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Palmer College takes stand in favor of WSCA ‘scope of care’ legislation

8/30/2013 (Archived)

Washington State Chiropractic AssociationThe following letter from Chancellor Dennis Marchiori, D.C., Ph.D., was sent Aug. 30 to the Washington State Department of Health in support of the Washington State Chiropractic Association’s efforts to clarify chiropractic scope of practice in Washington. 

August 30, 2013

Sherry Thomas
Washington State Department of Health
P.O. Box 47850
Olympia, WA 98504-7850

RE: Sunrise Hearing: Chiropractic Scope of Practice, Committee Recommendation

CC: Lori L. Grassi, Executive Director, Washington State Chiropractic Association; David O’Bryon, J.D., C.A.E., Executive Director, Association of Chiropractic Colleges

Dear Ms. Thomas,

As chancellor of Palmer College of Chiropractic, the first and largest chiropractic college, I’d like to extend my support to the efforts of my colleagues in the Washington State Chiropractic Association and the Association of Chiropractic Colleges to clarify the scope of practice for chiropractors in Washington, specifically regarding pre-participation physical examinations and Department of Transportation “Fit for Duty” physical exams.

I echo my colleague David O’Bryon’s comments regarding misinformation about the standards and curriculum for the Doctor of Chiropractic degree. It seems this misinformation has been perpetuated throughout the legislative process to clarify chiropractic scope of practice for these types of physical examinations.

Chiropractors in general, and Palmer graduates specifically, are highly skilled in providing comprehensive health examinations. The Palmer College of Chiropractic Doctor of Chiropractic program curriculum is a five-academic-year post-graduate program including 4,620 total contact hours of instruction. Of these contact hours, 570 are in diagnosis, 300 in radiology procedures and interpretation, and 945 in practical clinical experience in the Palmer Chiropractic Clinic system.

Palmer’s curriculum produces professionals who are highly trained and experienced in assessment and diagnosis as well as clinical-reasoning skills -- and are eligible for licensure in all 50 states. Palmer’s D.C. curriculum is accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education, the recognized accrediting body for the chiropractic profession. All three of our campuses are regionally accredited by the Higher Learning Commission and are members of the North Central Association.

Doctors of Chiropractic are included as eligible health care providers to provide physical examinations by the United States Department of Transportation (DOT). In fact, two faculty clinicians at the Palmer Chiropractic Clinics in the Quad Cities (Davenport and Bettendorf, Iowa, and Moline and Rock Island, Ill.) are recognized by the DOT to provide “Fit for Duty” physical exams and have completed the coursework to sit for the upcoming national registry examination that will be required in 2014.

The DOT physical is a comprehensive evaluation covering all systems of the body, including a comprehensive health history and review along with a urinalysis screening. All of these examination aspects are taught and tested as part of Palmer’s Doctor of Chiropractic curriculum, in both the academic and clinical portion of the education.

Palmer College of Chiropractic’s main campus is located in Davenport, Iowa. All Iowa high school students participating in sports are required to obtain a pre-participation physical examination. All Iowa school districts in the Quad Cities approve pre-participation physical examinations provided by chiropractors. Our two outpatient clinics in the Quad Cities offer sports physicals throughout the school year with a special push at the beginning of each school year, and have provided 1,555 of these physicals during the last three years. This year, after four weeks of a two-month program offering sports physicals to area students, our Quad-Cities clinics have provided more than 300 sports physicals. Many parents have commented that these pre-participation physical examinations are the most comprehensive their children have ever received.

I urge you to consider all of these facts as you formulate your recommendation regarding the current proposed chiropractic scope of care legislation. The citizens of Washington deserve the opportunity to receive thorough physical examinations from licensed and qualified health care professionals, including chiropractors.


Dennis Marchiori, D.C., Ph.D.
Chancellor, Palmer College of Chiropractic