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Chester Wilk Was Not to Be Bullied

Updated: May 9, 2022

A chiropractor that stood up for chiropractic.

Chester Wilk a chiropractor that stood up for chiropractic

THIS IS A SPECIAL NOTE OF THANKS and a tribute to Chester Wilk, D.C., who passed away just a few days ago.

Dr. Wilk was the Wilk in Wilk versus AMA, the case where a federal judge ruled in 1987, based upon evidence, that the American Medical Association had been attempting to “contain and eliminate” the chiropractic profession.

Dr. Wilk and four other chiropractors first filed the suit in 1976. Doggedly pushing it along, Dr. Wilk, colleagues, and attorneys had to keep fighting even after the ruling against the AMA. From Wolinsky’s book, Contain and Eliminate:

“Wilk had earned a reputation as a street fighter. In 1974, he’d written a book of his own, Chiropractic Speaks Out: A Reply to Medical Propaganda, Bigotry, and Ignorance. In it, Wilk made a case for the validity of chiropractic based on scientific research, and he attacked the AMA for trying to stop chiropractic education and block insurance and Medicare reimbursement for chiropractic services. “Chiropractic is not a cure-all, but neither is medicine,” Wilk said.”

“The case was finally settled in January 1992. The amount of the settlement is under court seal. The settlement went toward attorney fees for Wilk et al., plus additional funds went to support a center for disabled children run by a chiropractor in Kentucky and the chiropractic schools with a request from the National Chiropractic Antitrust Committee led by Dr. Chester Wilk, which raised funds for the suit, that the colleges earmark the windfall for research. Not all did.” (Wolinsky)

I had the honor of having lunch with Dr. Wilk and his wife many years ago in Chicago. Later, in 1996, we both presented at a seminar hosted by Petty, Michel, and Associates to doctors and staff here in Milwaukee.

He was not flamboyant and seemed unassuming, but to me, he had a steely commitment to chiropractic, and I could see that he was not someone to be bullied.

Were it not for Dr. Wilk, and many others that worked with him to defend the profession of chiropractic from the illegal acts of the American Medical Association, you might not be where you are now.

The story about the Wilk’s case is a lesson for us all and an example well set.

And whether you are a chiropractor, work in the chiropractic field, work in any health field, or pursue healthy solutions for yourself and your family, no one or no organization has any right to suppress health information from you.

Dr. Wilk was not to be bullied or silenced, and neither should any of us. He stuck to his goals through thick and thin.

Please take a moment to pay your respects to this humble man and how we can continue his work.

Seize the Future!


PS links:

Dr. Chester Wilks Book: Medicine, Monopolies, and Malice

Wolinsky book: Contain and Eliminate

More info about Dr. Chester Wilk

​Dr. Chester Wilk at Petty, Michel and Associates seminar discussing the Wilks vs AMA trail in 1996

​Mr. Ed Petty at Petty, Michel, and Associates seminar discussing practice development.


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