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What are our priorities?

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Where is the money going? A couple of recent articles on the Dynamic Chiropractic website provide the answer.

End of an Era: FCER Decides on Self-Liquidation announces that “The Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER) will self-liquidate, meaning the organization will cease operations after serving the chiropractic profession for more than 60 years. The FCER Board of Trustees made the difficult decision after numerous efforts to find another organization that could take over the foundation’s efforts on behalf of the profession.
When interviewed FCER President Dr. Charles Herring said that over the years, large contributors have not continued supporting FCER at the level they once did and the current economic crisis that began to emerge in late 2008 has resulted in significant decreases in individual membership renewals. This has made FCER unsustainable from a financial standpoint.”

On the other hand, another article in Dynamic Chiropractic, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress Receives Record Pledge Support reports that “a $500,000 donation from Standard Process highlighted the record financial support received by the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress (FCP) at the Florida Chiropractic Association 2009 national convention and expo in Orlando.
All told, the foundation received approximately $650,000 in pledges, including the surprise donation from Standard Process, which will be staggered over the next five years.”

The mission of the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress is “To increase the public awareness of the benefits of chiropractic.” I’m all for that but perhaps we could channel some of those funds back into research thereby increasing our credibility and making chiropractic an ‘easier sell’.

About the Author:

Dr Wiens created the very first chiropractic information page on the web in Nov 1994. In 1995 he joined as chief designer. He lives in Canada.


  1. Frank September 29, 2009 at 11:23 pm

    It’s a sad time for our profession.

  2. Shawn September 30, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    So, there’s no money to determine whether chiropractic actually works, but there’s $650K to tell people… exactly what? To tell people that we don’t do research into the efficacy of chiropractic?

  3. Scott September 30, 2009 at 6:21 pm

    I believe the loss of FCER is a major blow. Of course the more research the better. However F4CP is really necessary because we already have a lot of research showing chiropractic as a best treatment and yet we treat less than 10% of the population, that’s a PR/marketing issue that won’t get better no matter how much research.

  4. Rick September 30, 2009 at 8:59 pm

    Can a profession based on the placebo effect maintain itself in the light of evidence-based medicine instead of anecdotal-based medicine?

    To keep chiropractic going, there needs to be a campaign that switches people into thinking that chiropractors are real doctors. The foundational concept that a chiropractor can physically feel a subluxation (structural spinal displacement) and yet it does not exist on an x-ray, much less an MRI machine, lends itself as a questionable practice to many people.

    Back up chiropractic with solid, testable, repeatable evidence and people will utilize the profession’s services. If not, it will go the way of the witch doctor.

  5. Frank October 1, 2009 at 1:49 pm


    You make some oh-so scientific statements, in particular suggesting we *gather* some “solid, testable, repeatable evidence”. Good for you. I agree 100%…and that’s why I’m sad to see FCER fold it’s tent.

    While we’re on the subject of evidence, can you share your evidence that chiropractic is “based on the placebo effect”? I believe you are pretty far out on that limb.

  6. John October 1, 2009 at 3:46 pm

    With all due respect, placebo effect my eye.

    Notwithstanding the demise of the FCER, research is alive and well in the chiropractic profession. For example, in Canada, the Canadian Chiropractic Association is an affiliate member of the Canadian Cochrane Network and Centre and a representative of the chiropractic profession serves on the Executive Committee of the Network.

    The profession’s researchers are funded by many premier agencies such as the Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada, Health Canada, Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Industry Canada, Alberta Provincial CIHR Training Program in Bone and Joint Health, and the Canada Primary Care Transition Fund, to name a few. The profession’s researchers undertake broad-based, substantive research in biomedical and clinical sciences, health systems and services, and in social cultural areas, and they are widely published in both chiropractic and non-chiropractic peer-reviewed journals.

    Current university-based research chairs now include:

    Dr. Greg Kawchuk DC, PhD at the University of Alberta, Dr. Mark Erwin DC, PhD at the University of Toronto, Dr. Jean-Sébastien Blouin DC, PhD at the University of British Columbia, Dr. Martin Descarreaux DC, PhD at Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières, and Dr. Jill Hayden DC, PhD at the Toronto Western Research Institute, University Health Network.

  7. karl October 9, 2009 at 1:14 pm

    Hey Rick….above September 30th no offense but your response to “What are our priorities?”… ridiculous. I encourage you to read more about the “chiropractic subluxation”. Actually you may find material related to this said topic in the physical therapy literature as the P.T.,Ms.P.T and D.P.T. perform manipulation. Arthrokinetics/structural kinetics doesn’t require xrays/advanced imaging for evaluation. Rick I also encourage to investigate what % of medical care/procedures is backed by “solid,testable,repeatable evidence” or gold standard/double blind studies.

  8. Joe November 1, 2009 at 12:54 pm

    How can you push chiropractic when there is no good, robust, peer reviewed, scientific evidence for it? All anyone can produce are anecdotes, biased chiropractor reports and ‘feelings’ and some evidence that it is as poor for some kinds of back pain as other interventions?

    First, get good evidence, then you can all think about making a good living out of it.

    The question has to be asked, though, with all the ‘research’ that’s been done over the last hundred years or so by the FCER and others and with the large numbers of chiropractors making a decent living out of it, why there is still not a jot of evidence for its efficacy?

  9. Bryan April 19, 2010 at 12:43 am

    The evidence my friend is all the people who return to chiropractic time and time again because they have been failed by the medical system. Chiropractic is the fastest growing profession and no matter what you do or say people will go where their family and friends are getting results! AND without the ghastly side effects of what you seem to be proposing!

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