Disturbing News and a Lesson to Learn

Recently in California a man was arrested for more than one reason. He was practicing chiropractic without a license, in so doing he had snapped a mans neck, killing him. This man had set up shop without training. It is not easy to break someones neck and kill them. Especially not on accident. This man got very unlucky. It doesn’t happen like in the movies, but as we can tell from this one incident, training does matter.

Oddly enough he will probably be charged with practicing medicine (not chiropractic) without a license. This topic has bothered me for some time, that of scope of practice. Law makers have always been very careful to limit health care providers scope of practice to that which they are trained. Every provider has a limited scope of practice except one group. Medical doctors have no limitation on their scope of practice. Go ahead, try to find a limit for a medical doctor. Generally definitions of the practice of medicine include:

the diagnosis, treatment, correction, advisement, or prescription in any manner or by any means, methods, or devices, any human disease, ailment, injury, infirmity, deformity, pain or other condition, physical or mental, real or imaginary.

This is ridiculous. Medical doctors train for 4 years and then are given leave to do anything. Recently the American Medical Association created the Scope of Practice Partnership not to determine what scope medical doctors should be limited to, but how others should be limited. This has often been referred to as a turf war.

“While nonphysician providers have been, and will continue to be, important elements in the provision of health care, it is important that our patients know and receive the care that only physicians are uniquely qualified to provide,” said Dr. Michael Maves, the AMA’s executive vice president and CEO.

Medical doctors are uniquely qualified. And should be limited to their unique training. I think Scope of Practice limitations are a great idea, and should be set by each professions education. I think that you should be allowed to do what you have been taught to do.

In light of this recent article I think that it is obvious that someone not trained in chiropractic such as a medical doctor should not be allowed to practice it. The same goes for all health care providers. If you want to utilize a treatment method, you should be trained to do so. Schools should recognize the training of other professionals and offer accelerated courses to allow providers to receive additional training.

I guess what I’m saying is: Medical Doctors should have a limited scope of practice.


One thought on “Disturbing News and a Lesson to Learn

  1. rochesterchiro

    I am not taking the bait on this scope of practice discussion since I am hoping for a scope expansion in New York state. I will, however, remind people of the important safety tip – avoid all healthcare “professionals” who operate out of their garage.


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