The Sublime and the Dangerous

Chiropractic is arguably the most conflicted healthcare profession on the planet. In the span of just a few weeks, one of the most dangerous additions to the chiropractic literature was followed by one of the most important.
Starting with the most important, according to TCL’s Dr. Gerry Clum, the Journal of Chiropractic Humanities  has just published a ten-paper series by Dr. Simon Senzon that comprises not only one of the most comprehensive explorations of the subluxation ever to appear in a peer-reviewed publication, but one of the most comprehensive imaginable. Senzon has created this monumental work as part of his Ph.D. dissertation, which when added to his M.S. and D.C. degrees, will make him one of the most credentialed of today’s chiropractic leaders.
Please commit 45 minutes* to watch the video below…or read the transcript below that…and learn more about how we can all contribute to maturing our profession by ensuring we are not part of the “culture of contempt” that so often prevents us from being honorable people with honorable disagreements.
UPCOMING: Please stay tuned for a “Chiropractic Emergency Broadcast” regarding the danger to the profession represented by the above-linked Goncalves, et al. (2019) paper, “Chiropractic conservatism and the ability to determine contra-indications, non- indications, and indications to chiropractic care: a cross-sectional survey of chiropractic students.” To Dr. Clum’s way of thinking, as someone at the half-century mark of involvement in chiropractic education, regulation, and legislation on the national and international levels, there has never been a bigger threat to subluxation-focused, neuromusculoskeletal chiropractic than the specious assertions and connections purported in this paper. Please take the time to begin educating yourself about the next assault on our profession and our patients’ right to choose the healthcare approaches that best align with their health goals.

*NOTE: 33 Minutes refers to conversations and topics that are grounded in chiropractic’ 33 principles, rather than referring to the length of the episodes.

 

Deitch:             Hey everyone and welcome to Today’s Chiropractic Leadership. I’m Dr. Jason Deitch and of course we are here for 33 Minutes with Dr. Gerry Clum. Gerry, good afternoon.

Clum:               Good afternoon, my friend. Great to be with you again.

Deitch:             Great to be with you. Love the background here on the left coast, West Coast, coast-to-coast, worldwide today. You know, we’ve got an interesting theme about our conversation and that really has to do with engagement and getting involved. We’ve got a lot of different things going on around the world as it relates to the chiropractic profession and a lot of things around the world going on relating to the world. There’s just a lot of shifts happening for a lot of different reasons and I think much of it really does have to do with engagement with people sharing their voice, sharing their feelings, sharing their opinions, hopefully in a mature and productive way, and in some cases not.

Let’s sort of start exploring what’s going on and I think much of this, Gerry, we’ll probably find the theme, I believe, that a lot of the engagement is taking place digitally on social media in this sort of new forum, a new way, especially compared to the decades you’ve been doing this. Things are working differently and maybe changing differently. Maybe let’s kick it over to you and let’s get some updates. I know we’ve got WFC news to talk about, opioid use to talk about, docs writing about the history of the subluxation to talk about. Where would you like to begin?

Clum:               Well, let’s begin with the last point you brought up. It’s a good illustration of the power of the digital applications. The series of papers that you just made reference to were published in the Journal of Chiropractic Humanities, in the latest edition and there were a series of ten papers that were written by Simon Senzon. Simon lives and works from North Carolina but he has been really stalwart in terms of the history and tracking down the source documents associated with much of the discussion that we’re having today, about different details associated with the profession. And, quite honestly, the Journal Chiropractic Humanities is published by National College and I never thought I would see a ten-part series on the history of the vertebral subluxation appearing in that publication.

So, hats off, kudos to them for their wisdom to recognize good writing and good research and good information when they see it. And also to Simon for putting in the countless, countless hours. This is, this is without a doubt, the most well documented series of papers I have ever seen on this subject in my entire career. Wow. So, I’m about a quarter of the way through the papers; they came out a couple of days ago, and this is one of those that’s going to take two or three times going through. The accumulated packet is almost 150 pages or writings and in the world of scientific articles and publications like this, they generally go four, five, six, seven pages; 150 pages is staggering and with the detail of the documentation and the precision {with which] he’s written them, even more so. So it’s a very, very exciting body of work, that he should be applauded for…

Deitch:             Gerry, it’s a great example, because you shared it with me digitally, online. It’s available for everybody watching for free digitally online. And it really is, I think, a great example how in today’s world we’ve got the ability to both create and share. The information and the commentary on that information, as we’re doing right now, with unprecedented speed and connection.

