Chiropractic 27 Apr 2008 08:16 am
Okay, I’ve been silent for a few days waiting for someone to comment on my last post, which I thought was rather humorous, but apparently no one else thought worthy of notice. (hint, hint)
Oh well, be that as it may, this week I ran across another funny little story penned by the ever-lovable Panda Bear, MD that I thought you might enjoy, instead.
It involves his recent encounter with one of our old friends and was tucked neatly within a post entitled, Randompanda.
To fully appreciate this little ditty, you need to understand that Panda Bear is an ER doctor working in a major metropolitan hospital and his patient… well, you’ll see…
I Kept My Mouth Shut
I had a trauma patient the other day who quickly informed me that he was a chiropractor and then rattled off the cervical vertebrae he believed to be injured just to show us that we were dealing with a medical professional and not some yokel.
He had fallen off of a ladder and bumped his head. After the usual “pan scan” that the trauma surgeons order on everyone regardless of mechanism or history he was given a clean bill of health and discharged from the department.
We usually send these minor trauma patients home with a small prescription for vicodin or percocet even though all most people really need for this kind of thing is some motrin.
I have been sticking to the motrin lately because we don’t have to give narcotics to everybody. He flagged me down before he was discharged and demanded something stronger for his pain. I smiled politely and wrote him a prescription for Vicodin.
Chiropractor, heal thyself. Doesn’t he have any colleagues that could, I don’t know, adjust him or something?
If you don’t see the humor in this, you just haven’t been paying attention.
Suffice it to say that Panda and I share similar opinions when it comes to magic (i.e. illusion) vs. medicine. Which is probably why he then goes on to share some further observations…
Speaking of chiropractors, I have had a run of patients lately who are under their treatment. I keep my face blank and my tongue still but most of them feel the need to apologize, which shows you that even most of the chiromancer’s customers suspect that they are being hornswoggled by this century’s equivalent of the Patent Medicine Man.
Look, its not rocket science. You can’t cure an inflamed gallbladder or a pulmonary embolism by adjusting the spine. You can’t actually adjust the spine either because, while I am second to none in admiration for the typical chiromancer’s knowledge of spinal anatomy, all of those ligaments and muscles that they rattle off prevent the kind of movements that they claim to induce.
Hell, in my line of work we call chiropractic “spinal adjustment” by its correct term, “trauma,” and it is only the inability of most chiromancers to generate motor vehicle collision-type forces that keep them from hurting more patients than they actually do.
As usual, I find myself agreeing with Panda Bear on this one.
If you’ve just arrived here and are still struggling under the illusion that chiropractors are medical doctors, here are some articles that will bring you up to speed:
- Don’t I Need a Chiropractor?
- How Chiropractic Damages Your Spine
- Medical School or Fraud Factory? An Inside Look at Chiropractic College
Chiropractic 14 Jul 2007 06:09 pm
This is a story of comparisons.
It’s also a story about professional conduct, ethical standards and common courtesy.
If you’ve been following this blog for any length of time, you know that I recently wrote a silly little bit about a particularly odd email I received one particularly odd day that I jokingly refer to as “Dumb Day.”
And it occurs to me that some may not fully appreciate the circumstances behind that post or understand the manner in which I chose to approach it. Perhaps you think I was being mean-spirited.
Hopefully by the end of this post you’ll appreciate:
- Why I was offended by the email in question
- Why I didn’t respond to that email
- Why I decided to expose what appeared to be an attempt to harm me
Let’s start by making some comparisons.
The First Comparison:
I can only write from my personal experience, but the first thing I would like to do is compare what I see as the difference between real medical doctors and chiropractors when it comes to professional conduct and ethical standards.
Over the past four years I have received a number of emails from chiropractors that I would classify as nothing but malicious hate mail. In this latest incident, I received no less than six emails altogether from the chiropractic office in question (two before I ever wrote the article) which contained the following elements:
- False accusations
Throughout the entire incident, from beginning to end, I was never once treated with courtesy or anything resembling professional conduct.
On the other hand, the correspondence that I have received from real doctors and other medical professionals has always involved:
- Positive Feedback
- Constructive criticism
Which brings me to…
The Second Comparison:
What can you expect to receive in correspondence from a medical doctor?
Whenever I receive correspondence from a medical doctor they always pay me the courtesy of introducing themselves and informing me that they are, in fact, a medical doctor. They usually will also inform me of their specialty such as surgeon, family practitioner, neurologist and so on.
I have never received a single negative comment — let alone anything even resembling hate mail — from a medical doctor. And frankly, I would be shocked if I did.
For the most part, medical doctors are known for having a very keen sense of professional ethics and for maintaining the highest level of personal and professional conduct.
Chiropractors, on the other hand, are another story.
Take the first cryptic email I received from this chiropractic office.
Did she take the time to introduce herself? Did she let me know she was a doctor of chiropractic? Did she explain why I was receiving a cryptic letter from her office?
She did not introduce herself. She did not state her profession. She did not state the nature of her intentions or why she was contacting me. It contained no introduction whatsoever.
There was no explanation as to why I was receiving this correspondence under the name in which it was sent. There was no explanation as to why this anonymous person, “Jim” was being allowed to represent or send correspondence from her office.
It was clearly from a doctor’s office… and yet it appeared to be written by a patient.
I had to do a search on the Internet in order to discover who these people were and that they were, in fact, chiropractors.
From my perspective as the recipient, there were only two possible conclusions at which I could arrive. Either it was from a doctor posing as a patient… or from a patient posing as a doctor.
But the real red flag was the question posed to me by this anonymous person who called himself “Jim.”
“Why…do I need to be worried about using her and this machine, and why?”
Now those of you who are medical professionals probably recognize the danger lurking within that question. But the casual observer might not see the implications had I been foolish enough to answer it.
The way the question is worded whoever wrote it was trying to get me to give advice about a doctor I’ve never met and that I know nothing about.
I recognized it immediately as a possible attempt at entrapment.
What I saw was just another malicious chiropractor attempting to trick me into giving medical advice to one of his or her patients. It appeared to be nothing less than a clumsy and ridiculous attempt to lure me into breaking the law.
At the very least, they appeared to be trying to get something – anything — they could use against me.
It didn’t work. In fact, it blew up in their face.
I saw through it immediately. I considered it an insult to my intelligence and I chose to turn the tables on whoever wrote it and expose them as a warning to all chiropractors seeking to harm me in any fashion.
The damage this person has done to their reputation is permanent.
If you do an Internet search for “Disc Decompression of Delaware” you will notice that my article comes up in the top search results right next to their listings. That article will probably be there forever.
They will have that as a constant reminder that they (allegedly) tried to harm another human being. If I am mistaken and it was not an attempt to entrap me, then it will stand as a constant reminder that this doctor failed to conduct herself in a professional manner.
In either event, she did it to herself.
To this day, she doesn’t think she did anything wrong. She is still angry. She still blames me for her lack of courtesy and professional conduct.
I suggest that all you chiropractors out there… if you’re going to pretend to be a doctor… you might want to start acting like the real McCoy.
You might want to start by learning something about professional conduct, ethical standards and common courtesy.
If you’re going to write to someone… and you have an honest and sincere question that you would like an answer to… I suggest that you identify yourself and that you don’t put someone else’s return address on it.
If you screw up in front of a journalist, chances are he’s going to write about it and more than likely you aren’t going to like the results.
So, was I just being mean to these people who appeared to be trying to entrap me? Was I mean to this anonymous (and possibly fictitious) person named “Jim” who I believe tried to harm me? Was I wrong to turn the tables and expose their ridiculous little charade?
No, I don’t think so. All I did was give them a little slap on the wrist. All I did was write a silly little comedy sketch that illustrated exactly what happened.
Keep in mind that I did not initiate contact with them. They came after me. If I was mean and vindictive there is a lot more I could do. But I never had any interest in harming these people. Everything that happened… was a result of their actions.
I had nothing to do with it.
This incident should serve as a very kind and gentle warning to all the chiropractors out there foolishly looking to get even with me simply because I publish information.
If you’re half as smart as you keep proclaiming to be… you would do well to count the cost. Before you attempt to come after me… ask yourself if it’s worth ruining your reputation over… possibly destroying your entire business… and maybe your entire future.
For what it’s worth:
I do not diagnose patients. I do not treat patients. I never give medical advice. And the last thing I would ever do is advise any individual to stop seeing their doctor. Who you see or don’t see is none of my concern.
I confine my activities to researching and writing books and articles. I leave the practice of medicine and the treatment of patients to the medical professionals.
Which brings me to…
One Final Comparison:
I said at the beginning this was a story about comparisons. Well, we’ve seen how chiropractors act… now, if anyone’s interested, here’s what I never do:
- I never send email to chiropractors (let alone hate mail)
- I don’t post messages in their forums
- I don’t visit their offices or interfere with their work
- I don’t harass their patients
- I don’t harass, intimidate or threaten them
- I don’t try to shut down or interfere with their websites
- I don’t interfere with their First Amendment right to publish information
- I don’t attempt to badger or bait them into pointless debates
- I don’t attempt to entrap them into doing something illegal or embarrassing
- I don’t attempt to violate their civil rights
I don’t think it’s too much to ask to expect the same courtesy in return.
Chiropractic 12 Jul 2007 12:43 am
Well, seems I received an email from the good folks at Disc Decompression of Delaware concerning the mystery email I received from them last week. According to them, it was not a deliberate attempt to deceive me.
Here is Dr. Pat Wendel’s explanation of what happened:
My patient base in Claymont, Delaware consists of an older clientele, many of whom do not have computers or access to the internet. Last week, a patient asked me my opinion of your advice and what your credentials were. I read briefly through your radical opinions and was amazed at your seemingly personal axe to grind. Before that time, I was not even aware of your existence, let alone your scathing opinion of chiropractic.
Back to the point, our office allows our patients to access the web on our laptop in the waiting area. Usually patients use it to look up drug interactions and information relative to their particular health conditions. Apparently, one gentleman sent you an e-mail.
So, mystery solved.
If this is what happened… perhaps in the future they will rethink their policy of allowing patients to have free and unsupervised access to their business accounts. After all, they gave this person permission to use their computer, and by so doing, they gave their consent to be a party to anything he chose to do on it.
Under the circumstances, they are responsible for any email sent in their name whether they like it or not.
I wonder if I’ll ever receive an apology?
Maybe if I hold my breath.
BTW, any of you doctors have expensive laptop computers in your waiting rooms?
The Continuing Saga:
Dumb Day, Part 3: Whatever Happened to Courtesy?