Why It’s Time for a Name Change

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), with 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:

International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine

Yes, there remains an Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists. The Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists and Forensic Sciences will continue as a part of the IANM as sub-specialties. This name change is immediate, and it is our goal to have all of our website material and correspondence reflect this by 01/01/2020.

The Academy is a 503 (c) corporation. As you know, corporations may change their names but still deliver the same product. Bell Telephone became AT&T, Anderson Consulting became Accenture, and so forth.

Diplomates of the IANM can use the following credential DIANM. Fellows of the IANM may now use FIANM along with their country’s initials in parenthesis. For the United States Fellows, it is (us), Brazil (br), Canada (can), Australia (au), United Arab Emirates (uae) and New Zealand (nz). For example, the correct credential for a U.S. Fellow would be Doctor Name DC, FIANM (us). (In early 2022, the IANM Board requested doctors discontinue the use of FACO and FIANM by doctors, indicating a Fellowship. Its current use indicated a fraternal designation and not academic achievement.)

The DABCO and DACO credentials are not going away. On your curriculum vitae, you can state whether you are a DABCO or DACO. However, there will be a period of grandfathering where you may wish to change from DABCO or DACO to DIANM and a Fellow of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (FIANM) with the country initials in parenthesis. You cannot use any of these two groups of letters together. If you wish to use the new credentials, you may obtain a new Academy membership certificate which states that you are a “Fellow of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine.” Additionally, you may obtain a new certificate with the credential “Diplomate of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine.”  If you wish to have a new DIANM certificate, please click here.

All state and national chiropractic organizations will be notified of our name change beginning this week. NCMIC and other chiropractic businesses will also be notified.

We are currently developing changes and upgrades to our website to reflect our new name. This will also include a new web address which will be announced soon.

We fully understand this may provide some initial confusion, but with time, this transition will be completed and we will move forward.

If you are wondering, classes are ongoing in the Pacific basin, and contacts are in discussions in South America and Canada. It is our goal to continue to expand the footprint of the neuromusculoskeletal chiropractic physicians treating acute and chronic pain throughout the world. Classes are increasing in the United States. This will include Alaska for the first time! The specialty is on an upward path. Arrangements are being made to repeat classes in prior venues due to demands. The residency program at the University of Bridgeport continues to grow. These doctors are being placed in health care facilities upon completion of the neuromusculoskeletal course work and successfully passing the credentialing examination hosted by the Academy. The areas and facilities of placement are also continuing to grow.

Please note the following:

The definition of neuromusculoskeletal medicine – neuromusculoskeletal medicine:
Any health care practice that relies on manipulation or adjustment of bones, ligaments, muscles, and tendons.
Medical Dictionary, © 2009 Farlex and Partner

Further support for the update and current change:

The American Osteopathic Board of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine (AOBNMM) is an organization that provides board certification to qualified Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine (D.O.) in the medical specialty of neuromusculoskeletal medicine. The AOBNMM is one of 18 medical specialty certifying boards of the American Osteopathic Association Bureau of Osteopathic Specialists approved by the American Osteopathic Association (AOA). [12] As of December 2011, 482 osteopathic physicians hold active certification with the AOBNMM.

From the University of Wisconsin:
Neuromusculoskeletal medicine diagnoses and treats conditions involving nerves, muscles, soft tissue, and bones. Doctors of osteopathic medicine (DOs) provide this care in several of our UW Department of Family Medicine and Community Health clinics.  DOs are licensed physicians who receive specialized training.  The goal of this type of medicine is to help the body heal itself.

Remember when Chiropractic and Osteopathy had their beginnings in 1895, Dr. Palmer was all about the nervous system, and Dr. Still, the osteopath, was about blood circulation. Now, look at what they have discovered…Dr. Palmer was right. Osteopathy is now using the Chiropractic lexicon.

From Health Engine:
What is a musculoskeletal physician?
A musculoskeletal physician is a doctor who manages patients with bone, joint, and muscle disorders that DO NOT require surgery as part of their management.

It is the Academy’s opinion that the generic use of neuromusculoskeletal medicine complements our chiropractic orthopedist principles and desired treatment protocols. Other professions are using chiropractic manipulation; it is our opinion that the use of neuromusculoskeletal medicine is appropriate for our specialists.

The Academy asks you to be patient and understanding of the changes. From our search and reviews, the term “Neuromusculoskeletal” encompasses all that the chiropractic orthopedist has been and will be into the future, only now it will become more understandable what we do as specialists in chiropractic health care.

Thank you!