Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the West Hartford Group?
The WHG is a think-tank
comprised of chiropractic professionals who have dedicated
themselves to the important task of attaining social, cultural and professional
authority for the chiropractic profession as society’s
pre-eminent primary spine care physician*.
2. Why was the West Hartford Group conceived?
It was realized that the chiropractic profession is
at a critical point in its history, and the time for immediate action
is at hand. In order for the chiropractic profession
to remain viable in the healthcare delivery system we must establish
the role of the profession as primary spine care physicians*
utilizing an evidence-influenced, patient-centered and outcomes oriented
practice model. We recognize that the most important and powerful forces
that threaten the future of the profession are within the profession
itself and part of what is required for chiropractic medicine to thrive
is reform of the profession. We feel that the best way to bring about
reform is to put our clinical foot forward and emphasize the clinical,
evidence-based value chiropractic physicians can provide
3. How does the West Hartford Group plan
to accomplish its goals?
The WHG plans to accomplish
its goals by supporting the models set forth by the World
Federation of Chiropractic and the Chiropractic
Strategic Planning Conference and helping to facilitate,
catalyze and advise on efforts to bring about reform of the profession
in a variety of areas, including education, regulatory processes, business
practices, public image and professional identity. This will be done
in a positive, pro-active manner by interacting with others within and
outside the profession who are also interested in helping chiropractic
medicine realize its potential with regard to respect, utilization and
cultural authority. Part of this will also involve providing input to
society regarding high quality chiropractic care for
non-surgical spine conditions. Furthermore, the WHG
will be actively involved in advocacy efforts to promote the chiropractic
physician* as THE provider of choice for these conditions.
4. There have been other groups that have been formed in the past
that seem to have been more destructive than constructive. Is the West
Hartford Group another of these organizations?
We aim to be a pro-active and positive force in chiropractic
to bring it up to speed within the health care system at large, and
not to be a destructive force to tear chiropractic
down. At the same time, we will not hesitate to speak out about those
people and institutions who are engaged in activities that erode the
cultural authority of the profession. We feel that that many of the
finest members of the profession have been silent too long and reform
requires positive action combined with the exposure of problems within
the profession, so these problems can be corrected. However, our primary
emphasis will be on promoting the positive benefits that chiropractic
physicians can bring to society in order to improve and enhance our
professional standing in the eyes of the public, other professionals
and decision makers.
5. Is the West Hartford Group a professional
The WHG is NOT a professional
trade association. We recognize that the national professional trade
associations in North America are the American Chiropractic
Association and the Canadian Chiropractic Association
supported by the World Federation of Chiropractic.
Part of our mission is to support and assist these organizations in
performing their functions to the best of their ability. Among our efforts
in this regard will be to help mobilize other DCs to be active members
of these organizations.
6. How does the West Hartford Group see
the chiropractic profession fitting into mainstream health care?
The WHG sees the chiropractor
as the dentist or
podiatrist of the spine. That is, the model of chiropractic
practice by which chiropractic medicine has
the best opportunity to make a valuable contribution to society, and
thus to thrive as a profession, is that of primary
spine care physician*. We feel that society is in great
need of a physician-level specialist in the diagnosis and management
of patients with non-surgical spine-related disorders. This is the best
niche for the chiropractic profession.
7. In promoting the non-surgical spine care physician* model for the
chiropractic profession, does the West Hartford
Group feel that chiropractic physicians should not treat extremity
The WHG fully recognizes
and supports the fact that many chiropractors regularly
manage patients with conditions that are non-spinal – and do so
with great expertise and skill. The model that we are promoting is not
a spine-only model, i.e., one in which chiropractors only treat spinal
disorders to the exclusion of all others. The model we are promoting
is that of presenting the chiropractic physician as THE spine expert
– the first choice for patients with non-surgical spine problems.
We feel that the increased respect and cultural authority that comes
with this will enable those chiropractors who are interested in extremity
problems to see more of these patients, not fewer, because of the credibility
the profession will gain in general.
8. How can I join the West Hartford Group?
Membership in the WHG
is by invitation only. If you know a WHG
member, please discuss your interest in joining with that doctor.