Chiropractic Scholarship 2018

2018 Writing Topic

Truspine will award the scholarship based upon the quality of the short essay you submit, following these criteria:

  • Topic: “What is the Potential for Chiropractors in 2018?”
  • Discuss both the benefits and disadvantages of our current health model in relation to chiropractic
  • Length: 500 – 1,000 words.

Check out our 2019 Writing Topic!

#1 Winner – Robert John Butler

The potential for chiropractors in 2018 will be harder to quantify than ever before. This is most definitely a good problem to have and a direct result of the expansion of chiropractic care into the healthcare field. Some of the main revolutions in Chiropractic have been in sports, research, and politics. Some of these I have seen first hand. Politically, I attended the CalChiro Lobby Day event meeting with state senators pushing chiropractic as a solution for the Opioid Crisis. Efforts from those like me have seen progress such as in West Virginia where a law now requires patients to seek alternative treatment prior to being able to be prescribed opioids. Other efforts politically have been the Travel to Treat bill, this is something Dr. Ted Forcum along with ACA Sports Council has been pushing for which is looking to pass a Senate Vote to become law allowing Chiropractors and other medical professionals to treat athletes across state lines. In sports, Chiropractic is being pushed forward with Organizations like FICS, which is preparing for the World Games that are going to be held in Alabama, a tremendous opportunity for chiropractic care in sports performance to be highlighted. In research, Dr. Meeker has recently come back from a summit and informed students of RAND studies, a highly prestigious research organization, finishing a major project with the Department of Defense showing how Chiropractic and Exercise benefits Active Duty soldiers more so than just exercise alone. These advances along with many others are what is contributing to this potential.

The current healthcare model is not conducive to the needs of the population, low back pain is one of the most expensive costs that affect major companies and the cost of medical doctors continues to rise. These trends have been noticed and companies are starting to employ team chiropractors to treat workers and assess office setups in regards to today’s current ergonomic practices. Insurance companies are starting to pay out more to Chiropractors as those For-Profit companies are realizing the cost-effectiveness of the care that we as Doctors can provide. 2018 is going to be a year of trends continuing and the scope of the vision of what people perceive Chiropractic to be will continue to increase.

My chiropractic philosophy is to spread the profession of chiropractic through the art and organization of sport. I have learned from well-known Doctors such as Scott Calzaretta, Taylor Rabbetz, Ted Forcum, Supreet Shah, Hal Rosenberg, David Hicks, and Brian Nook. I plan on working with the FICS to propel Chiropractic as a staple in areas of sports performance such as World Championships, the World Games, and the Olympics. My dream is to attend the Olympics as a Doctor of Chiropractic. My areas of interest in practice are Oregon, California, Colorado, and Massachusetts. I have moved throughout my life and spent time living in each area, however, I plan on being a dynamic Doctor. I believe I will go to where I am needed most whether it be on a mission trip or internationally spreading the profession as best I can.

#2 – Korissa Ramage

The current health model in relation to chiropractic is a work in progress, to say the least. Chiropractic is a profession that has been planted in the soil but is still growing and establishing its roots. In the state of California, the problem goes back to how the profession was written into the healthcare world, as a vote of the people. This makes change very difficult, but not impossible. But, our profession is still gaining traction and awareness.

The Travel to Treat bill is a great example of how the doctors of our profession stood up for what should be right and made it happen through Congress. Our strides with the Veteran Affairs is another great example of how we are growing, but still, need help to perfect our stride. We have welcomed health care providers in the Veteran Affairs, now we just need to keep the momentum up and get more doctors into more locations nation-wide. Hopefully, these bills will be the first of many to set the profession in a forward motion.

As a student, I hope the potential for chiropractors includes being incorporated in the loan forgiveness pool to assist those in less wealthy areas of the country. It is very difficult as a student with so much debt to peruse a career in these areas of the country but unfortunately, these are the people who need us the most. It would be not only beneficial for the graduates and members of those communities, but also the health care system as a whole. If we could be added to the loan forgiveness pool alongside medical doctors, nurses, physical therapists, and dentists to name a few, we could help reduce the cost of health care spending and help the everyday worker with their low back pain and other related ailments.

