By Sienna Shoup
The chiropractic profession has been working for some time toward increased integration in health care by seeking ways to become more involved within communities and on the national level, laying a foundation for doctors of chiropractic to collaborate more meaningfully with different types of providers for the benefit of patients.
N. Ray Tuck, Jr., DC, and Steven J. Gould, DC (pictured left and below), provide one example of chiropractors who are advancing integration and bridging the gap with their medical colleagues through volunteer leadership. Drs. Tuck and Gould are the current presidents of the Virginia Board of Medicine and the Kansas State Board of Healing Arts, respectively, which are the state agencies responsible for overseeing competent patient care through licensing of physicians, establishing and enforcing standards of practice, educating practitioners and the public, and evaluating complaints. The two DCs were also both seated delegates last month at the Annual Federation of State Medical Boards (FSMB) House of Delegates meeting.
“As a member of a regulatory board, our charge is to protect the public. Therefore, all our activities are focused on the patient,” explains Dr. Tuck, who is a past president of ACA.
There are currently only three states in the U.S. – Illinois, Kansas and Virginia – that have integrated multidisciplinary medical licensing boards. The rest of the U.S. states and territories have boards that are chiropractic specific. The Kansas State Board is made up of 15 members, across multiple disciplines, including five medical doctors, three doctors of chiropractic, two doctors of osteopathy, two doctors of philosophy, one doctor of podiatric medicine and one public member. The Virginia Board is comprised of 18 members, including 11 medical doctors, one doctor of osteopathy, one doctor of podiatric medicine, one doctor of chiropractic and four public members.
The FSMB Annual Meeting is an educational and networking event for the nation’s medical regulatory community that brings together healthcare leaders to discuss current challenges and innovative ideas that help shape the future of medical regulation. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, what is typically a three-day event was held on May 2 as a virtual meeting. This was Dr. Tuck’s third time attending the annual meeting and Dr. Gould’s first.
The FSMB serves as a national voice for state medical boards in the U.S., supporting them through education, assessment, data, research and advocacy while providing services and initiatives that promote patient safety, quality health care and regulatory best practices.
Though they were the only two chiropractors represented at the FSMB meeting, Dr. Tuck says he and Dr. Gould have always been received with great respect as healthcare professionals and treated as colleagues. He adds, “Keeping the patients on the forefront of all our activities is key to success in today's healthcare world.”
Sienna Shoup is a senior associate in the ACA Branding and Communications Department. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.