McAulay Presents Testimony to Commission on
Complementary and Alternative Medicine
APRIL 12, 2001 - Sherman College Interim
President Brian J. McAulay, D.C., Ph.D.,
recently presented testimony on behalf of the
chiropractic profession to the White House
Commission on Complementary and Alternative
Medicine. The Commission will give U.S.
President George W. Bush legislative and
administrative recommendations to assure that
public policy maximizes the benefits of services
such as straight chiropractic. McAulayís
Thank you for this opportunity to share
information with you about how the chiropractic
profession can best serve the American people.
As a licensed doctor of chiropractic, I was in
private practice for 13 years in Pennsylvania.
In addition, I have served as a faculty member
for many years educating students in
chiropractic technique and philosophy. Today, I
serve as interim president of Sherman College of
Straight Chiropractic in Spartanburg, South
Chiropractic is a 62,000-member strong
profession in North America with licensed
doctors of chiropractic in all 50 states, U.S.
territories and Canada. It is the nationís third
largest primary health care profession, after
medicine and dentistry. Founded in 1895 in the
United States, the profession has grown
throughout the world. The publicís use of
chiropractic care has grown dramatically in
recent years with 37 percent of the U.S.
population having sought chiropractic care.
Annual visits to chiropractors exceed the visits
to any other practitioner of alternative health
care used by American consumers.
Chiropractic is based on the premise that the
bodyís innate recuperative powers are affected
by and integrated through the nervous system.
Chiropractic is a science and art devoted to the
location, analysis and correction of vertebral
subluxations, misaligned vertebrae of the spine
that interfere with the ability of the nervous
system to coordinate and control the organs and
systems of the body. Many health-conscious
people make chiropractic a regular part of their
health regimen, along with such sound practices
as exercise, good nutrition, stress management
and regular medical check-ups. Chiropractic is a
separate and distinct field that does not
compete with the practice of medicine or the use
of alternative therapies.
According to the 2000-2001 U.S. Department of
Labor Occupational Outlook Handbook and Career
Guide, employment of chiropractors is expected
to grow faster than the average for all
occupations through the year 2008 as consumer
demand for alternative health care continues to
grow. The education required to become a
licensed doctor of chiropractic is rigorous,
similar to that required for a medical doctor.
All students entering chiropractic college must
have completed 90 semester hours of prerequisite
courses at an accredited undergraduate college.
Once enrolled in chiropractic college, students
complete approximately 4,600 hours of
instruction. This is typically accomplished
through approximately 13 academic quarters
requiring three and a half years of full-time
study, or the equivalent of five years of study
on a traditional semester system. Upper-quarter
students complete a one-year internship in a
college-based chiropractic health center where
they provide comprehensive chiropractic care to
the public under the supervision of licensed
doctors of chiropractic.
There are currently 16 chiropractic colleges in
the United States and all are accredited by the
Commission on Accreditation of the Council on
Chiropractic Education, a professional
accrediting body recognized by the United States
Department of Education. The process for
receiving CCE accreditation is similar to that
required by the regional and professional bodies
that accredit other institutions of higher
The chiropractic profession has grown and
prospered in this country based on the publicís
demands for these important services. The
profession has traditionally received little to
no federal support and throughout its history
has often been thwarted in its attempts to be
included in such crucial programs as insurance
reimbursement for care, inclusion in Medicare
reimbursement and inclusion in health services
offered to the U.S. military.
I recommend the following actions to the
Commission to ensure the availability of the
highest quality of chiropractic education in the
- Allocate federal funds for chiropractic
college-based research programs, as is currently
done in the nationís medical schools. The
nationís top 50 medical schools alone in 1999
received more than $6.5 billion in research
funding through the National Institutes of
Health. Directing federal funding to research
efforts in the wellness and preventive health
paradigm that explores ways to help people avoid
serious health problems and enjoy greater
function and performance (rather than supporting
only traditional biomedical research that is
treatment- and condition-based) would help
reduce our nationís dependence on expensive
medical interventions once disease states and
conditions have manifested.
- Provide student loan and debt relief for
chiropractic college graduates who locate
practices in underserved areas of the country,
or devoted to particularly underserved segments
of the population.
- Provide direct support of chiropractic college
education, as is done in traditional medical
schools, to assist in the education of the
nationís health care providers.
- Formally recognize the value and
appropriateness of the meta-therapeutic health
care paradigm that focuses on enhancing
performance and function, rather than treating
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