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Posts Tagged ‘Council on Chiropractic Education’

Why taxpayers should be PISSED OFF about Chiropractic education.

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on March 19, 2012

I try not to use coarse language in my writings.  And, there are just some words I won’t use.  Period.  But, as a taxpayer and chiropractor who loves what I do and why I do it, I’m simply pissed off at chiropractic education.  And, you should be, too!

Most Americans perception of chiropractors as drugless, non-surgical providers of relief from back pain.  And while chiropractic is definitely MUCH more than a non-Medical alternative to dealing with neuromuscular problems, we’ll just work with what the general public thinks we are, for now.  The one thing the virtually everyone even slightly familiar with the term “chiropractic” is that it deals with the spine…and is drugless and non-surgical.

Another thing the American public is generally aware of is that chiropractors (as a group) have a terrible self-image and often claim that “we’re REAL doctors, too!”   And, this Napoleon Complex permeates almost every aspect of my profession.  Worst of all, in the education of new chiropractors.

What the American public is probably NOT aware of is that the average chiropractic student graduates with over $200,000 in student loan debt AND that chiropractors default on student loans more than ALL other health professions COMBINED.  One of the reasons for this incredible default rate is that  the AVERAGE has an annual income of less than $100,000.  That just means that the American taxpayer is typically on the hook for  over a hundred grand for every chiropractic student that enters practice.

One of the reasons for all this is that chiropractic education is ruled by ONE accrediting agency who (in the absence of competition) requires that every chiropractic student learn more about Medicine than chiropractic.  As a result, new chiropractors can barely adjust, much less know what to adjust and not adjust and why!  And, the Medical education they receive they can’t legally use in most states in which they could practice.

As I stated in the beginning of this article, as an American taxpayer I’m really pissed off that my tax dollars are being wasted on teaching Medicine to chiropractic students.  I would every taxpayer who is also bothered by this to contact their Congressman and Senators and demand that the Department of Education pull in the reins on the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) and take a serious look at how we are funding chiropractic education.  The only folks benefiting from the fiasco known as chiropractic education are those institutions who benefit from heavy student loan subsidies and those practitioners billing for services that could be done better by other professionals.

It’s time to slow down the train wreck also known as chiropractic education.

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Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Business, Chiropractic, Economics, Ethics, Finance, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, Politics, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Dire Warning to Chiropractic Students!

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on February 28, 2011

It’s about time somebody got real with chiropractic students.  The cost of chiropractic education has skyrocketed over the last two decades while the quality and scope of that education has declined significantly. The likelihood of you being successful in practice has been severely diminished BECAUSE of your education.

Graduating chiropractors now leave school with student loan debt in excess of $200,000 while most new graduates don’t even understand the history and basic principles of their profession.  In fact, many graduate not even believing in the merits of chiropractic care.  By the time many have graduated, they’ve applied more physical therapy modalities than they have chiropractic adjustments.  Some are even afraid to adjust the one area that EVERY person should have checked on EVERY chiropractic visit, the upper cervical spine.

This current model of chiropractic education is borne out of the Napoleonic Complex of many in the profession and fueled by “insurance parity” gained in the 60’s and 70’s.  On one hand, you had those chiropractors of the “We’re real doctors, too!” mindset trying to gain equal status with MDs.  On the other, was the group that wanted to broaden the profession’s scope of practice to enable chiropractors to be able to bill for more services in the loose (at the time) third-party reimbursement environment.  As time passed, those groups gained power in the profession and influenced the education to a purely mechanistic model of practice while assaulting those schools that dared offer a choice to the aspiring chiropractic student.

Those chiropractors graduating today will encounter a market totally different that the one that existed when they entered chiropractic school.  third-party reimbursement for chiropractic services has all but vanished.  What is there is so far out of reach that chiropractors must get very creative in their billing practices to access any of those monies.  That practice alone has tarnished the image of the profession even more.  The realities of the market are that “health” insurance is almost too expensive to buy and too selective to use with extremely high deductibles and copays.  And on top of it all, the profession now has the highest student loan default rate of any of the health professions.

Oddly, there’s a branch of the profession that appears to be doing well and making a remarkable resurgence even in the face of massive student loans and the loss of third-party reimbursement.  That end of the profession that still adheres to the founding principles of the profession seem to be thriving.  Their offices are filling with people seeking a different approach than the allopathic, therapeutic approach to mere symptom relief to the vitalistic approach of locating and correcting vertebral subluxation, the ONLY thing that ONLY chiropractors (well most chiropractors, anyway) are specifically trained to do.

Faced with the disappearance of third-party pay and the reality of massive student loan debt, the chiropractor of the future will have even FEWER options for practice.  Graduates could get a job as an associate for an already successful practitioner,  get a job as a  public school science teacher or start their own practice.  Few existing practitioners will pay a graduating chiropractor what their teachers have told them they’re worth.  A degree and a license adds nothing to your worth, only to your opportunity.  Teaching public school might offer some benefits and job security.  But even that is questionable in this economic environment.

The only real choice for new chiropractors for success in making a decent living and ever paying off their student loans is to open and operate a high volume, low overhead, cash practice based on those principles on which the chiropractic profession was originally founded.  As I see it, there are simply no other alternatives.

What would this kind of practice look like?  Fees would be lower because chiropractors would now be competing for consumers’ disposable income (which they really always have) instead of getting on insurance companies preferred provider lists.  Care plans would either need to be compact and specific AND understandable OR variation of unlimited care plans which allow the greatest flexibility for both the customer and the chiropractor.  Both alternatives allow the consumer to get the most care at the lowest total cost possible.  The latter approach would enable the new chiropractor to build their volume and income as quickly as possible while providing a long-term stable and predictable  income.

Chiropractic’s educational hierarchy has let both its customer base (students and graduates) down, but has also endangered both the chiropractic profession and the American taxpayer who underwrites all those student loans.  And in the end, will cause the closing of several chiropractic schools because of the lack of focus on chiropracTIC principles and practices.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Chiropractic, Economics, Ethics, Fitness, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

CCE Reveals Contempt for US Deptartment of Education

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on October 29, 2010

It’s amazing that so many people were surprised at the Council on Chiropractic Education’s (CCE) recent proposal to essentially strip chiropractic education of everything chiropractic.  But for those of us who have watched the CCE closely over the years know full well what a corrupt and depraved organization it truly is and what contempt it has for both the accreditation process and the US Dept. of Education.

Throughout the history of CCE, it has been at odds with those chiropractic schools that upheld those principles on which the chiropractic profession was founded.  Being the only agency certified by the United States Department of Education to offer accreditation to chiropractic colleges, CCE has subtly (in some cases) and not so subtly in others imposed its will on chiropractic teaching institutions for almost four decades.  During that time the cost of chiropractic education has soared.  Coincidentally, so have student loan default rates.  Also in recent times, the organization has illegally taken one school’s accreditation only to have it restored in Federal court.

One of the justifications for CCE taking the accreditation of Life University in 2002 was that the school failed to adhere to CCE standards.  Obviously, one of CCE’s standards was NOT honest and forthright representation as the organization had manipulated its corporate structure and bylaws to put itself in a position to yank Life’s accreditation while the school had no representation on either the CCE Board of Directors or its Council on Accreditation.  At the time, Life University graduates accounted for 20% of all practicing chiropractors.  Yet, one school on the COA had graduated fewer than 100 chiropractors and did not even have a human dissection lab.  Other schools represented on the COA and Board of Directors were under severe financial stress, benefited from the exodus of students from Life AND even had a role in the decision to remove Life’s accreditation.

So at the very least, CCE has tainted both its own credibility and that of the US Dept. of Education from whom CCE gets its authority.

In a hearing in June of 2006 by USDOE’s National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity, CCE was admonished by the members of the Committee to make its processes more transparent to both the public and the profession and to make certain that CCEs reputation (and reality) of bullying its schools was curtailed.

Well, CCE has not failed to disappoint those of us that know it well.  Just in the last few months, CCE has authorized one of its schools to offer degrees “equivalent to” the Doctor of Chiropractic degree.  Further, in its latest proposed changes, CCE has removed everything from chiropractic education that makes the profession chiropractic.  While those chiropractic schools that attract the most students are the more conservative schools that continue to teach the founding principles, CCE continues to push the profession’s schools in a direction shunned by the market for chiropractic education.

What a bold move for CCE!  In less than a year, it will be back in front of the USDOE to have its status renewed as the sole accrediting authority for the chiropractic profession, the organization has tried to sneak these changes through with a minimum of time available to the profession for input.  However, the proposed changes were discovered in time for literally thousands of responses from a broad spectrum of the profession.  I don’t know what CCE will do with those proposed changes, at this time.  I DO know that if left to its own devices, CCE will seek more opportunities to force its will on the profession by way of the institutions it controls with an iron fist.