Clum:               You know, that brings up a very important point that Simon talks about in these papers, is that much of the work – when we look back and we might be critical of the writings of different authors over times throughout history – think of the technology they had to work with. Think of the libraries that they had to go to; interlibrary loan didn’t exist, let alone a Pub Med or anything of that nature. So, when we look back and we say, oh my God, this was sloppy, this was this, this was that, whatever, it’s putting it in the context of the day and what they had to work with. And if you look at the original writings in that context, they become far more valuable, far more significant in terms of the work that’s done.

But, I’m looking forward to the profession mining what Simon has written and I’m particularly interested in our tribe…putting their money where mouth is and the talk about subluxation. Now, master these papers, is my challenge to the rank and file on our side of the aisle. This may not be your cup of tea to read about history and you may not care what Wyatt wrote in 1937 and you may not care what Ron Watkins wrote about in 1960. You may not care what Joe Jansee wrote about 1945. Do your homework, do the work necessary to understand the depth and breadth of what Simon has put together and the meaning that it has for us. And, if we will all do that, we will be in a far better place to understand our roots, to understand our foibles and understand our strengths as well. So, again, I just, I’d like to conclude with just one hearty congratulations to Simon. Thanks to the Journal Chiropractic Humanities for the publication and carrying the articles – the papers – and the challenge to our colleagues: Time to do your homework. And, we all need to learn a lot from this. And we need to start right away.

Deitch:             They say that if you don’t learn from history, it will repeat itself. I’m assuming that this being such a controversial topic internationally at this point, it’s become obviously a hot button these days. It has been dormant for a little while at some level, but, it’s becoming front and center controversial again. If, as you say, our tribe doesn’t get strong enough and understanding deeper than just the slogans and taglines, but the history and the essence of where these ideas come from, there are valid threats to… I guess it’s continuation, proliferation in some cases, maybe even the legal ability to practice this way. Maybe a good transition into what some of these vulnerabilities are these days, what’s changing worldwide, again, because of our ability to communicate, because of our ability to have access to information.

Clum:               Yeah. Well, you know, if you’ve got little kids or grandkids and you’ve been to Disneyland or Disney World or Disney Tokyo or Disney Paris, you know, it’s a small world after all. And, if you’re like me, once that you hear that music down there, you get that stuck in your brain for the next 10 years. You just can’t get it out of there. [laughter] That’s right. But that’s a fact. You and I have chatted in previous sessions, here about a paper that came out last year in Chiropractic & Manual Therapies by a group from the French Institute, talking about indications for care, non-indications for care and contra-indications for care. Well, these folks went, I think, one bridge too far and I’m working on a response to that and provide the documentation to support what we’re talking about.

But you know, to make the claim that if you’re addressing anything other than a musculoskeletal condition, you’re potentially breaking the law was the bottom line of this paper that was produced. So, when you think about, “Well, what’s this got to do with my office? I don’t need to bother with this.” You very much need to bother with this. It is a small world and something that’s happening in a corner of the world that, a number of years ago didn’t have any chiropractic educational representation at all, [and] now it’s generating information that has the potential to alter your practice in a very, very realistic way now, because they’ve said it may be illegal, doesn’t change the laws in Tennessee or it doesn’t change the regulations in Texas, but that starts people churning and thinking and so on, and unless a counter perspective is put on the table, it eventually becomes the prevailing wisdom over time.

And, we need to be in that game and in that response cycle, on a completely different level than we have before. And the need to be involved, the urgency to be involved, is very real. It’s very real. And the ostrich, stick your head in the ground, in the sand, it isn’t going to cut it anymore. It didn’t cut it before, it really doesn’t cut it now. And, we’ve got to bring everybody into this environment, and make them comfortable with what’s available, or at least let them know what’s available, and then try and help them understand how to interpret it, how to make sense of it. And, you know, that’s a job that you and I could help contribute to in that regard.

