Coast Guard and Chiropractic Medical Examiners
Written by Editor   
Monday, October 03, 2016 12:00 AM

TeamCME reports that the Coast Guard requested  its medical advisory committee to make a recommendation regarding DCs performing the merchant mariner exam.  The panel held a public meeting and completed the task.

The DCs present at the public meeting answered every concern raised by panel members.  Leaving the only remaining argument against DCs performing the exam biased anecdotal comments and unsubstantiated opinion.

This medical panel now has high ranking Coast Guard administration (Non MD) oversight.  Though for the past several years, the Chief position of the Merchant Mariner Credentialing Division has been void.  At this meeting the Coast guard introduced the new  Acting Chief of the division where all Merchant Mariner physical exams are sent.  She is a MD who just retired from the Navy as the head of Medical programs. She was the first speaker and the first thing she said was "I see no reason that chiropractors should not be included in this program." She and the Coast Guard Medical Director defended chiropractic inclusion.

Despite the positive statements of support from the Coast Guard, the panel voted unanimously to recommend that DCs not be included. Coast Guard higher ups witnessed a good representation of panel biases.  The Coast Guard frequently does not take the advice from the panels and they are completely free to do whatever is needed.  

The Coast Guard has started work on a Designated Medical Examiner program.  It will be similar to the National Registry.  Training will be required. Only DMEs will be allowed to perform Coast Guard physical exams.  DCs who are already CMEs are a prime candidates to be DMEs.