The Early Years of Organized Chiropractic Orthopedics, 1954-1973: A Social History

Green, Bart N.; Johnson, Claire D.
June 2009
Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association;Jun2009, Vol. 53 Issue 2, p129
Academic Journal
Objective: This paper presents the origins and development of the organized chiropractic orthopedics movement in the United States from 1954-1973. Methods: Hand searches of early periodicals were performed and information was organized chronologically to create a timeline. Context for the timeline was provided by extracting pertinent information from audio recordings of interviews. Relevant background information was located using the cumulative index of the journal Chiropractic History and searching the MANTIS database. Historical Features: After World War I, The advent of third party reimbursement for health care created a new environment for health care practitioners. For doctors of chiropractic, this event provided the impetus to begin the postgraduate chiropractic orthopedics program over 50 years ago. In 1954, Alvin A. Hancock, DC and F. Maynard Lipe, DC successfully launched an active orthopedics movement after several earlier attempts failed during the 1940s and early 1950s. The movement generated from the desire to train and certify chiropractors to manage personal injury and workers' compensation low back injuries. In addition to developing interdisciplinary educational programs, the chiropractic orthopedics group was responsible for producing a research agenda, some of the profession's early orthopedic-focused research, and for starting the National Council on Chiropractic Orthopedics of the National Chiropractic Association, which later became the American Chiropractic Association Council on Orthopedics. These organizations produced thousands of specialists in chiropractic orthopedics, later known as Diplomates of the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists. Conclusion: Several orthopedics interest groups were formed and credentialing processes were created to qualify doctors as recognized chiropractic orthopedics specialists. The popularity of this movement resulted in the inclusion of orthopedics into core chiropractic college curricula and the production of various research studies before the development of the modern science of chiropractic.


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