The Importance of Unity and Membership in the Chiropractic Profession

The Importance of Unity and Membership in the Chiropractic Profession

I want to take this opportunity to say how fortunate I feel to have served as the president of the ICS (Illinois Chiropractic Society) these past two years. I am grateful for having such a responsive board and a dedicated, influential, and tireless staff to support our profession in this state and represent the ICS as a prominent national leader. Under the veil of COVID uncertainty, we have done so much in this brief time. We have strengthened our Association and increased our membership to the highest numbers. During this time, with the support of our membership, we successfully updated our bylaws to ensure more stability in our election process and optimized our board size, making it more effective, agile, and in line with trends of highly successful organizations.

In the past ten years, while serving on the ICS board, I have witnessed and heard many stories of the profound contributions that Chiropractic has made in serving urban, suburban, and small communities throughout our state. I feel that this experience has widened my field of vision when looking at our profession, and I can see its diversity and potential. Reducing opioid and other prescription drug use, reducing the need for invasive procedures, reducing unnecessary diagnostic testing, and improving patient satisfaction are statistics that we hear and read about repeatedly.

Like me, many of you may ask, why don’t we see greater utilization of the services that we offer? We find a part of this answer in how many of us function daily as individual practitioners. We work as islands and shy away from reaching out to one another on a routine basis for help or to share our successes, challenges, and failures. I believe that this stereotype applies less to ICS members. Still, we must acknowledge that most of the chiropractic profession in our state does not support any professional organization striving to improve conditions within our sphere.

When I have asked nonmember physicians what’s keeping them from joining, I often hear that I don’t think it will make a difference. As ICS members, I believe that most of us understand the value of membership, not just for the CME, conventions, compliance, and networking but for the advancement of our profession because if we are not advancing, then we are falling behind. From their perspective of not being a member or ever having been a member and attended a convention. They are not likely to understand what our Association does for the profession or what other entities that represent our profession do within our state and nationally. It can be confusing and difficult to grasp if you have never participated, voted, or been involved.

Our profession must align itself for success. We must focus on what brings us together and not the minutia that separates individual providers practicing within their legal scope. We must begin to speak with one voice. The opportunity to talk with that one voice is now. Will you get behind it knowing that your involvement is critical, or believe that your part is too small to make a difference and sit idle and see how this plays out?

Unity without the need for uniformity, full inclusion in Medicare/Medicaid, parity with other providers, and research tracts at our colleges are some of the critical commonalities discovered from a large-scale survey conducted between 2019 and 2020 with over 4,000 practitioners surveyed across the nation. I know you have heard this from me, but we must get behind the Chiropractic Future Strategic Plan. It has gained the support of key stakeholders in our profession, including NBCE, NCMIC, CHUSA, ICA, ChiroCongress, ICS, FCA, and many more state and national associations, and the list keeps growing.

The Plan’s scope is further reaching than anything attempted in our profession previously. The resources required are more significant than what has been asked of us in the past. Therefore, we need all of us to be engaged. We all need to get involved now: members and nonmembers, straights, and mixers, rural or urban.

Thank you to those of you that pledged support during our fall convention. For those of you that haven’t, please join the effort. The answers to our challenges are not likely to be found outside our profession but within it. The opportunity we have now is time-dependent. Please visit, make a recurring pledge, get involved, sign up for updates, and spread the word.

I believe that our future looks bright. I look forward to 2023 with excitement and anticipation. I can’t wait to see what we can achieve when we put our resources together and speak with one unified voice. On behalf of the ICS board and staff, I wish you, your families, and your practices health and prosperity in the coming new year.


Vijay Patel, DC CCSP

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