There is only one conclusion that can be drawn from CCE’s continued aggressive moves on chiropractic education.  That conclusion is that CCE has nothing but contempt for both the US Department of Education and the entire accreditation process.  It has literally spit in the face of those bureaucrats in Washington, DC who are dedicated to ensuring quality education through through the accreditation process.  CCE has threatened the health of the public, the profession and the American taxpayer.  CCE has run up the cost of chiropractic education beyond the typical graduate’s ability to pay, forced courses on programs that most practitioners will find illegal to use in their practice thus causing student loan default rates (among virtually EVERY chiropractic school) that dwarf those of other health professions.

Many will disagree.  But personally, I believe CCE cannot be fixed, that it should lose its certification by the US Dept.. of Education and that either an alternative accrediting authority be formed or that chiropractic teaching institutions continue their accreditation by regional agencies like SACS (Southern Association of Colleges and Schools) until a credible alternative accreditation agency can be formed.  In this case, nothing is better than what we now have.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Chiropractic | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Council on Chiropractic Education: The Clash Between Economics and Accreditation

Posted by Marietta chiropractor on August 25, 2010

The chiropractic profession is at a crossroads.  A profession based on hands on non-allopathic, holistic principles has methodically been moved closer and closer to the practice of Medicine much to the chagrin of most practitioners in the profession.

Under the guise of ensuring the highest quality of care rendered to the public, the CCE has forced every chiropractic school into moving away from the profession’s founding principles and toward a sub-par version of manual medicine.  Being the only accrediting authority in the profession, CCE has almost no oversight and has become a rogue agency imposing its will on the chiropractic profession.  And, like a cancer, has gone virtually ignored by the U.S. Department of Education or the public which it supposedly is sworn to protect.

The folks at the Council on Chiropractic Education has even certified one chiropractic college to confer a degree of Chiropractic Medicine to its graduates.  Not only is this outside CCE’s scope, it is dangerous for the public at large.  The practice of Medicine is difficult enough for those who attend medical school and do the residency necessary to practice that art.  Chiropractors that play Medical Doctor are a menace to society just as is an MD that tries to manipulate patients in their medical practice.

There is NO justification for teaching Medicine to chiropractic students or requiring  medical education at chiropractic schools.  For one thing, it confuses the chiropractic student and graduate.  The two professions have totally opposite philosophies and really are separate and distinct.  In most states, it is illegal for the chiropractor to either make a medical diagnosis or prescribe even over-the-counter drugs for simple symptom relief.  Personally, I think it’s a good thing that chiropractors have a narrow scope of practice.

From an economics standpoint, it is almost impossible for a new chiropractor to survive in practice.  Let me restate that.  It’s virtually impossible for a new chiropractor to survive in practice without heavy third-party reimbursement or participating in multi-level marketing or by having a part-time job.  Here’s the truth.  If people want Medicine, they’ll go to a medical doctor.  People typically seek a chiropractor because they want something DIFFERENT from the Medical approach.  If all a chiropractor offers is medical LITE, he/she is simply not a good alternative.  Hence, many chiropractors fail in practice.

Because so many chiropractors fail in practice, student loan default rates are the highest of ANY of the healing arts.  If CCE’s purpose is to protect the public and make sure that student loan defaults are minimized, I would think they have failed miserably at their job.  In fact, if I were the Department of Education, I would encourage the profession to create an alternative to CCE as soon as possible and prepare to remove CCE’s standing as THE sole accrediting authority.  A worthy accrediting authority would ensure MINIMUM compliance with core requirements while allowing its schools to specialize and compete for students via different philosophical, clinical and business perspectives.

All the Council on Chiropractic Education has accomplished is to have raised the cost of chiropractic education beyond the average student’s ability to repay their debt.  Something has to stop.  Neither the chiropractic profession, the public nor the Federal Government is served by the policies and practices of the Council on Chiropractic Education.

Posted in Alternative health care, Blogroll, Business, Chiropractic, Ethics, Finance, Health care, health insurance, Health Issues, Insurance, Life, Other Advocacy Blogs, Politics, Uncategorized, wellness | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 8 Comments »