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Hold on! Who is a Quack?

Back in the 1960’s, it was part organised medicine’s disinformation program to brand chiropractors as quacks In an ironic twist, when referring to visiting a G.P some Aussies now use the term: "I saw the quack". 

During the US Wilk vs. AMA trial attorney McAndrews outlined what typifies a quack:

They use the definition of quackery: Someone who pretends to qualifications or knowledge that she/he does not have. Chiropractors that pretend to medical knowledge are quacks. And medical doctors who pretend to a universal knowledge of human anatomy and biomechanics on this record should be called quacks if the definition is someone who pretends to qualifications or knowledge that she/he does not have. That is quackery. We all agree on that. i 

My point is that medical experts in their own field and who have no chiropractic qualifications yet pretend to know more about chiropractic than chiropractors, in my mind fit that definition to a tee.

Patients who have subluxation related disorders have distinct and separate options for their management:

  • 1) Recognise the structural/mechanical aspect of these disorders, locate and adjust the subluxation to correct the cause of the symptom/s.


  • 2) Ignore and so never correct the structural/mechanical malfunction causing the symptoms. Use a chemical solution to a biomechanical problem; use drugs to treat the subluxation related symptom/s. 


  • 3) Ignore the presence of the subluxation and surgically remove or modify parts of the spine that are thought to be causing the symptom.  

Many/most chiropractic patients have experienced failed medical treatment and subsequent successful chiropractic care for the same disorder. These patients can define which management was in their instance the best for resolving their subluxations. It is not unusual for successful chiropractic patients to express disappointment that their GP acted as if she/he knew what was wrong, when the unsatisfactory outcome proved that was not so. 

An explanation may lie in some quotes from the book The Medical War Against chiropractors. ii Please note these quotes represent the views of a US chiropractor. Insane as it seems to be to me, it may be illegal for an Australian chiropractor to refer to chiropractic as being ‘the best management’ for subluxation related disorders.

"Musculoskeletal pain…happens to be the single largest cause of disability today."

iii "Eight out of ten patients that come out of any doctor’s office complain of a musculoskeletal system problem."iv

According to an article in the prestigious Journal of Bone and Joint Surgery, referring to exam results of recently graduated (US) medical residents. "82% of these medical doctors failed to demonstrate basic competency on the examination, leading the authors to conclude, "We therefore believe that medical school preparation in musculoskeletal medicine in inadequate". v

"Despite this lack of education, the average MD still poses as an expert to patients."

vi "Typically, the usual MD-patient encounter is one of a misdiagnosis, mistreatment, and misinformation about options to the best care available- specifically chiropractic care."vii

In referring to Chiropractic outcomes the author wrote:

Millions of patients are mistaken when they are led to believe their primary care physician actually knows something about the best management of back disorders.viii

My comment: I do not know how medical education in Australia compares to that in the USA. GPs are qualified to assist to alleviate your subluxation related symptoms, but not to identify and correct your vertebral subluxations that are causing those symptoms. Locating and adjusting subluxations is the signature role of a chiropractor. 

Both professions have their own separate and distinct roles and fields of expertise.

I ask our patients to let me know of any errors in the foregoing.   The “Hold On” series of articles debunk some red herrings. Please read and network them.

Michael McKibbin DC


i United States District Court, Chicago, Illinois, Wilk et al. v AMA et al., p3051-52 

ii JC Smith , The Medical War Against Chiropractors: The Untold Story from Persecution to Vindication. 2001 

iii AD Woolf, B Pilger, Burden of musculoskeletal Conditions," Bull World Health Organ 81/09 (2003):646-65.

iv Transcript of testimony of John McMillan Mennell, M.D., Wilk v AMA Transcript pp. 2090-2093. 

v KB Freedman, J Bernstein, The Adequacy Of Medical School Education in Musculoskeletal Medicine." J Bone and Joint Surgery AM 80/10 (1998): 1421-7 

vi JC Smith , The Medical War Against Chiropractors: The Untold Story from Persecution to Vindication. 2001 pp 203 vii Ibid pp 203


viii United States District Court, Chicago, Illinois, Wilk et al. v AMA et al., pp 203


Your Chiropractor

Michael McKibbin passed his Iowa Basic Science and graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport Iowa.

Since then both wonderful staff and patients have contributed toward decades of valued experience in his family practice.


October 2010
This is the October 2010 newsletter.

JC Smith Response Australia Letter