Chiropractic vs. AMA

In 1976, Chester Wilk, D.C. and other chiropractors filed a lawsuit against the AMA (American Medical Association). The suit included medical groups as the American Hospital Association, the American College of Surgeons, the American College of Physicians, and the Joint Commission on Accreditation of Hospitals (JCAHO – They survey hospitals to make sure the BEST care is being provided to patients).

The lawsuit claimed malicious slander had occurred over years to ruin the credibility of the chiropractic profession, especially in the eyes of the public. After twelve long years, the U.S. District Court ruled the AMA and its officials were guilty of “lengthy, systematic, successful and unlawful boycott to restrict cooperation between MD’s and chiropractors in order to eliminate the profession of chiropractic as a competitor in the United States health care system”.

Why would the AMA do this? What compelled them to slander ANY profession, let alone chiropractic?

Workmen’s Compensation Bureau studies served to validate chiropractic care. Specifically, studies comparing chiropractic care to care by a medical physician were presented which showed that chiropractors were “twice as effective as medical physicians, for comparable injuries, in returning injured workers to work at every level of injury severity.”

Naturally physicians felt threatened!! If someone else was twice as effective as they were at treating the same thing – they would LOSE business! No business model can survive that – At least from what I remember from ECON 101.

Since the court findings and conclusions were released, a growing number of medical doctors, hospitals, and health care organizations in the United States have begun including the services of chiropractors – yet the stigma still persists; even locally in the Treasure Valley. As the author of this blog, I shared the aspect of adding chiropractic care with two of my healthcare providers. One looked at the business card like he couldn’t read – and the other responded “pricey”.

Ego and pride need to be placed aside and all healthcare providers need to work together. I believe ALL went into the healthcare profession to provide good care to their patients. It’s time to actually DO that!


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