N.Y. Chiropractor shocked by FMCSA's decision

By Mark Schremmer, staff writer

Dr. David Thorpe, a chiropractor from New York, has performed between 7,000 and 8,000 Department of Transportation physicals since the inception of the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners in 2014.

During that time, Thorpe said he has received no complaints from the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration regarding the quality of the physicals he’s performed.

Regardless, Thorpe and about 50 other chiropractors in New York were removed from the National Registry

of Certified Medical Examiners on June 1. The FMCSA sent certified emails to chiropractors, informing them that they are no longer allowed to perform DOT physicals.

The New York State Board for Chiropractic said the decision was based only on a chiropractor’s scope of practice and not competency.

“I was in a state of shock,” Thorpe said. “I did not expect the FMCSA to do what they did, which is automatically remove us and not provide due process.”

While the chiropractors from New York have been removed from the registry, all of the medical certification cards they issued before the removal date are in good standing and will remain valid up to their expiration date.

“Chiropractors in New York have performed anywhere between 20,000 and 30,000 physicals in the last two years with no issue. And those physicals remain valid,” Thorpe said.

The Safe Drivers, Safe Roads Coalition and its website were formed to combat the decision in New York, as well to protect other states from suffering the same fate.

“We have evidence that there is a movement afloat currently, that elements of the medical profession are attempting to have chiropractic removed from participation in the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners,” the website states. “They initially attempted this through actively lobbying the FMCSA back in 2005. That was obviously unsuccessful. In recent years, their attempts have focused on challenging the chiropractic profession state by state.”

The coalition’s first steps are to try and set up meetings with the state board in order to resolve the issue.

“We’re prepared to do everything, including any form of legal approach to deal with this,” Thorpe said.