John Scaringe, DC, EdD

Are athletes the key to changing healthcare?

As Dr. John Scaringe found out through personal experience, professional sports associations may have the clout needed to change the way we look at modern day healthcare.

The Interview

I think athletics in America and around the world is going to be a key piece for the growth of the integrative/functional medicine movement. Athletics and sports are such a huge business in the U.S. They definitely influence the trends in healthcare, and it definitely has a positive impact.

Back in the ’70s you really looked at a lot of elite track and field athletes were going to chiropractors. And at the time the Olympic medical team didn’t have any chiropractors on it. The athletes were not allowed to see anybody outside this particular team. The athletes demanded to have a chiropractor. Track and field was very high profile sport in summer Olympics and got the first chiropractors to officially start working with the Olympic movement. Once the chiropractor was there though, they had to prove themselves and really show value within that system, and they did.

What was validating for me was I was the assistant medical director for the U.S.A. track and field championships in New York. Now you have this athlete that comes in front of you and you have this whole multi-disciplinary team, from athletic trainers to medical doctors. All these leaders really planning it coming together, and I’m sitting there going, as were going through this it’s like, “This is working, this is it, we can create this, we can create this team environment, and here’s the proof.” That was the time where I said, “This is how we need to practice.”

It’s important that the patients are going to be a part of this movement. I think the exposure that you get in the press is going to be part of the movement. But I also think that as these individuals get into the system. If they can get in, show that value, their value and their scope of influence is actually going to grow as trust, as their competence is proven, that they’re there for the patient.

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