A New and Improved Chiropractic Occupational Health and Applied Ergonomics Diplomate Program

By Elizabeth L. Auppl, DC

New Educational and Exam Requirements
In recent months, the president of the ACA Council on Occupational Health (ACACOH), Donald Brown, DC, DACBOH, along with its Executive Committee, appointed a fresh Board of Directors to the American Chiropractic Board on Occupational Health (ACBOH). Under the leadership of the ACBOH president, David Thorpe, DC, DACBOH, and with guidance and assistance from Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWHSU) — sponsor of the program — the educational and examination requirements were reformatted. Joseph J. Sweere, DC, DABCO, DACBOH, FICC, at NWHSU, is the coordinator of the postgraduate program.

“New and improved” is the label for the now completely distance-learning, occupational health and applied ergonomics program and its examination processes. Among important changes to better the program, the burden was removed of having to be away from home and patients to complete coursework and exam requirements, while still ensuring the highest standards of education for DCs and the credibility of the credential to the general public.

But why would you, a DC, be interested? In the past five or so years, the business community has increasingly acknowledged that this great profession is well positioned for providing an array of services specific to workplace safety and employee health promotion. The word is out concerning published findings as to the impact chiropractic holds specific to the needs of corporate America. Consequently, employers are calling the local chiropractic clinic seeking solutions to the challenges of work-related injuries, associated absenteeism and lost time, and job safety/injury prevention. Leaders within the specialty of chiropractic occupational health and safety expect this trend to significantly increase and eventually become the norm, especially as more studies demonstrate the efficacy of chiropractic and support its involvement in the workplace setting.

You can be prepared to respond. This important postgraduate program is intended to equip DCs for communicating, interacting and strategizing with employers regarding injury prevention and ergonomics and the need for accurate diagnosis and treatment of common work-injury problems such as musculoskeletal disorders (MSDs) and low-back pain (LBP); accident prevention through services such as substance-use testing, pre-placement exams, Certified Medical Examiner (CME) for Department of Transportation physical examinations, wellness services, return to work, employee education, independent medical examinations, and a host of other services. Many of these services are highly marketable because they stand to produce a relatively short-term return on investment (ROI) attractive to, and beneficial for, employers and a company’s bottom line.

About the DACBOH Program
This postgraduate program entails 228 hours of coursework, 16 hours of online courses and a field project requirement (in which you work with a local company) worth 72 hours that now replaces the practical exam requirement, because the DC will demonstrate competency via the field project. Once the (minimum) 300-hour requirement has been satisfied, a candidate may apply to sit for the online and proctored written exam held at a remote location convenient to the candidate. Successful completion results in being awarded Diplomate status in the American Chiropractic Board on Occupational Health carrying the DACBOH credential.

DCs embarking on this important Diplomate program and area of expertise do so for many reasons, not limited to:

? Exhibiting professional commitment for holding specialty status;

? Acquiring state-of-the-art and broad knowledge;

? Expanding clinical expertise;

? Increasing position in the marketplace, visibility, credibility and service delivery;

? Demonstrating knowledge, skills and competency;

? Being on par with other professionals and disciplines providing solutions to challenges employers face every day; and,

? Exceeding postgraduate education requirements upheld by some health care disciplines.

It has been demonstrated many times that DCs completing Diplomate-level coursework and examinations excel in the field. However, there is great concern for the general public and employers. Charged by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) with the colossal task of creating safe work environments for employees, expert consultants are necessary resources for the employer. In securing the services of a credentialed expert, employers can rely on important qualities:

? The DC possesses a core body of knowledge specific to workplace safety and health;

? The DC consultant has significant education beyond the basic education concerning the role and burden of neuromusculoskeletal and other types of injuries common to work settings;

? A credential represents trust in professionalism, education, integrity and credibility; Postgraduate education has been successfully accomplished – important to expertise in a given area; and,

? The credentialing body has a formal review process should a grievance arise.

The Program’s Phases
Expert presenters come from the chiropractic profession as well as the business community, and speak on a broad variety of topics important to America’s workforce. There is limited flexibility in the order in which you may complete the phases of the postgraduate program, so if a particular topic of interest appeals to your needs right now, you may be able to use that as a starting point.

