The Chiropractic Identity

This section was compiled by Frank M. Painter, D.C.
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The Identity, Role, Setting, and Future of Chiropractic Practice:
A Survey of Australian and New Zealand Chiropractic Students

Journal of Chiropractic Education 2018 (Oct);   32 (2):   115–125 ~ FULL TEXT

Chiropractic students in Australia and New Zealand seem to hold both traditional and mainstream viewpoints toward chiropractic practice. However, students from different chiropractic institutions have divergent opinions about the identity, role, setting, and future of chiropractic practice, which is most strongly predicted by the institution. Chiropractic education may be a potential determinant of chiropractic professional identity, raising concerns about heterogeneity between chiropractic schools.

Spine Care as a Framework for the Chiropractic Identity
Journal of Chiropractic Humanities 2016 (Dec);   23 (1):   14–21 ~ FULL TEXT

Surveys of the general public and chiropractors indicate that the majority of patients seek chiropractic services for back and neck pain. Insurance company utilization data confirm these findings. Regulatory and legal language found in chiropractic practice acts reveals that most jurisdictions define the chiropractic scope of practice as based on a foundation of spine care. Educational accrediting and testing organizations have been shaped around a chiropractic education that produces graduates who focus on the diagnosis and treatment of spine and musculoskeletal disorders. Spine care is thus the common denominator and theme throughout all aspects of chiropractic practice, legislation, and education globally.

Chiropractic Identity:
A Neurological, Professional, and Political Assessment

Journal of Chiropractic Humanities 2016 (Dec);   23 (1):   35–45 ~ FULL TEXT

This article provides an overview of chiroractic identity from 6 points of view:

(1)   concepts of manual medicine;
(2)   areas of interest beyond the spine;
(3)   concepts of the chiropractic subluxation;
(4)   concepts of neurology;
(5)   concepts of mainstream or alternative health care; and
(6)   concepts of primary care, first-contact provider, or specialist.

Spinal Health:
The Backbone of Chiropractic’s Identity

Journal of Chiropractic Humanities 2016 (Dec);   23 (1):   22–28 ~ FULL TEXT

The professional identity of chiropractic has been a constant source of controversy throughout its history. Attempts to establish a professional identity have been met with resistance from internal factions divided over linguistics, philosophy, technique, and chiropractic’s place in the health care framework. Consequently, the establishment of a clear identity has been challenging, and the chiropractic profession has failed to capitalize on its potential as the profession of spine care experts.   Recent identity consultations have produced similar statements that position chiropractors as spinal health and well-being experts. Adoption of this identity, however, has not been universal, perpetuating the uncertainty with which the public regards the chiropractic profession.

Analysis and Adjustment of Vertebral Subluxation as a Separate
and Distinct Identity for the Chiropractic Profession: A Commentary

Journal of Chiropractic Humanities 2016 (Oct 25);   23 (1):   46–52 ~ FULL TEXT

For comparison purposes, identity statements and perceptions from the various chiropractic associations and colleges, as well as from students and patients, were explored. Identity statements for chiropractic were searched in various sources such as Palmer's 1910 textbook, recent literature on viewpoints from chiropractic students and practitioners, and websites for chiropractic colleges and organizations. Palmer taught that the chiropractor's focus was on vertebral subluxation. Today, a number of chiropractic colleges and organizations continue to include the vertebral subluxation model in their instruction, with a majority of students and practitioners subscribing to the model. Conversely, a number of other colleges and organizations portray chiropractic as being essentially about the treatment of back and neck pain, which is what patients associate with chiropractic. However, settling on any particular identity for the chiropractic profession will likely be met with resistance by some, given the plethora of opinions among chiropractic professionals as to what the identity of the chiropractic profession should be. Common ground between the different factions within the chiropractic profession might be found in a unifying expression such as "functional neurology."

