Recently, I heard a student posit the theory that human beings are no longer evolving as a species. It’s an interesting thought when one considers the biological, environmental and social factors that compose the evolution of a species. Modern technology allows a human being to attain more knowledge than any generation before, but it also tends to make him less physically active and oftentimes more socially isolated. Environmental factors such as weather, temperature and natural resources will always force our bodies to adapt, but does artificial control of air quality and consumables prevent the natural adaptation to our surroundings? There is a fine line, but a big difference between adapting (just making minor adjustments) and evolving (growing). In this context, it appears that human beings are always adapting as a species. But are we evolving?
What if we took the same theory and applied it to the chiropractic profession? For a relatively young profession, we have actually seen quite a bit of change from the early days. But have we grown since then, or merely adjusted to the threat of the moment?
The cover story in this edition of Today’s Chiropractic LifeStyle, “The Blind Leading the Blind,” is an in-depth look into the comparisons between the medical profession’s penchant for defending, denying and even covering up its mistakes and Chiropractic’s tendency to do the same. There’s an interesting parallel in how the evolution of a profession can be stalled or halted by stubbornness, politics, money and ego. While it may be easy to criticize the shortcomings of the medical profession, it’s always a good exercise to look into the mirror to ensure we aren’t making the same missteps.
As long as there has been Chiropractic, there have been practitioners with differing philosophies. As long as there have been multiple state and national associations, there have been differing views on scope of practice. These differences are good for discourse among ourselves and allow us to keep up with patient needs and to ensure quality education for the next generation of chiropractors. However, it is vital that we find common ground in areas such as research and definition of care if we are to evolve as a profession.
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