Introduction: Although family violence has been identified as a major public health issue, it has received little attention in the chiropractic literature. Accordingly, this paper provides a conceptual overview on family violence, discusses the role of chiropractors in its detection, and raises several issues germane to chiropractic education that deserve further attention in future chiropractic publications.
Methodology: A selective review of the empirical literature on family violence was conducted with a focus on issues relevant to chiropractic training and professional identity.
Results: Extrapolating from the research, several models for medical training and continuing education have been proposed that emphasize a multidisciplinary, developmental approach to infusing knowledge, skill-building, and mentored practice experiences into professional education experiences.
Conclusion: As chiropractors become more mainstream portal of entry providers, there is a clear need to translate the didactics of family violence into the clinical setting. Clinical education may provide students the opportunity to master basic competencies for managing challenging family violence problems. The clinical environment may be appropriate for inculcating skills commensurate with those of other primary care providers. Yet, the extent to which training priorities and approaches extrapolated from other healthcare disciplines should be accepted wholesale by the chiropractic profession merits further discussion, including issues around the professional identity of chiropractic, the impact of accreditation standards and practice guidelines on actual professional practice behaviors, and the possible limits and unintended consequences associated with expanding the traditional chiropractic scope of practice from a specialty to a primary care profession.
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