ICA President Speaks to Life University Students

Eric Zielinski, BA
ICA President Speaks to Life University Students

Says ICA Will Continue to Support the CCE & Not a New Agency

In a student-driven attempt to generate political awareness on campus, Life University’s Student International Chiropractic Association (SICA) and Upper Cervical (UC) Clubs hosted an event with ICA President Gary Walsemann as their guest speaker. Walsemann addressed a packed room of students and a few faculty members a week after Life University invited American Chiropractic Association (ACA) President Keith Overland to speak at assembly. According to the club leaders this event was planned weeks in advance and was not a response to Overland speaking to the entire student body. Being the day before Thanksgiving, the SICA & UC clubs reported that they were encouraged by the turnout considering many students were out of town for the Holiday.

Walsemann began his talk by introducing himself as a “ChiropracTOR who practices ChiropracTIC,” emphasizing his experience as a “straight” Grostic upper cervical practitioner in New Hampshire for over 30 years. He shared fond memories of Sid Williams, Dynamic Essentials, and his long road to his two year commitment of being ICA President which is slated to end this coming April. He proudly proclaimed that the ICA is a very strong and large organization representing every state and providence in the U.S. and Canada and over 50 nations worldwide, yet did not provide a number of actual members.

He also told the group that the ICA is the oldest international organization in the world, was started by B.J. Palmer himself, and is determined to work tirelessly with state and federal policy makers to ensure that chiropractic remains drugless. According to Walsemann, one of the main roles of the ICA is to keep the scope of chiropractic limited so as not to include injectables, surgery, and other aspects of primary care physician status that would harbor upon the nature of true chiropractic philosophy, science, and art. Later on in his talk, Walsemann was sure to acknowledge the ICA’s stance on the increasing gray area demarcating the line between DC’s and MD’s by stating, “If you want to be a medical doctor, be a medical doctor. But go to school for it, get the proper clinical training for it, and don't take the backdoor into medicine using our profession.” He shared that the ICA has fought diligently against New Mexico supporters of limited prescriptive rights and is working tirelessly to keep injectables out of Colorado. 

Lastly, he spoke of the necessity for reform of the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE). According to its website, the “CCE is the agency recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education for accreditation of programs and institutions offering the doctor of chiropractic degree. CCE seeks to insure the quality of chiropractic education in the United States by means of accreditation, educational improvement and public information. CCE develops accreditation criteria to assess how effectively programs or institutions plan, implement and evaluate their mission and goals, program objectives, inputs, resources and outcomes of their chiropractic programs.  The CCE is also recognized by the Council for Higher Education Accreditation (CHEA) and is a member of the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA).”

Walsemann was adamant that the CCE “whitewashed” the profession by including “primary care physician” status for chiropractors and he spoke of the importance to reverse this underhanded maneuver. Paradoxically, he also said that the ICA will continue to support the CCE as, according to his beliefs, an accrediting agency is “necessary to the profession.” In response to these comments, one student asked whether or not, if the CCE were unwilling to change their stance on primary care status the ICA would support the creation of another accrediting agency. In response, Walsemann affirmed that the ICA would not support another accrediting agency if one would rise up. Another question was asked as to whether or not Walsemann foresees a “split” in the profession because an increasing number of states are actively moving toward broadening the scope of chiropractic practice and attempting to implement the Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine degree. Walsemann responded that he does not believe that there will ever be a schism separating the profession over the broadened scope concern with drugs, injectibles, etc.

Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation