Some months ago, I attended a continuing education seminar for
journalists. As journalism is not my area of formal training, the day
was most informative for me. It left me, however, with a conundrum that
I think is central for anyone whose livelihood depends on conveying
concepts, especially to the general public.
Some months ago, I attended a continuing education seminar for journalists. As journalism is not my area of formal training, the day was most informative for me. It left me, however, with a conundrum that I think is central for anyone whose livelihood depends on conveying concepts, especially to the general public.
You see, on one hand, the speakers described techniques, and uses of technology, to promulgate information in ways readers – both existing and potential – will favour: a “just-give-them-what-they-want-to-keep-them-coming-back” outlook. In the competitive world of information dissemination – in all media – this is crucial for survival.
However, the sub-theme, for this popular annual journalism seminar, had been billed as “The power to influence.” Well, I had to wonder, which is it?
The benefits of chiropractic must become common knowledge. The big question for the profession, of course, is how best to make this happen. In this, our “Techniques and Technology” issue, we look at various ways in which individual DCs, as well as chiropractic groups and provincial associations, are harnessing technology to reach out with information about chiropractic. Our cover story, by Dr. Brent Thompson, discusses the use of photography and design to explain chiropractic to patients and the community one concept at a time. This issue also features public education projects involving television, the Internet, wellness publications and, even, popular music. We are also pleased to include an article by Dr. Stacey Rosenberg, who has published a book on chiropractic during pregnancy. And, keeping in mind the importance of interdisciplinary networks, in growing chiropractic awareness, we welcome the words of Robert Banner, MD, who calls upon DCs to play a role in regenerative injection therapy pain management by providing the manual therapy needed for the success of this modality.
But the goal of any public education messaging – regardless of the tactic, venue or media employed – must be to offer valid content, aimed at helping people form a truly educated decision with respect to chiropractic. While, of course, staying within the necessary limits of ethical, accurate, substantiated information reflecting reasonable goals for both the patient and the practitioner, and remaining respectful of other disciplines, what can, or should, chiropractors be telling people? What is “not enough” and what is “going too far?” Furthermore, for anyone who wishes to convey a message at large, the “give-them-what-they-want” method needs to be carefully approached, rather than adopted wholesale as a working philosophy. There are ways of challenging folks in a palatable manner, but the key lies in doing so without deceiving them, or “selling out” who you are and what you offer.
I believe that people are capable of stepping outside of known paradigms and will do so for important issues. In these times, the failure of our health-care system to deal with current challenges might just be enough to incite people to broaden their outlook. Therefore, as educated and effective practitioners, you must offer more than canned messaging where MD has been scratched out, and DC tenuously scribbled in. You do have the power to influence people to think about overall health and wellness, new approaches to pain and choices they really do have.
Bien à vous
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