Deitch:             Absolutely. And I want to just make sure our viewers are really hearing, and emphasizing what I’m hearing, is your point, which is it’s time to get engaged; it’s time to get involved. As you said, putting your head in the sand and just going, “It doesn’t affect me; what difference can I make?” Or whether it’s just a matter of not having enough sense that you can do something or just not thinking that it’s going to affect you, none of those can really be excuses anymore. Engagement, involvement matters. You’ve got to be aware of what the issues are. You’ve got to be able to articulately respond, reply appropriately, not just reactively and not just emotionally, with evidence, and evidence can mean a lot of different things. It’s not limited to double blind studies. This paper is a phenomenal example, but there’s quite a few examples we were talking about of what can change…

Clum:               Let me give you another example from the recent past. Within the last two weeks, it was a story out of Oklahoma, a 28 year old guy is at home and he cranks his neck around himself and winds up giving himself a stroke. Okay. Now, he goes to the emergency room. They recognize what it is, the guy’s given TPA, he comes through it okay. He’s got some lingering and remnant symptoms. They look like they’re resolve and the guy’s doing fine, but lo and behold, when it gets written up, who gets drawn into that discussion? We do. And within 24 hours, it went from the local television station in Oklahoma, to the national networks, to international networks and so on. Now, some of them had chiropractic references, some of them didn’t have any at all. But the point being, that if we’re not there to explain the story, then whatever prevailing wisdom a reporter has is what the reporter runs with.

Deitch:             That’s a fact.

Clum:               That kind of information and having that at your fingertips, and I’d have to say congratulations to the Foundation for Chiropractic Progress because within six hours, they had a kit out to the Congress of Chiropractic State Associations. It was out to every State Association that would give people the current literature, the current discussion, and so on, which is all very much in our favor. And, it’s a very exciting discussion right now in the positive. So, that’s another example of how quickly we can respond and how quickly we can react to nip things in the bud sometimes as well. But again, if you’re not familiar with it, if you’re not on top of the information, it’s very hard for you to make that kind of response. So, another very good, very realistic, Monday morning in your office reality, to be dealt with and something that we’ve all got to be paying more much more attention to.

Deitch:             Yeah, and I think maybe one of the messages for viewers is that we’re all representatives of this idea locally. You talked earlier about what limited access people had. I think about people who wrote books and not only had to do their own research but, I write things up these days I can share it with ten people digitally and get feedback by the end of the day. But, but the point being that information spreads so quickly, that communities are being activated, communities are being informed, communities are being persuaded. I don’t really like necessarily, the terms of war and fighting and so on. But on some levels there is a war for people’s minds and attention.

There is an absolute concerted effort to drive more people to become more dependent on drugs and medicine, as they’ve always been. And, because it’s so quick, as you talked about, to have information go out, doctors have to do this just to be able to stay up with what their communities are being informed with and by worldwide, whether it’s from the press, whether it’s from organizations, associations, the news, whatever it may be. Every day there’s a news cycle of some sort. And these issues, these concerns go viral daily and it really is both to our advantage, but it’s also our extreme vulnerability if we don’t stay up and stay current with what people are learning on a regular basis. Starting, for example, with the opioid crisis. There’s nobody that can deny just the amount of press, the amount of awareness people have now for the worst drug epidemic in human history.

And it’s probably, although obviously the worst thing for our humanity and our culture, the greatest opportunity for what I think of as an organic health profession to rise up. And, as I’ve heard you say over and over again, for you to have the credit, no chiropractor has prescribed pill one, to affect any of this basically deadly devastation. What else are you seeing in that movement? I know things are happening in Georgia, California, other places. Again, with this common theme of getting engaged. You’ve put together a PowerPoint in fact, which we’ll be sharing as part of TCL to keep this conversation and idea going that, as I believe it was Dr. Sid who used to say, “If it is to be, it is up to we.” We’ve got to get together and get engaged and get involved. Your thoughts?