In the end, it is ultimately it is up to us to hold the standards of our profession high. This means keeping the patient in the center of our focus and to continue researching to establish our place in the healthcare profession. We need to continue to produce strong, solid evidence in our practices that will allow other health care professionals to see the value in our techniques, and we need to band together as a profession if we want to establish ourselves in organizations like the Olympics. That means we need membership in organizations like the ACA and Cal Chiro to maintain accountability of the individual doctor. In Canada, the practicing doctor pays a mandatory fee to keep their license in their province. This may be a way to keep those doctors accountable to their license and their practice and could potentially be a way to keep doctors tied closer to their governing associations. What most of us don’t understand is that these organizations need funding and manpower to make change happen for us all. What is the potential of the chiropractor in 2018? The road is laid out in front of us all, and the potential is in the hands of those who want to push for a better future of our profession.’

#3 – Cheyenne McCarthy

Chiropractic is an amalgam of philosophy, science, and art. The discipline relies on a conviction in chiropractic’s therapeutic abilities, the implicit trust that the patient places in the doctor, and faith in the patient to participate in his or her own health. It encompasses confidence, kindness, perseverance, and optimism. I resonate with each of these values and am committed to embodying them in my personal and professional life. Even better, patients appreciate their doctor expressing genuine care for their welfare. A significant challenge to chiropractic in our current medically based health model is effectively communicating those benefits to a wider audience. In short, chiropractic needs successful advertising that appeals to potential patients as a drug-free method to combat—and prevent—many afflictions. Unfortunately, we live amidst the era of popular prescription drugs and other toxins. The abounding rate of obesity, heart disease, and cancer in America is simply alarming! Thankfully, the opioid crisis has been federally recognized as a national health concern, but we still have a long journey ahead of us. A large section of the population prefers to “pop a pill” or treat symptoms, rather than address and prevent the root cause of pain, disease, or discomfort through mindful holistic lifestyle patterns. Furthermore, the preponderance of advertising for—and availability of—sugar, tobacco, alcohol, junk food, and prescription medications remains louder, with greater reach and deeper pockets than the average chiropractor. However, the fabric of healthcare is shifting, and I find that more people are receptive to complementary and alternative medicine. In the Bay Area alone, more corporate and technology behemoths are assimilating chiropractors into their campus provider network, and more civilian hospitals are entertaining the prospect of chiropractic. This is an excellent opportunity, a foot in the door for chiropractors! I am elated to champion chiropractic as a foundational, conservative healthcare option, to shift the paradigm from “alternative” to primary.

Additionally, the upsurge of cash practices is encouraging! Current medical insurance reimburses chiropractors little (if at all), and costs are occasionally ambiguous. Insurance companies are clearly at the advantage, at the expense of patient and practitioner alike. Fortunately, many chiropractic offices like TruSpine have offered clear, concise cash-based payment options—hassle free and honest. However, chiropractors must remain avant-garde to be worth the fees they charge. Therein lies a challenge to be competitively educated and well informed of new evidence in the discipline. Furthermore, as health care and health insurance continue to morph, chiropractors must adapt accordingly. Accessibility and efficiency are vital components to ensuring chiropractic continues to be affordable and accessible. Financial flexibility not only accommodates diverse backgrounds and promotes patient retention, but also enhances chiropractic care in general, by making it available to everyone.

Chiropractic combines my research strengths, multidisciplinary talents, and philanthropic passions. However, the pivotal impetus for my career shift has been my experiences volunteering at Veterans of Foreign Wars. For the past decade, I have served meals, chaired fundraisers, and forged strong friendships with military veterans young and old. I learned much about their healthcare struggle, their fight for proper treatment, and am eager to shift the status quo. One of my closest veteran friends takes eight daily medications (including opioids) just to function; some are for his PTSD, some for pain, and some simply to counteract the effects of the others. His struggle to get through the day, and the strain these drugs have on his body, is disconcerting but fortifies my commitment to pursuing a career that will ultimately assist him and others to lead a healthier life. My primary driving force is to help patients like my friend: affected mentally and physically by their military service. This demographic is an ever-growing keystone to the American populace, and one in much need of ministration. Thankfully, we are witnessing a budding healthcare revolution thanks to the multitude of military veterans affirming the effectiveness of chiropractic, and the Veterans Administration has blossomed into a chiropractor friendly institution. Through veteran care and education of the general public, we can transform chiropractic into first choice health care. Throughout my degree program and the rest of my life, I will lead, serve, and positively influence others through holistic treatment and education. I am motivated to be at the forefront of enhancing true patient wellness through wholesome, interdisciplinary care.