There were two doctors in a bar, spending the evening moaning about the current state of the NHS, government interference, hospital managers, crap IT, abusive patients, litigious patients, rotas, paperwork, overwork, lack of time with patients who need it – you get the picture.
The first says, “You know what? It has got to the state where I want to jack it all in and get into alternative medicine. Frankly, I quite fancy being a chiropractor.”
“A chiroquacktor?” Laughs the second doctor. “You have to be kidding?”
“No, I’m serious.”, says the first. “Think about it. I can keep my “Dr” title and a have brass plaque on the front door of my own private practice. I can see a string of patients with mainly back problems and a few crying babies. Nothing we can really do about either of them, but I can crack their bones, charge them, they will get better anyway, no matter what I do, and they will be eternally grateful to me. I can set my own practice hours. Go home at regular times. Play some golf. It will be fantastic.”
“What’s stopping you then?” Says, the now understanding second doctor.
“Well, unlike the title ‘Dr’, not just anyone can style themselves a chiropractor. You have to have been on a long training course and get a new BSc and then be registered with the GCC. I could just do a part time McTimoney course, but even then it could take years and I would have to listen to all that hogwash about subluxations. I just want to get through all that and start cracking bones.”
“Mmmm”, says Doctor number two. “Maybe I can help you there”.
“Well, you know I am a brain surgeon. I have been trialling a new procedure. It’s experimental, but I am having a few successes.” says the brain surgeon.
“The operation will basically instantly transform you from a doctor into a chiropractor.”
“Is that possible?” asks the first.
“Yes, in layman’s terms, what we do is remove half your brain”.
Looking rather alarmed, the first says, “Good grief! That sounds serious. I’m not sure I could go through with that!”
“Well, its not so bad.”, reassures the brain surgeon. “We are very particular about which parts of brain we remove. We shall pick out all those bits that got stuffed full of anatomy and physiology at medical school. Obviously we shall leave some remnants of basic medical knowledge there and let you believe that you have a fully equivalent medical training in such areas. Out will go all that stuff on pharmacology, biochemistry, anaesthesiology, surgery and psychiatry. Immunology will have to go. You can quickly make stuff up to replace your real knowledge, and before you know it, you will be condemning MMR and the vaccination schedule. No need for medical ethics probably too. Your evidence empathy areas will go, along with any basic understanding of science that may interfere with a belief in ‘innate intelligence’ or ‘subluxations’. “
“We shall obviously leave in the business skills area. That will be very important. Get a car crash victim in and after a few sessions you will be able to sign up his whole family, including children, grandparents and pets into a ‘family wellness’ programme for the next five years.
“Wow! Fantastic!”, says the first.
“I can fit you in this afternoon, if that’s OK?” says the second.
And so, the operation was performed. But due to some iatrogenic catastrophe, negligence, arrogance, complacency, mix up, and, possibly some underhand Big Pharma foul play, the operation does not go too well.
As the first doctor starts coming round from the anaesthetic, the surgeon is waiting to break the bad news. “I’m afraid, the operation did not go as planned”, he says.
“What do you mean?” says a rather alarmed and definitely not a chiropractor patient.
“Due to a mix up with some paperwork, we accidentally removed your whole brain. We tried our best, but were unable to restore those areas you will need to become a chiropractor. I am afraid you have no brain”.
“Never mind.”, says the surprisingly chirpy and optimistic patient. “I think I will just become a homeopath”.