Current topics and presenters are listed here:

The Role of Chiropractic in Occupational Health, Joseph J. Sweere, DC, DABCO, DACBOH

How to Promote Services With an Emphasis on Industrial Relations, Scott Bautch, DC, DACBOH

D.O.T. Drug Testing and Alcohol Screening Certification, Elizabeth Auppl, CDSP, CDST

Certified Medical Examiner (CME) Training for Performing the D.O.T. Physical Examinations, Elizabeth Auppl, CDSP, CDST, and Brian Tasky, DC

Chiropractic Services Within the Corporate Setting, Chad Henriksen, DC, DACBOH

Ergonomic Considerations of the Seated Worker, Scott Donkin, DC, DACBOH

The Biomechanical Stress Index. Post-Offer/Pre-placement Physical/Screening Examinations, Joseph J. Sweere, DC, DABCO, DACBOH

Introduction to Applied Ergonomics, Tom Albin, PE, CPE

The Business of Chiropractic Occupational Health: An A to Z Guide for Getting Your Foot in the Door and What to Do Next, David Thorpe, DC, DACBOH

Workers’ Compensation Insurance, Managed Care and Regulatory Agencies Critical to Occupational Health Consulting and Treating Work Related Injuries and Illness, Timothy J. Richardson, DC, DACBOH

Introduction to Environmental and Chemical Hazards and Applied Ergonomics, David Gilkey, DC, DACBOH, MS, PhD Stress in the Workplace, Robert Scott, MEd, DC, PhD

Upper Extremity, Cumulative Trauma Disorders, Steve Yeomans, DC, DABCO

Accident Investigation, David Gilkey, DC, DACBOH, MS, PhD

Workplace Wellness, Rosaline Ward, MPH, CHES

Returning the Injured Worker to the Workplace, Elizabeth Auppl, CDSP, CDST; Joseph J. Sweere, DC, DABCO, DACBOH; Dawn Soleta, BS; Stephanie Igtanloc, MS, CRC, QRC

Forensic Considerations in Occupational Health and the Functional Capacities Evaluation, G. Steven Baer, DC, DABCOH, DABFP

Physical Rehabilitation of the Injured Worker, Stacy Thornhill Peterson, DC, DACRB

Identifying and Responding to Employers’ Needs, Scott Bautch, DC, DACBOH, and Steve Conway, DC, JD

Integration, Technology and Survival: Putting It All Together, Brian Justice, DC, DABCO, and Wendy Brabon

Ergonomics: Setting Up Your Business for Success, Alex Charish, MA, PhD, CPE

Education is a tool and an important resource for the DC wanting to work with business and industry. DCs and students may participate in the Diplomate program now with easier access to education than ever before. Developing and designing the written exam to be accomplished online in a proctored setting is convenient for the candidate. Changes the ACBOH Board of Directors have made for the program offerings are cost-effective.

Be sure to check out the Diplomate program by visiting NWHSU’s website at www.nwhealth.edu/conted/distlear. Visit the website of the ACACOH at www.acacoh.com; you will find a link on the site for accessing the ACBOH as well. There you will find other resources helpful to DCs marketing or communicating to employers.

DOT Physical Exams
The Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration (FMCSA) published a ruling that health care providers of various designated disciplines must complete comprehensive continuing education and a federal test no later than May 2014 if they wish to perform U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) motor vehicle driver physicals beyond that date. The chiropractic community and medical doctors account for the bulk of providers having met requirements and therefore having earned the designation of being a Certified Medical Examiner (CME) listed on the FMCSA’s National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners (NRCME). If you need clarification about federal requirements, please contact Elizabeth L. Auppl during normal business hours at (507) 455-1025 or by e-mail at iacohc@gmail.com.

If you have completed a Certified Medical Examiner educational program outside of the Diplomate program, contact Northwestern Health Sciences University (NWSHU) to learn how those continuing education hours may be applied to the program. You may call the postgraduate department at (952) 885-5446.

Elizabeth L. Auppl owns Workplace Human Relations, and FGC. Ms. Auppl serves on the American Chiropractic Board on Occupational Health (ACBOH) Board of Directors as its public advisor, and as an adviser to the ACA Council on Occupational Health (ACACOH). Additionally, she serves as a board member and director of the nonprofit International Academy of Chiropractic Occupational Health Consultants (IACOHC). Ms. Auppl has been a member of the postgraduate faculty for the Diplomate program since 2004. A published author, presenter and advocate for chiropractic occupational health for nearly three decades, she may be reached at (507) 455-1025 or by e-mail to iacohc@gmail.com.


Published in the November 2013 ACA News.