The Winds of Change
Advocating nationally for the profession: An interview with CCA President Dr. Stan Gorchynski.
Dr. Stan Gorchynski is the current president of the Canadian Chiropractic Association (CCA). After graduating from the University of Manitoba, he began his career with the government of Manitoba, holding positions with the Ministry of Health, Treasury Board, and Ministry of Tourism, Industry and Cultural Affairs, prior to entering the chiropractic profession in 1980. He is a past-president of the Ontario Chiropractic Association, and he has served the chiropractic profession at the national and provincial levels for over a decade. A graduate of the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, Dr. Gorchynski practises in Toronto, Ontario.
As president, how do you see the CCA evolving to meet the needs of its members in response to the changing health-care landscape in Canada?
We are seeing private health care grow in various ways such as through the delisting of services previously covered by provincial health plans, through rulings such as the one in Quebec, and through policy shifts such as is happening in Alberta. We are also seeing a trend toward encouraging health-care providers to work in multidisciplinary settings. And, of course, there is the constant pressure to cut health-care costs while improving patient outcomes. The chiropractic profession is in a good position to take advantage of all of these trends. At the CCA, we are building a presence in Ottawa, and we have a seat at a number of important public policy tables. We are strongly supporting interprofessional collaboration, and we are providing members with practical tools to build DC-MD relationships at the grassroots level. And we are delivering the message wide and far that chiropractic care can significantly decrease the costs of treating neuromusculoskeletal disorders.
How can ordinary doctors of chiropractic attract patients and build viable practices in ways that protect and strengthen the profession’s public image?
Practice-building is increasingly challenging as almost 40 per cent of the profession in Canada has been in practice five years or less. The CCA understands the pressures of starting out in practice and the need to get patients in the door. Some marketing practices that may yield short-term gains for a member may also have a long-term negative impact on the public’s overall impression of the profession as whole – as recent research conducted by Evironics showed. The CCA is developing a practice-building toolkit for members that will provide very practical advice for effective and professional ways of getting started and sustaining a practice. The single most important thing is to get out into your community and become involved. And to realize that building a practice simply takes time. Personal relationships with patients and other health-care professionals have always been and always will be the basis of a sound referral practice.
The CCA has initiated a cross-country dialogue on the profession’s future. What motivated this and how is it going?
Winds of change are blowing through the health-care system and we need to change with them. As the national advocate for the profession, an important role of the CCA is to constantly assess the big picture and look to the future of the profession. We are meeting with the leaders of all of the profession’s organizations to talk about how we can best work together to be efficient and effective. And to talk about the things we need to do to further strengthen the position and credibility of the profession within the health-care system. I am confident that, through our collective expertise, we are going to identify some exciting new collaborative directions.•