Questions on Life University

Harvey Fish, D.C.

Hi. It’s been a while.

Oh, I’ve had lot’s of questions, just none that merited posting to you all. Till today.

By now most of you will have heard the news that CCE has denied Life it’s re-accreditation. I suppose that there are reasons/justifications that CCE has found to merit this kind of sanction. Life certainly has had it’s share of problems and has done what it can to have survived this long.

I’m a graduate of the institution and proud to say so. For many years it’s been the chiropractic beacon that has withstood the demands to “mainstream” the profession. It’s compromised some of late, acceding to the CCE’s demands to improve the “diagnosis” portion of the curriculum (as well as other things).

Fortunately or not it’s had one of the professions most charismatic leaders as it’s founder and president, Dr. Sid. Attracting attention like a clothed person at a nudist colony, you either loved him or you hated him. At times you did both. At other times you even changed your mind. But to say that Dr. Sid didn’t enjoy a battle or shy from one would be wrong. He did fight for what he believed in. Over the years he made lots of enemies and lots of friends. Clearly, the folks on the CCE board weren’t in the friends category.

I’m not going to try and address what should have been done or what actions lie ahead. I’m not a great arm-chair quarterback. I just want you to take a moment and imagine what our profession will be like if Life goes under. Will we be better off? Will other schools pick up the slack? Just where the heck is this profession being led? Twenty years ago I first saw the graph which showed the medics becoming more like the chiro’s and the chiro’s becoming more medical. At that time I couldn’t fathom why any chiropractor would want to do what a medical doctor did. Have we reached that point? Why is it the students I meet have no idea of the philosophy of chiropractic? They graduate and get plugged into a management group and then just go through the motions. Never even pausing to question their purpose in helping people other than, perhaps, to reflect on their incomes. I suppose they find it tough to trust in a philosophy when they’re six figures in debt.

Is it right to have only one accreditation body for the profession? Most other professions have more than one body to accredit them. Are we faced with DCs with such a poor sense of professional esteem that they’d lop off their nose to spite their face? Does the loss of accreditation mean that the graduates of Life are somehow less prepared to practice chiropractic? Are they out there killing people? Isn’t there room for all of us to practice albeit differently?

That last question is one I want to expand on a little. Seems that my life’s journey in chiropractic started in the converted garage of Reggie Gold. That was chiropractic to me. Hundreds of people, young and old, rich and poor, all waiting to get their spine checked. I knew nothing of therapy, diagnosis, herbs, supplements, or massage. Heck, I didn’t find out about those things until I traveled around the country stepping into different offices to meet the Doc and seeing all manner of equipment that I had no notion of. But they were a chiropractor so I accepted them as my peer. I granted them, in my own way, the beingness to do what they did to help people. Oh yeah, I thought they were misguided and off the track but if they adjusted their folks, I made room for them at the table.

I did go through a bit of a hate mixer period. I’ll admit it. It wasn’t the people I hated but the way they bastardized the practice of chiropractic. Medicowannabees. I figured that it was only a matter of time till insurance ran out, and then they’d figure out that to survive they had to adjust and take cash. I led by example, I thought. Live and let live. I didn’t go out of my way to tear down their methods. I even found myself allied with them on occasion in the political/legislative front. Managed care certainly made a fool out of me as DCs learned to play the game so as to survive and get paid.

My naivety is coming back to haunt me. Seems that those same people with whom I shared this profession wanted me out all along. Wanted my way of practice out and did whatever they could to see that it will happen. Through the legislature and certainly through the accreditation process they sought to contain and eliminate me. Hell, what the medical profession couldn’t succeed at, members of our profession have. Namely, the containment and elimination of the profession.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. The suppressive actions of a small cadre of DC’s out to rid the profession of the likes of me. And, of course, of Sid and Life. Who are these people to feel that they can make the direction our profession takes their own? Just how do we benefit from their actions toward Life? Who’s next? Sherman? Palmer? Parker? Will all schools be made to fit the mold of the old National College and LACC? Funny, CCE certainly let those institutions teach their philosophy of practice with little or no interference. Why the hoop jumping for schools like Life?

Well, I rant. I’m pissed off. I feel threatened. I feel like punching someone. Especially someone at the CCE. Like, wake up! I will not wear a white lab jacket and sling a stethoscope around my neck! Diagnose this, you sorry sons of bitches!

As to those of you reading this, I can’t tell you what to do. I will take responsibility of the survival of the chiropractic principles.

What will you do?

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Harvey Fish, D.C. can be reached at: [email protected]

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