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No compliments for alternative care

Yale Medicine Magazine, 2001 - Spring


To the Editor:

I date way back from the class of 1942. In my class were members Michael Puzak and James Bunce, noted on the In Memoriam pages of the Yale Medicine that recently arrived in my mailbox.

In the same issue, I read of the growing popularity of unregulated alternative or complementary treatments (“Use of alternative medicine widespread among mentally ill,” Et cetera, Fall 2000 | Winter 2001). I would prefer to call them unscientific or unproven.

My particular interest in retirement has been the exposure of the alternative care known as chiropractic. There are some 70,000 practicing chiropractors, legally called doctors, with 4,000 new graduates every year, compared to 15,000 medical graduates. In a survey of medical college deans, 27 termed the subluxation and adjustment theory to be false. I witnessed a student perform an adjustment of the neck and back at one chiropractic college, and was appalled. I have written a book to challenge this treatment titled Chiropractic: The Greatest Hoax of the Century? Yet the practice flourishes. Things were not so, way back in my student days of ’42.

Perhaps the time is appropriate for Yale and other colleges of science to speak out on this subject.

Ludmil A. Chotkowski, M.D. ’42
Kensington, Conn.