Many of my colleagues became chiropractors because they had a family connection or positive personal experience with chiropractic. Such was not the case with me. In fact, without even being aware of it, while growing up I had a very typical preconceived notion/prejudice toward chiropractic.
This first came to light when I was a junior in high school, walking across the parking with my good friend Chris after school one day. I casually asked him what his father did for work, and he told me he was a chiropractor. My reaction was a very innocent “Really?”. He then asked me if I had a problem with that; my answer was “no, I guess not”, and that for the most part was the end of the discussion. Somewhere in my youth, I had “learned” that chiropractic had a questionable reputation. The reason for that I would come to understand later.
While studying anatomy and physiology in college and searching for a career path, knowing my interest in science another friend suggested that perhaps chiropractic might suit me, as he had been seeing a chiropractic doctor for a neck injury with great success. That moment essentially gave my life the direction it was needing. I did some research on chiropractic, and learned that it had an undeserved reputation as a somewhat illegitimate healing art, but actually had much to offer. I liked the idea of being an underdog, and being on the right side of good argument, and proceeded to steer my academic career toward the goal of obtaining a chiropractic degree. While in school, I studied the history of chiropractic as a profession, and manipulation as a healing modality. During my training, and also in subsequent years of practice, I learned a great deal about the relationship between organized medicine and my chosen profession, and found that historically it was not pretty.
In the next several columns I will talk about the history of chiropractic and manipulation, the relationship between medicine and chiropractic, and lastly, and sadly, what organized medicine covertly did in an attempt to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession. These last facts account not only for my previous unknowing bias, but also for the ongoing prejudice of millions of people in this country, and abroad, toward chiropractic.
To be clear, these articles are not being written from a defensive stance, but from an educational perspective to help correct the wrongdoings of a powerful and organized political machine many years ago.
I hope you enjoy taking this journey with me.
Yours in health,
Crick and Crack
Dr. Thomas Turek grew up in New Jersey and attended Rutgers University and New York Chiropractic College. He has practiced in St. Johnsbury for over 35 years, and lives in Waterford with his wife Dorothy. Dr. Travis Howard grew up in Rantoul, Ill. He was a medic in the Air Force for eight years. He attended University of Maryland European Division, Illinois State University, and Logan College of Chiropractic. He lives with his wife and three sons in Littleton, N.H. To submit a question for the column, email email@example.com.