The Role of Science

Encountered this thought-provoking anonymous quote:

The role of science is not to provide everlasting truth;

but rather, to provide a modest obstacle to everlasting error. 
– Author Unknown

Quoted by Nansel and Szlazak in Somatic Dysfunction and the Phenomenon of Visceral Disease Simulation: A Probable Explanation for the Apparent Effectiveness of Somatic Therapy in Patients Presumed to be Suffering from True Visceral Disease.

A couple of searches lead me to a reliable source of the quote

“The aim of science is not to open the door to infinite wisdom, but to set a limit to infinite error.” 
― Bertolt BrechtLife of Galileo

via GoodReads


Highlights from Homecoming 2013

NUHS inaugurates its sixth president, Dr. Joseph P. D. Stiefel

NUHS inaugurates its sixth president, Dr. Joseph P. D. Stiefel | Photo from

National University of Health Sciences Homecoming 2013 was wonderful.  I was blessed to be invited to participate thanks to the generous offer of Bart Green, DC, MSEd, DACBSP. Three days of continuing educational lectures, from basic science (neurology of food addiction) to ethical considerations of practice; delicious food and fine dining; impressive ceremonial events—the weekend was full of many memories.  I felt impressed to share some of them with you, so I’m taking some time to do so.

The most inspirational event of all of Homecoming was clearly the Inauguration Ceremony of the new President Joseph Stiefel.  The two talks that touched me deeply were the Ceremonial Address given by visiting president Joseph Brimhall from University of Western States, and President Stiefel’s speech following his inauguration.

Wisdom from President Brimhall

The message from President Brimhall was two-fold: first, Wisdom is the application of knowledge to create a better world, to make the world a better place, to learn what is of value. He quoted a poem from T.S. Eliot’s 1934 play The Rock:

Where is the Life we have lost in living?
Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?

Source: Post by gruseom, YCombinator discussion board 

Second, in the storm-winds of the changing healthcare landscape, in the uncertainty of the current economic challenges, we must not stand back, afraid; we must work together to not only survive, but to thrive.  On this note, he shared the inspiring thought:

Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass;
it’s about learning to dance in the rain.

Source: Vivian Greene quotes,

President Brimhall concluded his remarks with the following insights:

  1. Today matters; the choice you make today will determine if the world is—or is not—a better place tomorrow.
  2. People matter; “every person in this room matters,” said President Brimhall.

This resonated with me profoundly.  To these inspiring words, I feel to add that each person has unique gifts, individual contributions to make; therefore, each of us has the responsibility to make decisions and take actions today so that the world will be a better place tomorrow.

Esse Quam Videri!

Update [24 Mar 2016]: Removed unfulfilled promises of future posts (sorry!). Mild formatting changes; added “Wisdom from” to President Brimhall heading.

Hebert et al 2013 Compehensive review of serious adverse effects of SMT or CMT

In answer to Andrew Schafer‘s question, “So does this study give the stats on how many of the “providers” were licensed chiropractors? How many of them were PT’s DO’s MD’s?” Also addressing Sarah Graef‘s question, “[T]he abstract states ‘Adverse events consisted of cauda equina syndrome (29 cases, 38% of total)’, how is that possible?”

I extracted the following numbers from the full-text copy of the article:

DC ? DO Other Total
CES 15 10 2 2 29
Herniation 8 14 0 1 23
Fracture 8 3 1 1 13
Other 8 0 0 4 12
Totals 39 27 3 8 77

From this table, I created the following three charts:
Hebert et al 2013-Manipulation Provider by Adverse Outcome Hebert et al 2013-Distribution of Adverse Outcomes, All Providers Hebert et al 2013-Distribution of Provider Types, All OutcomesAs expected, the majority of providers were DC’s, because chiropractic physicians perform over 95% of all SMTs annually.

Providers listed as “Other” include one (1) of each of the following:

  • Napropath: Adverse outcome=CES
  • “Doctor”: Adverse outcome=Herniation
  • “Lay manipulator”: Adverse outcome=Fracture
  • “Traditional Healer”: Adverse outcome=Other
  • Physiotherapist: Adverse outcome=Other
  • Physician: Adverse outcome=Other
  • Chinese Kong Fu practictioner: Adverse outcome=Other

Change of Plans

I wrote the following in response to this scholarship application question:  “Write a statement of at least 200 words giving your educational objectives. Include your career plans, and how your college work fits into your future.”

After finishing half of the coursework for a master’s degree in Computer Engineering, I felt impressed to withdraw from the program to become a chiropractor.  With the support of my academic adviser and my wife, I followed the impression and took a leap of faith.  I hadn’t taken a chemistry course for eight years, but I took three chemistry courses the next semester, along with psychology and physiology courses.  The switch has been difficult, but I remain comfortable and confident with this decision.  I am finishing the prerequisite courses this semester, and I have already received provisional acceptance from the  chiropractic university of my choice.

I will earn the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree from National University of Health Sciences, beginning May 2010 and finishing September 2013. Upon graduation and passing the board exams, I aspire to practice as a junior partner in a small clinic in rural Utah or in the Midwest. After 3-5 years, I expect to open my own clinic.

In addition to my own future practice, I currently help chiropractic clinics “go paperless.” I represent a computer consulting firm which provides software for practice management, document imaging, and electronic claim submission. I enjoy employing my unique background to serve both doctors and patients.

I haven’t submitted the application yet, and I would sincerely appreciate feedback on how this can be improved.  Thank you.