January 2006

Academy e-letter
Volume 5, Number 1
January, 2006

From the Desk of John F. Sanger
Public Member, Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists

Good Morning Doctor:

As the newest member of the Academy’s Board of Directors and a non-Chiropractor, I recently was privileged to observe an Academy Examination that was held in November at NWHSU in Bloomington, Minnesota – and I was impressed. For those unfamiliar with the process, I thought that I would share my perceptions with you. Although the exam consists of three parts, i.e., a written examination, a radiology analysis and a patient examination, I would like to comment on the patient examination.

Well in advance of the examination, the multi-step process begins:

  • A script documenting a variety of conditions and symptoms is prepared; this is then reviewed by the board after it has completed a field Delphi evaluation by practicing Chiropractic Orthopedists, to ensure that it is comprehensive and accurate. The simulated patient then studies the condition and practices the nuances of the condition. The examiner and patient go over each and every point prior to the examination.
  • Practicing Chiropractors are recruited from the Academy, and two other orthopedic groups, to form

  • evaluation teams, one plays the role of the patient, another serves as the examiner.
  • On the evening prior to the exam, the doctors come together and each examination team reviews their “disease or condition.” Meticulously they:
    • discuss how best to relate the symptoms and to keep everything consistent,
    • define the parameters about what they can and can not do during the encounter with the candidate in the diagnostic/evaluation process. The examiner and patient go over each and every point prior to the examination,
    • agree on how the scoring process should be done and review what constitutes a passing diagnosis.
  • On exam day, the candidates move through the structured process. The exam procedure is explained to them and the diagnostic exam begins. These teams are great and their performance is impressive! (Maybe they should have an Academy Award for Best Actor). After the time period is expired, the candidate leaves and the team, the examiner and simulated patient score the result. The give-and-take is extraordinary. Their obsession to be fair to the Candidate is matched by their concern with maintaining their professional standards.
  • The entire process was very efficient and well planned.

Not only was it an enlightening experience for me to observe the Examination process but it was also my first opportunity to meet the other board members. They are not only dedicated to their profession but they are also very caring individuals. It was a great day from many perspectives and I am grateful for the opportunity to help the Academy help you.

Should anyone ever wish to have an issue discussed by the board in confidence, I urge you to contact me at [email protected] or 651-486-8408 and I will be happy to raise the issue. The board is working hard to strengthen the chiropractic specialty and your profession, and establishing this ombudsman role for the public is but one of the ways they are doing that. If I can be of help in any small way, please let me know.

John Sanger


The PDF version of this letter can be viewed or downloaded below:
 January 2006 PDF