Obligation builds community,” postulates Marc Rosenstein in his Galilee
Diary. “The challenge,” he continues, “is how to generate and preserve a
sense of obligation.”
Obligation builds community,” postulates Marc Rosenstein in his Galilee Diary. “The challenge,” he continues, “is how to generate and preserve a sense of obligation.”
At times, the concept of obligation carries a negative connotation. But, in fact, having a sense of obligation toward certain actions or goals can be very positive and constructive. However, building a community where members are aware of commitment and support centred around shared service or lifestyle goals requires commonalities in “sense of obligation.”
For instance, what, as a doctor of chiropractic, do you feel obligated to? Your patients, I’m sure, are first and foremost. This obligation is the pillar of your profession – and no one considers this in a negative light. Another might be the quest for practice success – let’s be fair, DCs need to eat, put children through university, pay wages and meet bills. DCs have a common sense of obligation with respect to excellence in clinical practice and business success, but as a community may still, in many ways, be quite loose. This may impact the profession’s ability to stand out as a strong and distinctive entity within health care.
Does the profession need to explore a deeper sense of obligation to other elements, then, to bind it more tightly as a community? In this issue of Canadian Chiropractor, we explore two elements that may be worth building a sense of obligation toward, as they have the potential to strengthen the profession, and each individual practitioner within it. They are research and continuing education.
Although being actively involved in research in the course of one’s career is not for everyone, supporting the potential for the expansion of knowledge and understanding of concepts in one’s field, while cultivating one’s own research literacy, can be a win-win for DCs and their patients. The “sense of obligation” here is to foster better outcomes in clinical practice and enhance credibility of, and thus access to, chiropractic. Our September issue presents different approaches to chiropractic research not to initiate a dialogue of comparison, but to provide a sampling of the many perspectives from which the profession is involved in research.
The call to lifelong learning in one’s field is another element that has the potential to bind chiropractors more tightly into a community. Continuing education may appear a burden at first blush – and can be almost cost prohibitive, in some cases – but when the benefits of remaining current and building on core concepts are realized, the initial ominous perspective may well be converted into a sense of constructive obligation. Lifelong learning becomes an investment in yourself and your practice, rather than an arduous undertaking required to retain licensure.
Marc Rosenstein may have a point – obligation may, in fact, build community. Research and continuing education are not, by any means, the only two areas where chiropractors may cultivate a common sense of obligation. However, by developing an active commitment toward emerging knowledge (in all areas of chiropractic), as well as toward lifelong learning, DCs may find themselves bound more closely together as a community. As a result, they may be much stronger in the face of public perception, and more effective caregivers to their patients. Suddenly, the dialogue around a common sense of obligation is no longer a restrictive tractate but, in fact. . . common sense.
Bien à vous,
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