The attorney for the Florida Chiropractic Association, Paul Lambert, told the Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine that the FCA was working on language to position chiropractors as primary care providers in the state.
The statements by the FCA attorney were made during a legislative workshop on June 5, 2015. The Workshop was scheduled for the Board of Chiropractic Medicine to consider, and hear public comment on, a package of legislative changes being proposed in the state.
The changes included proposals to deal with the treatment of animals by chiropractors, removal of outdated language making graduation from a school accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education mandatory to gain licensure in the state, removal of statutory obstacles for graduates of foreign chiropractic programs to gain licensure in the state, and removal of the term “medicine” to describe the practice of chiropractic among other items.
Using fear of losing scope related practice rights the FCA urged the Board of Chiropractic Medicine not to move forward with the package. Interestingly, members of the Board of Chiropractic Medicine expressed concern that the use of the word “medicine” to describe chiropractic was confusing to the public. Nevertheless, these same Board members stated they didn’t want to “lose” or give up something by removing the term – though none of them could give an example of what they would actually lose.
In addition to the FCA several Board members and general members of the Florida Chiropractic Society (FCS) provided public comment during the workshop. Lucas Matlock, DC President of the Florida Chiropractic Society urged the Board of Chiropractic Medicine to send the proposed language to the legislature.
According to Dr. Matlock: "The primary role of any state Board is to protect the public. The FCS believes that the terms "Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine " and "Chiropractic Physician" are both misleading and confusing and do not accurately portray the unique service we provide to the public. While we at the Florida Chiropractic Society realize the political reality of getting a law passed, the Board should not base or alter its decisions due to political pressure. In our opinion, the vote taken by the Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine to retain the word "medicine" in their proposed changes to the Florida chiropractic practice act was a mistake and did not best serve the citizens of Florida."
At the behest of FCA’s legal counsel Paul Lambert, and the Chair of the Board of Chiropractic Medicine, the Florida Board decided to seek advice from the World Federation of Chiropractic and David Chapman Smith on how best to move forward with the package of legislative proposals.
The disappointing move by the Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine to retain medical terminology to describe chiropractic follows its recent decision to turn over the Board's jurisprudence exam to the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and is consistent with moves throughout the country and internationally to position chiropractic as the practice of primary care.