Clum:               Well, you’re absolutely right. You know, the whole opioid picture, it’s fascinating how it’s evolved and it’s unfolded. And, if you think about the Sackler family, who is the family behind Purdue Pharma, there are probably a dozen, if not more, medical schools across the country that have a Sackler building, or a Sackler Library or a Sackler this or that, and that family right now – if you followed the news – is split right down the middle on how to defend themselves in court, over the allegations that they knew what was going on, and that they were party to the devastation. Now, that’s inconceivable five years ago; it was impossible ten years ago. Now, if you followed the activities of the attorneys general across the country, particularly led by the fellow in Connecticut, the AG in Connecticut, they are on a tear.

And the most recent evolution of this last weekend, Sunday night on 60 minutes, …an entire 200-minute segment was about the largest, illegal cartel in the history of the world. And, it was the generic drug price fixing consideration that they were talking about. So, you know, what started out as “hillbilly heroin” in West Virginia and somebody dying associated with that, has now transitioned into some of the largest, most influential families in the history of medicine are being taken down. And, we’re seeing industries that this same process of inquiry, the same process of investigation, and the same process of accountability is being brought to bear on a daily basis. And, this is going to continue to move so fast and become so significant along these lines. You know, we have a tendency… We obviously look at the world through our glasses.

But if you look at last month’s Atlantic magazine, one of the key features in that was a discussion of dentistry, and the article basically was, dentistry isn’t a science, it’s an art form. And they were a little bit less polite than to call it art, and it ravaged dentistry, I mean, ravaged dentistry about their lack of evidence about their lack of attention to science, etc. On and on and on. They’re procedurists, you know, just like surgeons, and what do they do they do? More procedures. So, this inquiry has been part of the deal. The thing that I’m almost excited about is that that’s been a part of our entire life since the beginning. We’ve had that level of inquiry. We’ve had that level of scrutiny; we’ve had that level of oversight; we’ve had that level criticism that’s now being enjoyed by the rest of the world and it’s moving out into different directions. And I think if we’d asked some of our colleagues a month ago, “Are dentists in a pretty good spot relative to the public and the world and how things are relative to science and evidence, I would’ve said, “Absolutely; I think the dentists are golden.

The reality is, this process, the access to information, this speed of movement of information, is again, uh, moving into these other directions and creating opportunities that just weren’t there.

Deitch:             You’ve been saying, as I’ve been watching you for decades, when you share from stage this evolution of a distrust in authority, and we’re reaching higher and higher and higher levels, which in many cases is to our advantage, which you’re saying, is what have been these ivory towers, these established untouchable conversations like the Sackler family, like the pharmaceutical industry, of course they’re looking out for us even – especially – with generics because they’re supposedly were theoretically the ones that were actually supposed to save us money. There was all of these emotions that looked at these institutions basically, as the status quo and as the establishment, are all being questioned. That is, as you say, something to get excited about because if we’re able to speak up articulately, effectively, consistently, this is not a spectator sport any longer for anyone on both sides.

Clum:               Yep.

Deitch:             This is an exciting time and opportunity, as you say, to challenge yourself to learn more, study more, be more involved, be more articulate. There’s another gear beyond emotional reactions like, I dare say, my kids; that’s how they respond, emotionally. They’re not mature enough to know better. I’d like to think that maturity is the ability to have a filter, see other people’s points of view, but keep your eye on the ball of a goal, of an objective. And in this case, it really should be less about tearing others down. Our profession has a history of thinking that, if we make them wrong, that somehow makes us right, which is not the case. The media and the public is tearing those institutions down just fine on their own. But, what isn’t happening is, or I’ll say, isn’t happening enough, is our profession stepping into the spotlight of being able to offer a positive, logical, rational, substantiated solution that’s in many cases… Indefensible. And, I don’t mean to say it that way. I mean, it’s completely defensible. It’s undeniable, is what I mean to say. There’s nobody that can deny the body has an innate ability to heal itself. So, if we can get more involved, more engaged and more skilled at both what we’re saying, and where we’re saying it, and how we organize ourselves, as I’ve heard it said before, there’s never been a greater opportunity for us to step into being a solution that people are, and have been looking for decades, if not centuries.

Clum:               Yep. And, frankly, that the opioid discussion is probably the best single example of that discussion that I could even possibly imagine. Five years ago, seven years ago, ten years ago, these were “wonder drugs,” saving us from all this pain and so on. And now, today, it’s this scourge has been brought on humanity. This opportunity – and you made reference to the discussion – there was a lecture that I gave years and years ago talking about different stages in the culture where, when I was a kid, and I grew up in the 50s, my father was a World War II veteran – you didn’t question the military, you didn’t question the government relative to anything to do with the military.

