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Chiropractic at the crossroads or are we just going around in circles?

DOI: 10.1186/2045-709x-19-11

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The 1970's and 1980's saw a dramatic change within the chiropractic profession in Australia. With the advent of government regulation, came government funded teaching institutions, quality research and increased public acceptance and utilisation of chiropractic services. However, since that time the profession appears to have taken a backward step, which in the author's opinion, is directly linked to a shift by sections of the profession to the fundamentalist approach to chiropractic and the vertebral subluxation complex. The abandonment, by some groups, of a scientific and evidenced based approach to practice for one founded on ideological dogma is beginning to take its toll.The future of chiropractic in Australia is at a crossroads. For the profession to move forward it must base its future on science and not ideological dogma. The push by some for it to become a unique and all encompassing alternative system of healthcare is both misguided and irrational.This article is based on the inaugural FG Roberts Memorial Lecture, delivered by the author at the Annual Conference of the Chiropractic & Osteopathic College of Australasia, Melbourne, Australia 2010.Frederick George Roberts was a natural health practitioner embracing chiropractic, osteopathy and naturopathy, who operated many clinics throughout Australia during the 1950's and 1960's. He visited all these clinics regularly and gave public lectures on natural healing. From 1959, his interest turned more to chiropractic and osteopathy and he founded the Chiropractic and Osteopathic College of Australasia in 1959.This paper is the author's perception of the many changes which have impacted, both positively and negatively, on chiropractic and the chiropractic profession over the past 30 years. Some of those changes have advanced the professional status of chiropractic, improved undergraduate training and paved the way for a research culture. Unfortunately, other changes, or lack of changes, have adversely affected t

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