fires of these atheistic in medical care. In fact, they actually suggest that “if you’re really smart,” you cannot believe in any god-factor, which may explain their antipathy toward all CAM methods that do recognize this self-healing factor.

The proof of the pudding will be when the president of Mercer, Mr. Bill Underwood, appoints a DC to his “holistic medicine” panel. Indeed, as I asked in my reply to him, has any chiropractor ever spoken to the medical students at Mercer? His lack of response implies that none have. The boycott of chiropractic is a sad example of the book-burning mindset we find in med schools nowadays.

Although it may appear picayune, Dr. Elliott’s use of “chiropractic medicine” is another example of a medical oxymoron, such as “liberal Republican.” This phrase would have been more appropriately written as “chiropractic healthcare” inasmuch as chiropractic certainly has nothing to do with drugs or medicine. As I titled my initial letter, there is “More than Medicine” in healthcare, such as the world of CAM therapies.

I realize this is a hard concept for any MD to understand since they have been taught the AMA’s old dogma that everything other than drugs and surgery is quackery, but the new era of evidence-based practices has proven that, indeed, there is more to healthcare than more drugs and surgery.

It’s past time for the medical profession to disregard its monopolization of healthcare and admit its allopathic methods are ineffective considering Americans lead the world in every category of disease. Despite this obvious problem, the AMA continues to thwart any inclusion of effective CAM methods like chiropractic care as recommended by every international research study.

In fact, America does not need a healthcare reform as much as we need a healthcare revolution.