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History of Chiropractic

1895 D.D. Palmer commences practice as a “chiropractor.”
1897 The Palmer School of Chiropractic, the first chiropractic educational institution, opens.
1913 Kansas becomes the first U.S. state to recognize and license the practice of chiropractic. Louisiana became the last state in 1974.
1923 Alberta becomes the first province to license chiropractic practice in Canada. Ontario follows in 1925. Newfoundland is the last province, in 1992.
1933 The U.S. Council of State Chiropractic Examining Boards is established with a mandate to provide unified standards for licensure. Renamed the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB) in 1974.
1939 The Canton of Zurich, Switzerland, becomes the first jurisdiction outside North America to license the practice of chiropractic.
1944 The Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research (FCER) is established and becomes the profession’s foremost agency for funding of postgraduate scholarship and research.
1963 The U.S. National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) is established to promote consistency and reciprocity between state examining boards.
1974 The U.S. Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) is recognized by the federal government as the accrediting agency for schools of chiropractic. This leads to the development of affiliated agencies in Australasia, Canada, Europe and most recently Latin America.
1979 Chiropractic in New Zealand, the report of the NZ Commission of Inquiry into Chiropractic, is published. This was the first government commission to adopt a full judicial procedure, hearing evidence on oath and subject to cross-examination when examining patients, chiropractors, medical doctors and others on the role of the chiropractic profession. The Commission’s recommendations strongly endorse chiropractic services and call for medical cooperation. The report has a major impact internationally.
1987 Final judgment in the Wilk vs American Medical Association case entered, opening the way for much greater cooperation between medical and chiropractic doctors in education, research and practice in the U.S. and, as a result, internationally.
1988 World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) is formed. The WFC, whose members are national associations of chiropractors in over 85 countries, is admitted into official relations with the World Health Organization (WHO) as a non-governmental organization or NGO in January 1997.
1993 The Manga Report in Canada, the first government-commissioned report by health economists looking at the cost-effectiveness of chiropractic services, recommends a primary role for chiropractors with back pain patients on grounds of safety, cost-effectiveness and patient preference, and concludes this will save hundreds of millions annually in direct health care costs and work disability payments.
1994 Government-sponsored expert panels developing evidence-based guidelines for the management of patients with back pain in the U.S. (Agency for Health Care Policy and Research) and the U.K. (Clinical Standards Advisory Group) provide the first authoritative reports that manipulation is a proven and preferred treatment approach for most acute low-back pain patients.
1996 U.S. government begins official funding support for an ongoing agenda for chiropractic research through the National Institutes of Health.
1998 The first year in which there were more chiropractic schools outside the United States (17) than in the United States (16). By 2007 there were 23 recognized schools outside the United States, most recently schools in Japan, Malaysia and Spain (2007).
2002 The US Congress introduces chiropractic Services in the military health system then, in 2004, throughout the veterans’ administration healthcare system.
2005 WHO publishes the WHO Guidelines on Basic Training and Safety in Chiropractic, recommending educational standards for the recognition and regulation of chiropractic services in all member countries. By 2009 these are printed in Arabic, Chinese, English, Finnish, French, German, Indonesian, Japanese, Korean, Portuguese, Spanish and Turkish.

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