Thursday, June 21, 2012

Chiropractors Marketing Themselves

Steven Salzberg wrote an article for Forbes published online on June 10, 2012 about government subsidizing chiropractic schools,, in which I thought that he and Allen Botnick brought up important points. 

Last I looked there were 5 pages with 59 comments, most of which were from chiropractors or people studying to be chiropractors. I read very few of the comments. A glance was enough to disturb me because it told me that they were not addressing the important issues raised the way people concerned about providing good health care would. They were ducking the issues and attacking those who had brought them up. Like I’ve seen naturopaths do constantly, they were marketing their goods and services, defending their turf. 

With a few notable exceptions that stand out this is what I’ve seen chiropractors do en mass whenever anyone questions the safety of their neck manipulations which are known to cause strokes and even kill people, mentions the lack of evidence supporting the benefits of chiropractic treatments or speaks about the pre-scientific concepts, now known to be wrong, that chiropractic is based on.  

Why is it that so many alt med practitioners, not just chiropractors, who use “remedies” and “therapies” that have never been evaluated for safety or efficacy and for which there is no plausible scientific reason to suspect they may be beneficial constantly insist that their treatments are science-based and that they practice scientific medicine? Why do they go ballistic when others say that isn't true rather than simply stating, “There is no evidence that this works, but many people enjoy the results they obtain using it and as far as I know I’ve never hurt any of my patients. That’s good enough for me. Science doesn't have all the answers.” I can only guess. My guess is that the self promoters believe that making scientific claims about the safety and efficacy of the goods and services they sell is a wonderful marketing device that greatly increases sales. 

Steven Salzberg, Allen Botnick, chiropractors, marketing medicine, selling alternative medicine; alt med practitioners 

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