ACA Continues to Fight Boy Scouts' Discriminatory Policy, but Public Support is Crucial
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA) today announced that it has developed a template letter for members of the public who oppose the Boy Scouts of America's (BSA) policy change affecting the types of providers allowed to perform annual medical examinations for its youth and adult members. For over a year, the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) has not allowed chiropractic physicians to perform annual evaluations. Medical doctors, doctors of osteopathic medicine, nurse practitioners and physician's assistants are all eligible to perform these exams. The template letter is available online.
ACA has sent two letters to BSA headquarters supporting the fact that DCs are qualified to perform annual physicals, voicing its concerns about the policy change and requesting that the previous policy be restored to recognize the state-authorized ability of doctors of chiropractic (DC) to provide annual exams to BSA. The group's decision was not supported by any evidence; in fact, chiropractic physicians performed these evaluations for BSA for more than 22 years prior to the change last year. Furthermore, many DCs are involved with BSA as volunteers, leaders or parents.
While ACA is doing its part to rescind this policy, support from the public is crucial. The new template letter is designed to be completed by individuals within the scouting community, such as parents of scouts, troop leaders, troop committee members or council leaders. ACA encourages members of the chiropractic community to inform others about the online template.
DCs and others within the chiropractic community are encouraged to contact BSA to voice their concern as well. A template letter for DCs, as well as BSA's phone number and talking points, are available online.
The online template letter, when completed, is automatically sent to BSA. The letter for DCs has already generated considerable action by doctors throughout the country. However, despite this action, BSA has refused to rescind or even discuss this policy.
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) and National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) have also sent letters in opposition to this policy, clearly identifying the qualifications of chiropractic physicians to perform annual physical examinations. NUHS has even extended an invitation to BSA to take part in classes on its campus to learn more about chiropractic education.
"Chiropractic physicians across the country have enjoyed a long-standing involvement with scouting," said ACA President Rick McMichael, DC. "Chiropractic physicians are primary care doctors who are educated and trained to diagnose health problems, treat conditions that are within their scope of practice and refer patients to other health care practitioners when appropriate. The Boy Scouts of America does everyone a disservice with this discriminatory policy. This policy must be changed."
The American Chiropractic Association (ACA), based in Arlington, Va., is the largest professional association in the United States representing doctors of chiropractic. ACA promotes the highest standards of patient care and ethics, and supports research that contributes to the health and well-being of millions of chiropractic patients. Visit www.acatoday.org.