As an American, it was un-American to do that. And then, by the time I was in college, there were riots in the streets about the people that were questioning whether or not it was their duty to go to Vietnam. And so, that we, in 20 years, we had this tremendous change. Well, that’s gone through a number of different levels. It started out say, in the military, and then it went into politics ,and then it went into religion, and then it went into health care, and now it’s moved into education. This current situation we’ve got…this admission scandal activity, well, let’s not be naive. That’s been going on among the well-heeled for a long time. So now, there’s evidence for it, there’s enough dots to be connected. Somebody’s probably going to go to jail over the deal, somebody’s going to pay out a lot of fines over the deal, that’s for sure. But it’s, again, a change at a level where…authority is being withdrawn from a central figure and it’s being replaced with accountability and that’s what’s going on across the board in these other environments. And we need to be part of the accountability response.

And, to the degree that we can articulate that and we can put the information forward, and thank God we’ve got the research and we’ve got the information, say, relative to opioids, that we can say, when you involve a chiropractor, you drop opioid prescription by 55%. Well, that’s not just you or I popping off. We’ve got published evidence to that effect now… Having that to work with should give all of our colleagues a great sense of comfort and pride and respect for what they do. Now. Was it every bit as effective without that publication? Yeah. Was it every bit as powerful to the patient who was in pain before that data was on the table? Absolutely. Last December, I was at a meeting of the National Academies of Medicine in Washington DC, and I heard a discussion about the role of chiropractic and the nonpharmacological management of pain that I never thought I would hear in my life.

And the discussion basically came down to the point of, there’s enough studies, we’ve looked at this long enough, the evidence is there, it’s time to implement, get on with it. And implementation was moving us into the central stream of that response to the public’s needs. So, this is a very, very unique window that we’re in. I’ve never seen anything like it, and I don’t know that I ever will again.

Deitch:             Help me, …help others connect some dots here. So, if we put ourselves in the position of the practicing chiropractor, [whose] focus and goal is to make sure they made a difference to that one, on the table each and every day, showing up on the front lines, responsible for a family, responsible for employees, keeping the lights on, making a difference in their community. What do you believe…is the takeaway? What’s the message of how should a practicing chiropractor today, especially those that have been around practicing in habits and procedures they’ve been doing in many cases for decades? How should practicing chiropractors be thinking differently and perhaps even behaving differently, because it seems like many of them are saying to themselves, “Well, what am I going to do with the WFC and Berlin,” or “What am I going to deal with the opioid crisis? And how do I play a role? I’m just in my office taking care of people, adjusting and there representing detection and correction of subluxation care in their communities.” What…are your thoughts about evolving…our collective consciousness, getting involved in some of the online communities and groups, and a positive constructive learning and conversation that helps us all grow and helps us all move the ball forward? What do you say to the practicing chiropractor who tends to not want to be more involved with social media? Tends to maybe be shy or not necessarily have a sense that they can make a difference?

Clum:               Well, I come back to the old saw that there’s only three things we’ve got to work with and that’s time, treasure and talent. And if you don’t have the time to invest in it, put your emphasis, your treasure into those people that are doing it and supporting it. If you’ve got the time to be involved as a spokesperson, if you’ve got the talent to be involved in research, if you’ve got the talent to sit down with a member of Congress and, and have an intelligent conversation about it, great. Do that. But you’ve got to invest yourself at one level or another. Not everybody is the person to write a check. Not everybody is the person to stand up in front of a microphone and articulate the position of the…profession. So, understand where your strengths are and step into that strength and make the most out of what you’ve got to work with.

Clum:               The other side of this is that the good news, the great news for the practitioner is you don’t have to walk around with a guidance and a Gray’s that avoids pathology, and a Robin’s pathology tucked under your arms, that you need a pickup truck just to move around. The reality is you now have distillers that are available to you, people that will for a – and I’m not recommending anybody when I say this – but people that could have services that will distill the literature, that will make it available to you. They will give you the snippets that you don’t have to wade through that two-and-a-half-hour cross referencing process to double check the citations in the article to make sure that the person was quoting it right. Somebody, people, will do that for you, put in the work for you. Learn how to use the resources that are out there to make your life easier and better. And clearly, the digital world is a front and center place for that, that’s for sure.

