Staff Writer

In his July 2011 State of the University Address, Dr. James Winterstein President of national University of Health Sciences (NUHS) reports to his constituents on National’s success and their future as leaders in the Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine (DCM) movement.

For many years NUHS has led the way for the medically oriented faction of the chiropractic profession however those efforts escalated several years ago when NUHS began offering a Masters degree in Advanced Clinical Practice. It is this degree that allows chiropractors in New Mexico to prescribe and administer drugs.

In his address, Dr. Winterstein reveals NUHS plan for the immediate future which includes the development of a stand alone post DC program where the DC can complete additional coursework and residencies leading to the DCM degree. The most disturbing aspect of this plan is that NUHS will not seek CCE accreditation for this aspect of its program but instead will use their regional accreditationthereby bypassing any regulatory control the chiropractic profession has over the offering of this program.

The controversy surrounding professional tiering of the chiropractic profession and the introduction of drugs into the scope of practice have rapidly gathered momentum since the New Mexico debacle. NUHS is now accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) to offer the Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine degree and at least 19 states are considering scope of practice changes to include the use of pharmaceuticals by chiropractors.

Further to these efforts the CCE has removed all language from its accreditation Standards that refer to chiropractic as “without drugs and surgery” and now allows for accreditation of programs other than those conferring DC degrees. In related tactics the CCE has removed competencies related to vertebral subluxation from their Standards. The Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC), whose Board of Directors is made up of each of the Presidents of the North American Chiropractic Colleges, has publicly endorsed the actions of the CCE and so has the American Chiropractic Association.  

These efforts have met with fierce resistance from within the profession – specifically the subluxation centered community. The Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation, The International Federation of Chiropractors and Organizations and the International Chiropractors Association along with a loose association of grassroots movements and groups have all condemned the introduction of drugs, the use of the DCM title and the actions of the CCE.

Recently, over 4000 complaints were received by the United States Department of Education in response to the CCE’s upcoming hearing where the USDOE will be considering the renewal of the CCE’s recognition by the USDOE.

During the CCE’s last hearing, the USDOE committee referred to the CCE and other groups and organizations within the profession that support its efforts as a “cartel” and noted that they have a “monopoly” within the chiropractic profession.

Through a Freedom of Information Act/Open Records Law request, the Foundation for Vertebral Subluxation has learned that in their efforts to tier the profession and bring drugs into its scope, NUHS queried the regulatory boards in each state over the past 2 years to determine which states would allow the use of the DCM degree by its graduates. According to NUHS the majority of states would not have a problem with the DCM degree.       

The Foundation urges all chiropractors who wish that the profession remain separate and distinct from allopathy to aggressively resist any and all efforts at professional tiering, expansion of scope to include drugs and actions by the CCE and the Chiropractic Cartel to enable, support and encourage such efforts.