The other day I finished putting on my tie and started looking around for a tie tack to keep the short end from flopping around. "Tie tacks are out," admonished my lovely fashion expert spouse.
"What do you mean they're out?" I asked. "They just are," she replied. "No one wears them anymore, but if you want to look old fashioned go ahead."
They get me to wondering just who decides what's in and what's out. Is it just a bunch of people sitting in a room when suddenly someone yells, "Tie tacks are out?" Is this the way it is done? No one asked me if tie tacks were "out." Now, I'm supposed to struggle every day to make sure my tie is even so I don't need one of those infamous tie tacks things. Although not openly expressed, the inference is that my patients would leave if it were demonstrated just how out of step I might be with the fashion "experts."
As stupid as the preceding may sound, we tend to let this happen in our profession. We seem to always seek the approbation of other professionals, particularly from medicine and from Ph.D. researchers. For some reason we seem to think we should get the approval from the licensed drug pushers and knife wielders of medicine who kill thousands every week, and from intellectuals who've never adjusted more than their bank accounts. Their approval makes what we do "official."
One can almost visualize the scene of the first meeting of the Committee for Research and Discipline in Chiropractic.
Committee Chairman: The meeting will come to order. Let me introduce myself. I'm an MD (ohhhs, ahhhs, and applause). Yes, yes -- I'm a person who loves people. I love to serve humanity and as such I'm willing to give my valuable medical time to serve humanity by instructing the chiropractic profession on how to behave so they might get medical approval.
DC #1: May God bless you.
MD: Thank you. We know that some of you try hard to do the right thing -- your problem is that you just don't know your place.
DC #1: We'll change that sir.
MD: I'm sure you will. Now let me introduce you to one of the research directors of the committee, Dr. Noel Theanswers. He has his Ph.D. in research, and you will learn all that you're doing wrong from him.
DC #1: God bless you Dr. Theanswers.
Ph.D.: Before we go any further you must know that I've decided that just about everything you do is without any scientific validity.
DC #1: Right you are. It's about time we had someone like you to help weed out the quacks in our profession. We're lucky to have someone with your innate wisdom to show us the way.
Ph.D.: Innate? Did you say innate?
DC #1: Er, well, I mean I didn't mean "innate" in that quacky weirdo chiropractic sense. I meant in the scientific Ph.D. sense. Heavens to Betsy sir, I don't know anything about that innate stuff. I prefer to practice as a "scientific doctor" who knows the ...
Ph.D.: There, there my child. I know what you meant -- don't worry.
DC #2: Excuse me, but I'd like to know just what qualifies you two characters to pass judgment on anything the chiropractic profession does.
MD: Who are you?
DC #2: A chiropractor with some guts who happened to be wandering down the hall when I heard this sniveling, fawning chiropractic bimbo here pandering to you characters.
DC #1: Get out, get out! You're ruining everything.
DC #2: On the contrary -- I'm saving everything. Why should we pay attention to any input regarding the validity of what we do from this pompous medical windbag? He's never studied chiropractic adjustive techniques, he's never studied physiotherapy, nutrition or reflexology, yet for some reason the state allows him to practice just about everything, whether he is qualified through training or not. This is the same type of character who writes out prescriptions for mind-altering and life-threatening chemicals that he knows virtually nothing about. What are we supposed to learn from him -- especially since the practice of chiropractic is based upon medical failures? Better, we should be on a committee to tell medicine what to do than the other way around.
Ph.D.: Get out or I'll have you thrown out.
DC #2: Which brings me to you. Have you ever laid your hands on the human spine to adjust it?
Ph.D.: Well, no.
DC #2: Then, what academic arrogance allows you to judge a manual discipline without being one who practices the art himself? It would seem more propitious to develop researchers from our own ranks -- something we're beginning to do. Sure, kibitz and make suggestions that you think might act as guidelines for any other profession, but from the sidelines until you seek advice from chiropractic on a basis of parity. And medicine could certainly use some help. In other words, to both of you I say, "Know your place."
DC #1: Ohhh -- you've ruined everything.
MD: Yes, I'll not sit here a moment longer. Thank goodness Morris Fishbein isn't alive to see this.
Ph.D.: He's right -- I'm going to write a paper about you and anything else I can think about.
DC #2: Good riddance. We have our professional warts just like every other profession. The cleansing, however, has to come from within, not from the arrogant postulations of people and professions who know nothing about what we do.
So much for my wandering thoughts, but it sure would be nice if a DC with some degree of intellectual guts would admit that while we have a lot of research to do and advice to garner, it should come from the correct sources.
I think I'll wear a tie tack tomorrow.