The AMA’s Role- Creating a Monopoly Thru Fear
In the 22+ years I’ve been in practice, I’ve heard repeatedly from some people that they would ‘never’ go to a chiropractor, regardless of how much it would help. At first, my thought was from a bad personal experience, but then I find out that they’ve been TOLD not to go. Their decision was NOT based on their own experience, but based on someone else’s opinion. Most of that was originally propogated by the AMA and for over 70 years, MD’s systematically promoted a boycott of chiropractic care to both their patients AS WELL AS teaching that to medical students. They even went as far as to form a “Committee on Quackery” in 1963 – a campaign specifically designed to destroy all forms of non-allopathic care (massage therapy, acupuncture, etc.)
Dr. Chester A. Wilk led a group of Chicago chiropractors and took the AMA to court based on that monopolization of the healing professions in 1987 and they won a landslide lawsuit. They also won the AMA appeal in 1990. The judge found 2 major problems with the AMA: 1) that MD’s weren’t acting in the best interest of their patients, AND 2) they were trying to monopolize all health fields thru intimidation and fear. Some MD’s opted to change their bias and previous opinions toward chiropractors and chiropractic care…others didn’t. But while they wouldn’t endorse chiropractic care, they couldn’t impugn it either. Recent studies since 1990 have confirmed that chiropractic care is much more effective in both short and long term, tolerated better by patients, and more cost effective than the medical alternatives treating similar conditions. The specificity of chiropractic adjustments as well as the positive results experienced by patients have both contributed to chiropractic care far surpassing osteopathy, anti-inflammatory, muscle relaxers and pain killing medications for treatment of most spinal conditions.
Every now and then I treat a patient who had never been to a chiropractor before…and the question often asked after a few visits is, “Why didn’t I come to you before?” While I can’t answer that, I do find that at that very moment, someone opted to put aside their previously told perceptions and became educated and enlightened for themselves to the wonders this profession offers.
I found in my experience that the fear of the unknown and lack of understanding are the main two reasons people are hesitant to change or to visit a chiropractor. But in this regard, chiropractic is in good company. History is replete with skepticism towards new inventions, ideas and breakthroughs. So what’s needed to get through these barriers? A little knowledge and a little courage. With one it’s easier to get the other.
(Dr. Chester Wilk, pictured above with me, led the lawsuit as well as the appeal against the AMA. He also authored the book, “Medicine, Monopolies and Malice” in which he fully describes in detail what the AMA tried so hard to do, and I encourage everyone who’s read this far to buy it and learn a little history you may not have heard about!)