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The following guest blog was authored by ChiroUp founding board member, Dr. David Flatt.  Dr. Flatt practices within the Northwestern Medicine Health System in Chicago, IL.

I have had a lot of time to think during the COVID crisis. Who hasn’t?  As I was pondering the effects of the shelter-in-place mitigation policies, I began to take inventory of what is important to me and to what entities I belong. Professionally as a chiropractic physician, I feel confident I chose the right profession for me. To be honest, I didn’t always feel that way.

Chiropractic is not an easy profession to navigate. Most DCs must also be entrepreneurs. As such, they experience the thrill of accomplishment and the agony of goals missed. It occurred to me that many allopathic and osteopathic providers today will never know the satisfaction of truly building a practice on their own. They will never be on the outside looking in. They are often put in place and set in motion in a healthcare system that is anxiously awaiting their arrival. They give and receive referrals from colleagues that expect a high level of expertise, standard of care, and patient-centric ethics that are rarely in question.

Chiropractic physicians, on the other hand, are typically not granted that same level of professional respect, at least on a widespread level. Practitioner by practitioner, the respect and admiration we so desire has to be earned on a one on one and case by case level.  This is done almost exclusively at the community level and to a certain degree, we can strongly influence the chiropractic perception in our localities. Like me, I am sure you have worked very hard to cultivate a reputation of clinical excellence while demonstrating the highest moral and ethical behaviors.  Your reputation means everything to you, as it should.

The ChiroUp company name was inspired almost a decade ago by Dr. Flatt’s poignant message to our profession that asked: When life throws you challenges, are you going to Cowboy  Up, or just lay there and bleed?

If we think back not too long ago in the days of the Wilk vs. the AMA et al. trial, we have really come a long way. Dr. Wilk and his plaintiff counterparts not only won but cracked open the vault of medical referrals and paved the way for greater cooperation between the medical and chiropractic professions. If you have never read Medicine, Monopolies and Malice, I strongly recommend your do. We now are integrated into many healthcare systems, and our treatments are listed in established medical guidelines for the most common musculoskeletal diagnoses. Collectively, we are making great progress towards deeper integration and our natural first methods are being rediscovered not as alternative but valuable and safe. Well done everyone!

As subscribers to Chiro Up, we are the cream of the crop. We have recognized the need for enhanced patient outcomes, professionalism and integrated networking. We work tirelessly to be the absolute best at what we do. The medical network in our communities can depend on us to represent the best our profession has to offer. We don’t embarrass our profession globally or locally with outlandish claims and irresponsible advice. We don’t sell anything. We provide value and our patients are grateful for our expertise. Speaking for myself, I know for certain that Chiro Up operates their business model just like I operate my practice…to serve. I am very grateful to belong to a group of chiropractic all-stars and future hall of famers.

 If I could say one thing specifically to Chiro Up subscribers, it would be this. Chin Up! You represent the best of the profession, and you’ll bounce back the quickest after the COVID dust settles and I am proud to call you colleague.


David W. Flatt, DC, FACO

Want to hear more from Dr. Flatt?

Check out this prior Facebook Live interview about the keys to establishing meaningful relationships with medical physicians.

About the Author

Dr. David Flatt graduated from Logan College of  Chiropractic in 1992 and became board certified in chiropractic orthopedics in 1999. In private practice from 1992-2011, Dr. Flatt became a senior partner with Greater Valley Medicine integrating chiropractic orthopedics with internal medicine. In 2012, Dr. Flatt became the first employed physician with Cadence Physician Group, now Northwestern Medicine. Dr. Flatt has served his alma mater by teaching orthopedics in the Masters of Sports Science and Rehabilitation curriculum. Dr. Flatt additionally serves the profession as a former president of the Illinois Chiropractic Society executive board, and remains active on the board today. In 2015, he was named the Illinois Chiropractic Society’s Chiropractic Physician of the Year.

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