Matthew McCoy DC, MPH
Journal of Philosophy, Principles, & Practice of Chiropractic ~ October 18, 2023 ~ Pages 1-5
Chiropractic education grapples with a critical ethical dilemma regarding how to balance stringent admissions standards with the need for accessibility to healthcare education. The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) is currently revising accreditation standards and related Policies. This commentary delves into the far-reaching impact of these policies on chiropractic schools, the accrediting body, the profession, and, importantly, the students caught in the midst of this debate.
The paper highlights the monopolistic control wielded by the CCE over chiropractic education and the consequences for inclusivity and ethical considerations. The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) further complicates matters by monopolizing licensing exams. Questions emerge about data transparency and the monopolistic influence on accreditation and licensing.
The paper explores the events years ago that led to a compromise on admissions standards due to resistance from chiropractic institutions, and the subsequent introduction of Policies 7 and 56. These policies aimed to strike a balance between raising standards and preserving enrollment. Policies 7 and 56, at the heart of the compromise, introduced the Alternative Admissions Track, allowing chiropractic programs to admit students who didn’t meet elevated criteria.
Financial implications ripple through this landscape, with institutions benefiting from increased enrollment while grappling with the cost of remediation programs. Simultaneously, concerns arise about the long-term financial burden on students who don’t complete their chiropractic programs, facing debt without a professional path.
Now in 2023, the CCE is dismantling the structure of the Alternative Admissions Track, prompting skepticism about its alignment with student interests. The paper outlines changes to admission requirements, raising questions about transparency and motivations.
The commentary advocates actions to address these challenges, including revisiting admissions standards, enhancing transparency, robust data collection, and ethical education. Striking a balance between accessibility and quality in chiropractic education is paramount, fostering fairness, transparency, and accountability.
Keywords: Chiropractic education, Admissions standards, Accreditation, Ethical dilemma, Monopoly, Alternative Admissions Track, Transparency.