Primary care Chiropractic
I think a combination of Chiropractor and Massage Therapist can be a powerful primary care option. Any thoughts on this trend?
From John Weeks at TheIntegratorBlog.com:
Other Voices: NUHS President James Winterstein, DC, on the Role of the Primary Care Chiropractor
Other Voices: National University of Health Sciences President James Winterstein, DC, on the Role of the Primary Care Chiropractor
Summary: The Integrator story on the primary care chiropractor underscored the irony in chiropractic about kind of integrative, whole person, natural health practice. Such practices appear to be gaining favor with the public. Witness the grown of integrative medical doctor and naturopathic practices.Yet the chiropractic whole-practice specialty societies atrophy. The irony is stronger given recent publication of data on savings from the chiropractor primary care provider HMO model developed by Alternative Medicine Integration Group. James Winterstein, DC, one of his profession's most outspoken advocates for "what used to be referred to as general chiropractic practice" offers his perspectives on this change. Despite trends, this president of the multi-disciplinary National University of Health Sciences (DC, LAc, ND, massage therapy) announces that he's "not giving up."
James Winterstein, DC, has one of the more intriguing resumes in chiropractic, or chiropractic medicine as me would put it. He has taken one of the field's oldest schools and transformed it into a multi-disciplinary institution of natural health sciences. In 2001, the now 101 year old National College of Chiropractic (NCC) became National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) and features degree programs in chiropractic, acupuncture, Oriental medicine, massage therapy and naturopathic medicine. (See relevant Integrator story.)
Winterstein is one of the chiropractors the "straights" in chiropractic most love to hate. He advocates a broad scope practice which can be similar, although without the drug rights, as that of licensed naturopathic physicians. NUHS's curriculum includes therapeutic nutrition, and some mind-body. Winterstein was trained in acupuncture when NCC was the first educational institution in the US to offer acupuncture training. (NUHS still has a continuing education program in acupuncture for chiropractors who wish to include it in their broad-scope of practice.)
National University of Health Sciences
Winterstein has also been the lead chiropractor and member of the board of Alternative Medicine Integration Group (AMI) which developed a managed care plan for HMO Illinois with chiropractors as primary care providers. (See related Integrator article here.) The plan developed by AMI, an Integrator sponsor, has led to outcomes over seven years, twice published in peer review journals, suggesting savings of 50 to 85% over utilization in among members of conventionally-managed plans. It's been hard for the straights to not claim the outcomes as part of their fold. Winterstein responds here to an Integrator article which looked closely at the small subset of chiropractors who are working to re-elevate the broad-scope practice in the profession which increasingly is only concerned with the spine.
"In response to your segment on the chiropractic physician as a primary care provider, I wish to provide some commentary from one who was engaged in what used to be referred to as a 'general chiropractic practice.' I took all patients and decided what was wrong following a proper history, examination and relevant laboratory procedures, determined whether I thought the patient would benefit from my care, would need to be co-managed, or referred and then developed the appropriate plan.
"I managed patients with simple fractures, acute and chronic musculoskeletal disorders of various kinds, the common cold and flu complaints, pharyngitis, hiccough, middle ear infections, skin conditions, peptic ulcers, pulmonary disorders, acute pneumonias and yes malignancies, as well as a host of others. In some, such as those with malignancies referral was the proper management and even then, some, while under the care of an oncologist, benefited from what I had to offer.