Chiropractic Identity in the United States:
Wisdom, Courage, and Strength

Journal of Chiropractic Humanities 2016 (Sep 15);   23 (1):   29–34 ~ FULL TEXT

The various clinical specialties and independent groups in the chiropractic profession are so different in their beliefs, practice styles, and political agendas that a common identity is unlikely to be created. Areas of disagreement, including advanced practice, vertebral subluxation, and the philosophy of chiropractic, continue to separate those in the profession. Doctors of chiropractic should accept that differences within the profession will remain for the foreseeable future and that the profession should allow each group to live peacefully and supportively alongside each other.

Chiropractic Identity, Role and Future:
A Survey of North American Chiropractic Students

Chiropractic & Manual Therapies 2015 (Feb 2);   23 (1):   4 ~ FULL TEXT

The chiropractic students in this study showed a preference for participating in mainstream health care, report an exposure to evidence-based practice, and desire to hold to traditional chiropractic theories and practices. The majority of students would like to see an emphasis on correction of vertebral subluxation, while a larger percent found it is important to learn about evidence-based practice. These two key points may seem contradictory, suggesting cognitive dissonance. Or perhaps some students want to hold on to traditional theory (e.g., subluxation-centered practice) while recognizing the need for further research to fully explore these theories. Further research on this topic is needed.

Chiropractic 2025:
Divergent Futures

Institute for Alternative Futures ~ 2013 ~ FULL TEXT

Where will the chiropractic profession in the United States be 12 years from now? This Chiropractic 2025: Divergent Futures report by the Institute for Alternative Futures (IAF) presents scenarios that provide four different answers to that question. The 2025 scenarios reflect the opportunities and challenges for chiropractic in the U.S. given our assessment of developments within both the chiropractic field and the broader context of health, science, technology, and society. The scenarios invite deliberation about which futures are more likely and which are more preferred by chiropractors.

The Chiropractic Identity:
Charting Our Future Roles

Health Insights Today ~ September/October 2011; 4 (5) ~ FULL TEXT

For at least as long as any living doctor of chiropractic can remember, our profession has engaged in ongoing and sometimes heated debate about the proper role of its practitioners. Should our primary or sole focus be the spine? The nervous system? Vertebral subluxation? Back and neck pain? Should we be musculoskeletal pain specialists? Complementary care generalists? Primary care physicians?

Two new papers, one by Donald Murphy and colleagues in Chiropractic and Manual Therapies [1] and the other by Jan Hartvigsen and colleagues in British Medical Journal, [2] simultaneously point in the same direction—toward the role of primary spine care practitioner. The lead authors of both articles are chiropractors, Murphy from the United States and Hartvigsen from Denmark. Neither proposes the primary spine care practitioner role as the only option for DCs; both make a persuasive case that developing this role on a much more widespread basis will significantly enhance the effectiveness of the health care system’s neuromusculoskeletal (NMS) care delivery. In the process, they demonstrate why many practitioners may find work as a primary spine care practitioner attractive. To the extent that deeper integration of chiropractic is one of the profession’s primary goals, this may be one of the best vehicles for its achievement. At the very least, it’s a possibility worthy of serious examination.

A Proposal Regarding the Identity of Chiropractic:
Embrace the Centrality of the Spine

Journal of Chiropractic Humanities 2005;   12:   8-15 ~ FULL TEXT

Philosophically, chiropractic’s essence, boundaries, and purpose are oriented by the spine; practically speaking, the spine is where doctors of chiropractic apply the vast majority of their work. The author suggests that embracing the spine as the center of chiropractic identity does not limit the profession but, rather gives the public and the profession a common referent to define chiropractic’s function and value.

Final report of the Identity Consultation Task Force
World Federation of Chiropractic ~ April 30, 2005 ~ FULL TEXT

During the past generation doctors of chiropractic have seen major changes in the healthcare environments in which they practise in many countries. These include, for example, the increased acceptance of chiropractic and other forms of complementary and alternative healthcare, increased competition, and increased third party intervention, reimbursement and control with respect to the delivery of healthcare services.   Within chiropractic there has been continuing controversy concerning the identity of the profession, widespread international growth of chiropractic education and practice, and more diversity of practice settings and services offered.
You will also enjoy this Identity Consultation PowerPoint

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