Deitch:             Yeah, no question about it. I’m a big believer of that and we try to get as many people to do exactly what you’re saying, which is to really look for, search for those types of resources so that you can see yourself as a local mentor and to position yourself more as a spokesperson, a leader and information disseminator and inspirer in your community as opposed to just a technician who’s just got a to market their way and deep discount your way to more people through the revolving door so that you can keep the lights on. It’s a mindset first and, I think, a behavior second. But great advice, great recommendations. Any other issues we want to cover in terms of any updates on WFC and what’s happening there that would be relevant and important for us to mention them?

Clum:               Just some late breaking developments that press releases came out today, as a matter of fact that Dr. Laurie Tassell, who is a chiropractor, a fine chiropractic from Perth, Australia, Western Australia, has been the president of the WFC. And, Laurie has apparently stepped down as president. I understand he’s still going to be on the council, but he’s no longer going to be serving as president. And, the WFC announced that they have appointed the Council’s vice president, Vivian Kil from the Netherlands, as the president, or actually, the interim president. So, what this means relative to fallout from Berlin and responses to the difficulties that occurred there in relationship to some of the speakers and the aggressive-to-hostile attitudes they took toward particularly subluxation oriented chiropractors.

I don’t know how that fits together. I have not talked to Dr. Tassell and I don’t know that, but I do know that I saw Laurie throughout the congress and we had a number of conversations and [him] resigning wasn’t one of them. So obviously, something has gone on since that time and I hope and pray it has nothing to do with his health. I obviously wish him well, regardless of anything to do with the WFC, thank him for his service in that environment. We do have a change in leadership at this point. What that’s going to mean? I don’t know. I think they have a problem to deal with relative to some directional issues that were put on the table in Berlin that, if they don’t deal with them, the profession will deal with them on their behalf, one way or the other.

So, I’m hoping that that gets sorted out for the World Federation. I know the World Federation has had its critics over the last 30 years. I’ve been in the thick of it myself for 28 of those years. I wish that it continues, and it grows, and it prospers, and it serves the needs of the entire chiropractic community, and hopefully that will be one of the outcomes that will come out of this; …then we’ll have a more considered view of different opinions across the spectrum of the profession as a result of this. So, time will tell. But, I do think that we can look forward to some relatively important news in the relatively near future, for sure, coming out of the WFC.

Deitch:             Exactly. In closing, let me just…wrap this all up. You, more than probably anyone I can think of, have been as you said, for the past 28 out of 30 years, let alone decades as a college president involved at the highest levels of our profession for as long as most of us can remember. You have had more experience than anyone I know as it relates to these kinds of conversations and controversies. You also have observed what Dr. Rob Scott, president of Life University has referred to as this culture of contempt…in the nation, if not the world, but certainly we are not immune to it in our microcosm of the macrocosm. What is your opinion on the most effective kind of mindset to hold with all the emotional rage, with all the fear and concern, and reaction to being attacked in many cases, [and] threatened in many cases.

You know, the lower end of the brainstem wants to react and retaliate and fight back. Hopefully, if we can get a little bit higher in the brain, we take a little bit more of a strategic approach. What’s your sense of diplomacy versus fighting versus being at the table and trying to change things from within organizations versus critics who go, “Yeah, that’ll never work; you can’t change things from within.” How do we…what’s the mindset? How do, from your experience, nobody knows it better than you in my opinion, how should we be thinking about it, so we don’t continue to burn bridges and stay in our micro tribes of righteousness and contempt, as opposed to in most cases, you know, the 90, 95, 97% of the things we agree on, that we could actually be moving forward with and respect our differences of 3 to 10%?

Clum:               Yeah. Well… You and I had the good fortune to be at the rugby championships a couple of weeks ago, where LIFE beat UC Berkeley – again [laughter]

Deitch:             Again [laughter]

Clum:               It wasn’t quite the weapon that it was the year before, but it was a victory.

Deitch:             A win’s a win.

