The author, a recent graduate of the University of Michigan, is a Metro Detroit freelancer and researcher for a nonprofit U.S. P.I.R.G. (United States Public Interest Research Group).
By Jillian Gordner
When going to a doctor, you assume her or his license comes from an independent governing body that certifies that they’re qualified and trained.
But the integrity of the licensing process could soon be compromised in Michigan with chiropractors. Here’s why.
Currently, to remain in good standing, chiropractors need to take a minimum of 30 hours of continuing education every two years. Those courses are approved by the Michigan Board of Chiropractic, a government agency.
But there’s a proposal before the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs that would let the trade association, the Michigan Association of Chiropractors (M.A.C.), approve the courses.
That would create a big conflict of interest.
M.A.C. offers classes that compete with courses offered by companies and organizations. Under the proposal, which has already gotten the OK from the State Board of Chiropractic, M.A.C. could reject competitors' classes.
Like Giving McDonald's Authority
One chiropractor tells me it would be like McDonald’s being given the authority to conduct health inspections for all restaurants, including competitors.
The change would give the association unchecked power over competitors’ classes, compromise the integrity of the entire recertification process and potentially reduce the variety of course offerings for chiropractors.
Why should patients care?
Patients deserve the best-trained, best informed and most qualified chiropractors. Changing the rules and giving a trade association oversight normally reserved for a government body is unfair to patients, chiropractors and organizations offering continuing education.
The vast majority of states turn to the Providers of Approved Continuing Education (P.A.C.E) to approve courses. The organization is an arm of the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards. The two organizations work to protect the public by promoting high-quality continuing education, connecting chiropractors with scientifically sound, reliable education.
Why didn’t the Michigan Board of Chiropractic choose to give the authority to P.A.C.E? Former M.A.C. employee and President Kris Fetterman of Fetterman Events, a company that offers continuing education courses called the switch a “power-grab” by M.A.C. She said “Most states use P.A.C.E. and more are switching to it because chiropractors are seeing the conflict between the State Board and the state’s trade association. I have no confidence at all [M.A.C.] is going to be unbiased.”
Additionally, the proposal would give M.A.C. authority over off-campus chiropractic college courses taken for continuing education.
The change isn’t a done deal. The state Licensing and Regulatory Authority must finalize the proposed change. A public hearing on the matter is scheduled for 1 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 19 on Zoom where public comment will be taken. If you’re concerned about chiropractic care in Michigan, it would be a good time to speak up. People can also submit emails to the state Policy Analyst at BPL-BoardSupport@michigan.gov
For Zoom click here . The password is 759646. To phone, call (877) 336-1831 and use the conference code 486917.