The Royal Australian College of General Practitioners (RACGP) is encouraging its dutiful members (free thinking GPs) not to refer to chiropractors. I assume this advisory is motivated by conspicuous quackery, choreographed financial exploitation, miraculous claims and advertised testimonial of a number of chiropractors. I am sympathetic to these criticisms as they pertain to the ‘guilty’ individuals, but not to a blanket ban of referrals – particularly established and trusted referrals that are based on consistent patient outcomes.
The RACGP advice to not refer to chiropractors has no doubt also been catalysed by the professions association with a critical attitude towards, and in some instances outright rejection of, immunisation. Aside from modern post-industrial sanitation, immunisation is regarded as the most significant public health intervention in modern times – the most sacred of cows.
Osteopaths are also feeling the heat. The Goon-Squad (aka Friends of Science in Medicine – who imagine that all complementary practitioners are flat-earthers) are reportedly combing practice websites and social media for transgression and un-evidenced claims. Osteopathy Australia has been encouraging members to set-aside vestigial and ‘un-evidenced’ claims about our scope and efficacy of practice. This in my opinion is a positive outcome but it unfortunately stifles physiologically informed speculation and research into the mechanisms underlying the efficacy of manual medicine. Unfortunately science is not the same as clinical evidence. Proof of mechanism, or the translation of science into a physiologically-based therapeutic approach is not the same as a contrived clinical trial on an isolated manipulative technique. Eclectic osteopathic treatment will always struggle to be tamed and validated by the methodological limitations of a biomedical paradigm bent on constraining independent variables – in spite of them being quite patently interdependent.
I sense that this advice to GPs is the thin end of the wedge.
This wedge is intended to fragment and scuttle complementary practitioners (all registered and recognised by a common regulator — AHPRA) and assert a particular bandwidth of biomedical hegemony. With homeopaths and chiropractors dispatched, osteopaths and other quacks are next in line.
Good thing I never relied on GPs to fill my books.
My books are comfortably full with patients recommended by other patients. These recommendations are based on treatment outcomes. Sadly a patient’s subjective response (and underlying objective outcomes) to osteopathic treatment are typically reduced to a trifling and unsubstantiated anecdote (placebo) by most GPs and their professional body.
Ultimately health consumers decide, but high profile and noisy professional bodies do distort opinions and confirm entrenched biases.