Module 5 – Business Ethics

The business ethics module presents information and ideas that will not necessarily be the component that drives a chiropractic business to success but it certainly could be the element that sinks a business. In my short time involved with the chiropractic profession I have encountered or heard of far to many instances in which chiropractors have erred on the wrong side of business ethics, usually all to make the elusive extra dollar. That being said the most successful chiropractors that I have met seem to be those who exemplify what it means to be ethical in business and as such I have no reason to worry about trading values and ethics for money as it appears some choose to do. The business and entrepreneurship module in its entirety has so far indicated that building a successful business is not easy, the first few years are the hardest, but adherence to the rules, regulations and values of the profession will ultimately lead to success. The first few years will be the hardest, and because of that will be when it will likely be most difficult to adhere to the code of conduct and business ethics.

An example of an ethical dilemma that may occur is corporate sponsored retreats. I am not entirely aware of how prevalent these type of events are concerning chiropractors but they undoubtedly occur and must be tempting. If a company wants to fly me to Hawaii to demonstrate their new taping product or treatment table, then I see on the outset no ethical issue. However, if the deal requires that I switch to their product then we begin to run into troubled territory. If however, the company does not necessitate that I go into business with them but simply intend to demonstrate that their product is superior, and I determine based on my experience and the available evidence that it is the best product for my patients, then once again I do not see an overtly unethical situation arising. Dr. Brian Goldman, MD, in his book The Night Shift speaks at length about his experiences speaking as an expert on chronic pain management at pharmaceutical company sponsored events, concluding that he is still unsure to this day as to whether or not there was any unethical elements to the work. If these opportunities arise, I intend on doing my due diligence and checking with colleagues and my local ethics representative before risking my licence, public or professional trust just because of a free trip to Hawaii or the opportunity to have a few more patients walk through my door.


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