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June 24, 2008 — The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) voiced strong opposition to American Medical Association (AMA) Resolution 232, which advocates the use of state legislation to make it a felony for non-MDs/DOs to misrepresent one’s self as a “physician.”
Under federal statute, all doctors of chiropractic are considered physicians in Medicare and are legally deemed chiropractic physicians in an overwhelming majority of states.
ACA President Glenn Manceaux, DC, said the resolution serves only to discount the education of non-MD health professionals and will stifle competition within the healthcare marketplace.
“The members of our association are deeply concerned about the AMA’s most recent attempt to undermine the legitimate education and training of doctors of chiropractic as well as other healthcare providers,” Manceaux said. “It is not the role of organized medicine to regulate the titles and terminology used by other providers; it is the responsibility of federal and state legislators to bestow the title of ‘physician.’ As a trade association, the AMA is clearly overstepping its bounds.”
Within the chiropractic profession, concern also exists that supporters of the resolution are acting in their own self-interest at the expense of consumers, and that the new policy statement could jeopardize the inter-referral relationships many allied health providers — including doctors of chiropractic — have developed with their MD-counterparts.
Resolution 232 was introduced during the AMA’s House of Delegates meeting. First brought forth by the Illinois delegation, the original resolution stated that the terms “doctor,” “resident,” and “residency” should be restricted for use only by medical doctors and it requested that these terms be protected through legislative efforts. The resolution was amended, however, to encourage state legislation to protect the term “physician” and to note that the AMA supports efforts on a state level to limit the term to MDs/DOs.
Source: American Chiropractic Association, www.acatoday.org