Clum:               A win’s a win. And I don’t if, if you were aware of it, but Cathy and I were sitting in the front row of the bleachers and there were some students, they were a couple rows behind me. They were drunker than skunks. And for their 20 bucks, they got to use language, they got to scream at the referees…it was vile. And there were a couple of the girlfriends that were sober and I kept looking back over at them, and I don’t know whether it was they thought their dad or their grandfather or their great grandfather was looking at them, but every once in a while they’d get them to tone it down a bit. But, you know, it’s that kind of, what do you get for 20 bucks? You know, do you get the right to offend people like that? I don’t think you do. You’ve got the ability, and we have confused the ability with the right. We’ve got the ability to do lots of stupid things on social media and we’ve got the ability to scream and yell and be vile with one another, but we don’t have the right to, and because there’s nobody sitting there writing a ticket or suing us or taking us to court or whatever, we think we’ve got that “right,” quote unquote: “It’s, it’s my freedom of speech.” Well, it may be, but the reality is, in a civil society, I don’t know about you, but I don’t like being screamed at.

Deitch:             You know…[laughter]

Clum:               You and I have talked about [this], I’ll talk with just about anybody that wants to talk and I have no time for people that want to scream. And so, the most important thing I would say is, when I talk about engaging in the conversation, it’s engage the conversation. That means converse that means exchange. That means be civil. That means be respectful of people. The very first accreditation visit we ever had at Life West, the team chairman and I got sideways on an issue, and he looked at me; I was agitated as can be, and I wanted to get angry. And, I was very young, and I was full of piss and vinegar and I was ready to seethe at the thing, and he just leaned back and he said, “Honorable people can have honorable disagreements.”

Clum:               And if there’s anything I’d ask is that, if we could come back to that perspective, I’m not a fundamentally evil guy because I disagree with you on abortion, and I’m not the same because I disagree with you on terminology and chiropractic, nor are you the same because we have the ability, we think we’ve got the right and we’ve escalated this dialogue up to proportions that are just so, so unproductive. So, the two things I would ask is turn it down a notch, number one; and number two, converse. Converse, two people in dialogue, 20 people in dialogue, a thousand, but converse and engage people in a fashion the way you’d want to be engaged, that your mom taught you when you were five.

Deitch:             I like it. I would maybe just add to that if I might, be curious. We spend a lot of time talking at people as opposed to inquiring in a reasonably polite way. It’s common that our emotions go, “How could you possibly think that way?” But. Maybe the appropriate way is to say, “Could you please explain to me on what basis you’ve come to that conclusion. Being curious allows people to feel heard, as well as, maybe teach us something every once in a while, that we might not have already known and been aware of. And in many cases opens the door for the reciprocal, which is the opportunity to then, earn the right to share your perspective and point of view because you’ve given somebody that respect and opportunity to share theirs. It doesn’t mean that you have to agree with them every single time. But as you’ve said, there’s a civil discourse that hopefully allows for progress, in a culture of contempt that…you know, it’s easy to just keep being tribal and root for your team because it’s your team and who doesn’t want to win? But, as you’ve said, there are consequences to those actions in spite of the immediate emotional satisfaction in the moment. So, right on. I’ll leave you with closing comments, Gerry.

Clum:               Well, my friend, I’ve enjoyed the conversation, enjoyed the discussion. I would ask folks just engage the deal. Engage the deal and have fun with it. It’s an exciting time. It’s an exciting time. So look forward to more chats, look forward to learning more from you, and we’ll see you next time. Okay?

Deitch:             That sounds great. Hey everybody, before you go, thank you for watching. If you’ve got comments, you’ve got thoughts, if there’s something you want to share, if you’d like other people to watch this as well, please do what you gotta do. That’s what engaging on social media is all about. Our goal, our mission, our objective of Today’s Chiropractic Leadership is to bring these conversations from today’s chiropractic leaders to the profession so we can work together, come together, see closer and more eye to eye on the things that we are close on and see eye to eye…and hopefully create a pathway for progress for our entire profession. Our profession deserves that. Your community needs it and we hope that you’ll continue to watch 33 Minutes on Today’s Chiropractic Leadership. On behalf of Dr. Gerry Clum, I’m Dr. Jason Deitch. Thanks for watching.

 

 

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