Chiropractors recruiting from Universities?

As a student, I recently discovered that the New Zealand College of Chiropractors is exhibiting at the University of Canterbury Careers & Employment Fair, NZi3 Foyer and HP Room, 69 Creyke Road, Christchurch, 5.00-8.00pm on Monday 16th May.

Having expressed my concern to the University that woo does not belong anywhere near UC, I received a reply from Chris Bridgman, Careers Internships and Employment Manager, as follows:

"The NZ College of Chiropractic offers a qualification recognised by the N.Z Qualifications Authority.

The NZ College of Chiropractic has attended the UC Careers & Employment Fair for several years. They are interested in University Graduates, and recognise the knowledge and skills developed through university study as being of value in training as a Chiropractor.

In past years students have been interested in exploring this as a possible career option for them".

My request to the Careers Manager that he revoke their invitation has not yet had any reply.

Come this Monday May 16, it would be a good idea to have a number of concerned people turn up at the event (which is open to all interested parties), and express their concern that quackery and woo are being given apparent legitimacy and support at the University of Canterbury.

Any updates will be posted here.

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University uses heavy tactics to support chiropractic

I did go along to the University's career fair, and I did question their inclusion of woo and quackery in a scientific setting.

Well... they hugely over-reacted! Tossed me out onto the street, threatened trespass notices, threatened calling the Police, threatened my academic career and degrees, and had to send three people out onto the footpath to try to harangue and block me from alerting other students to the possible endorsement of quackery by the University.

Quite a surprising reaction from a publicly-funded organisation which is supposed to be dedicated to the scientific method and academic excellence!

Nevertheless, I certainly stood my ground, even in the face of people trying to deliberately provoke me into physical action against them.

Again, what a huge over-reaction.

I will certainly be following this up with the appropriate people and media.
The Pro Vice Chancellor of Science did in fact reply to communication. The reply came by email, and long after the fair had started.

In the email, he says amongst other things: "I do trust that you realise that we need to move from an established evidence base as opposed to opinion in relation to specific areas of employment".
Meaning, we can't let science get in the way of $$$ for the University.

This is certainly worrying that a tax-payer funded body which (again) is supposed to be dedicated to research, the scientific method and academic excellence, can so obstinately ignore legitimate scientific questioning by a student attending that body.

Digging down further into the University course structure, we find, almost unbelievably, that the University is offering as a course of study: "Intermediate Year - Bachelor of Chiropractic Degree"
If this isn't endorsing chiropractic, then what is?

I hate to say it Reggie but

I hate to say it Reggie but this doesn't surprise me.

If it sells they will teach it... Integrity be damned!

Do you have any witnesses who are willing to corroborate the threats against you?

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Further to the response by

Further to the response by the University of Canterbury to a request not to invite pseudo-science onto the campus at the careers fair, an email reply was received from Paul Fleming, Pro Vice Chancellor, College of Science, in which it was stated that "NZQA recognises Chiropractic as a bone fide discipline for academic study thus legitimising the study of Chiropractic in New Zealand".

This is particularly interesting, as NZQA also similarly recognises Iridology, Homeopathy, Aromatherapy, amongst others.
Hardly a good indication of legitimacy! Well done Paul for your good research skills there.

To be fair, though, one doesn't necessarily know all there is to know about any particular topic until you study it deeply, and, even then, new or over-looked information can come to light at a later point.

My best impression that I can gain from examining the NZQA website, is that NZQA appears to be more concerned with the form and manner in which examinations and the like are conducted. They might check that a course in Homeopathy is conducted in a *good* manner, but they certainly don't check content or validity.
A realisation of this lack of content-checking by NZQA is probably partly behind the decision to exclude by 2013 some of the more irrational sounding "qualifications".

It was mentioned to me separately that there was a "proof" of Chiropractic, in the form of a 1979 NZ Commission of Enquiry, which, I was told, proves that it is scientific!
Looking in to this, it appears much more complicated than just that.
Certainly, the commission did NOT make any statement on the scientific nature of chiropractic. An enormous body of evidence was given by the medical community and others showing how chiropractic has NO scientific basis.
The commission was, however, required by its own terms to make a ruling at the conclusion, which it did. It came to a decision which upheld aspects of both party's points of view, not the least of which is the subsequent inclusion of chiropractic as an ACC claimable treatment.
My reading of the report, and that of others, is that the commission was certainly swayed by the anecdotal testimony of several thousand self-selected apparently-satisfied customers of chiropractic.
Regardless of its ruling over ACC, this STILL says nothing about the scientific nature or validity of the basic tenet of chiropractic.

In the email response noted earlier, Paul Fleming also mentioned a Cochrane Review which found that chiropractic may be good for *some* lower back pain. So, a sore back has a manipulation/massage of the joints, and therefore the tissue surrounding them, and the pain is lessened! Well, big news there!

Again, this says NOTHING whatsoever about the scientific nature of the basis tenet of chiropractic, which is that illness and disease is caused by misalignments of the spine, and these misalignments (which they call subluxations) cause blockages in the path of some *magical* life force/energy field/vitalism/innate intelligence which apparently flows through the body.

This life force has never been shown to exist, nor have any plausible mechanism for occurrence at all.
As such, it is simply conjecture by proponents of Chiropractic, and is not scientific in any way.
That is the complaint regarding the invitation of pseudo-science onto the campus at the University of Canterbury careers fair.

A look at the NZ College Of Chiropractic website, and on their "About Us" page:
First paragraph: "More and more people are making a decision to be active in their health care decisions and choose a more natural, holistic, and *vitalistic* form of healthcare" (my emphasis).
Second paragraph: "Our College is renowned worldwide for ground breaking research that is *vitalistic* and subluxation based".
What is *vitalistic*, if not this unproven and quack notion about energy fields/life forces/innate intelligence which apparently runs through the body?

Shame on you, University of Canterbury!

I was thinking about this.

I was thinking about this. First I would like to say I too am shocked at Canterbury's actions. However, if you are feeling up to it, may I suggest writing an article for Canta. In it you could include your side of what happens above, Maybe compare Canterbury's attitude to CAM to other universities in NZ (In the past Canterbury has planned to send nurses on TT courses, played host to NLP courses and also have a squizz at http://www.hsci.canterbury.ac.nz/enzcam/). Given the unclear responses from the VC and so on it sounds like they know they have right to be embarrased about it and shame can be a great motivator. Just an idea. :)

At Massey too

Good on you Reggie - they were also at a recent Massey jobs fair. I meant to go along and bait them, but unfortunately managed to get the wrong day.

The 1979 report should be available from your library. Have a read - it's fun. One of the best bits, I think, is the recomendation that chiropractors do not use the titles of Dr, doctor, or doctor of chiropractic anywhere in there dealings with the public. Funny how chiropractors never mention that!