The New York State Department of Motor Vehicles has been notified by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) that New York chiropractors are no longer certified to complete USDOT Medical Examiner’s Certificates for commercial drivers. The FMCSA published a Bulletin stating that it received notification from the New York State Department of Education, State Board of Chiropractic stating that the DOT physical examination of commercial drivers is beyond the scope of chiropractic practice as defined by New York State law.
As a result of this notification to the FMCSA by the chiropractic Board, FMCSA notified New York chiropractors on July 1, 2016 that they would be immediately de-certified. FMCSA can de-certify examiners on an emergency basis (see previous post). One of the main requirements to perform DOT physicals that is clearly stated by the FMCSA is that examiner is to be:
licensed, certified or registered to perform physical examinations in accordance to applicable state laws and regulations.
In New York the Education Department, office of the Professions defines chiropractors as health practitioners that work to manipulate or adjust misaligned spine or related extremities to restore correct functioning of the nervous system. As such, the New York Chiropractic Board determined that performing DOT physicals is beyond the scope of practice of chiropractors.
In response the FMCSA had no recourse but to de-certify all New York chiropractors. Chiropractors nationwide are in an uproar (Landline Magazine article), suggesting not only that they are being “targeted” by the FMCSA but also alluding to a medical conspiracy of sort propagated by mainstream allopathic doctors (M.D.s) and perhaps the New York Board of Medicine (see Safe Drivers,Safe Roads Coalition, a chiropractic organization whose mission statement is to “defend and protect” chiropractor’s right to perform DOT physicals in all states). Currently they are seeking an Administrative Review from FMCSA’s Associate Administrator for Policy (must be done within 30 days of notification of removal from the National Registry).
This is not the first time the issue of “scope of practice” has been brought up with regards to the various professions, and it certainly has not been limited to chiropractic. In the state of Connecticut the chiropractic profession is more broadly defined, and through Declaratory Rulings the Connecticut State Board of Chiropractic Examiners has defined not only DOT physical examinations as being within the chiropractic scope of practice, but also needle Electromyography (EMG) examinations and other practices generally considered more medical in nature. In the case of EMGs, the American Association of Neuromuscular and Electrodiagnostic Medicine in their policy statement considers needle EMG the practice of medicine, and that it should be defined as such by state laws.
For more on the New York State Department of Motor Vehicle publication with regards to the removal see the following link:
Finally, if you are a commercial driver, and you were certified by a New York chiropractor prior to June 2, 2016 your medical card expiration date is still valid. Click here for more information.