The evolution of the name “chiropractic orthopedist” began in the 1950s. Initially, this was a localized phenomenon only in California. This postgraduate educational program began to spread in the 1960s nationwide.
The specialty continued to grow with a significant increase in the 1980s and 1990s. This meteoric rise has been credited to the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists (ABCO) and their ability to examine and certify doctors. Unfortunately, difficult times developed and ABCO no longer exists. In early 2004, the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists was approached to develop a certification examination. Testing began later that year and has continued to present. Successful candidates are awarded Diplomate Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists (DACO) certificates. The Academy also provides verification of credentials for its members.
Over the last few years, some institutions have focused on providing online education that offers the opportunity for doctors to learn at any desired pace, and significantly reducing the cost of travel, lodging, food, and time away from the family and office. The Academy, noting this trend, looked into the possibilities of providing online testing in secure locations. The National College Testing Association (NCTA), which the Academy is a member, provides approved testing venues. The expansion to online testing has been accomplished with Part I, the multiple-choice and problem-solving question examination. In 2018, the board successfully provided its Part II interactive examination online. In addition to significantly reducing overall costs in time and money for the doctor, the online venue has allowed the Academy to provide testing worldwide.
One of the common problems faced by doctors has been the questions frequently asked by other professional colleagues, health care administrators, businesses, and patients. These include where did the chiropractic orthopedist’s residency take place, what is their surgical specialty, and could they prescribe medication? Of course, the profession understood what a chiropractic orthopedist meant, but the name is confusing to the stakeholders and other interested parties.
The term chiropractic orthopedist is also not understood or recognized internationally. To solve the problems and misunderstandings regarding the term chiropractic orthopedist, the Academy felt the time is right for a name change that reflects more what we do as neuromusculoskeletal specialists treating acute and chronic pain. The decision for change did not come on a whim, and it has been worked on by the Academy for nearly two years. The Academy contacted both DACO and DABCO clinicians about the new name, and all were upbeat and pleased. The doctors felt it was descriptive of our specialty. We provide manual medicine that includes the chiropractic adjustment to our patient’s frame and supporting structures.
The Academy has chosen the following name: