It's hard to overstate the important role the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) plays in our profession. By designing and administering the tests for chiropractic licensure, the NBCE has, in essence, the ability to determine which DCs get licensed and which don't.
Over the past decade or so, the NBCE has experienced a certain level of controversy.
The NBCE board of directors consists of 11 members: five elected from specific districts or regions of the country, two from the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB) and four "at-large" directors. What has happened in the past is that a group of people came into power and maintained control of the board of directors simply by filling the at-large positions with their cronies. With four cronies in the at-large positions, they could retain control with as few as two district directors.
Last year saw a long-awaited change in the control of the NBCE board of directors. As Dr. James Edwards states in his article (www.chiroweb.com/archives/25/09/14.html), he has spent "eight years working to reform the NBCE Board of Directors."
The delegates took back control of the NBCE when they rejected the "old guard" nominee from District V. According to the current bylaws, the delegates are the ones who actually elect the district directors. This keeps the district directors accountable to the entire delegate body, rather than just four to five delegates in their district. While some have suggested a vote of the delegate body shouldn't be required to elect the district directors, this is a right held sacred by the delegates themselves.
When the delegates declined to elect District V's first nominee, they did so by "keeping their [voting] paddles down." This was the advice given by Dr. Edwards in an article published in DC just prior to last year's annual meeting.17 It was the first time the delegate body had ever refused to elect a person nominated by a district. District V ultimately presented a "reform candidate" who was elected in overwhelming fashion by the delegate body. This was just one of several historic events that took place at last year's annual meeting.18
This year's NBCE annual meeting is expected to be just as exciting. As you will read in our exclusive interview with NBCE President Vernon Temple, DC (www.chiroweb.com/archives/25/09/12.html), there are more unprecedented events set to take place at this year's meeting. For the first time in the history of the NBCE, the bylaws amendments have been posted on the NBCE Web site in advance of the annual meeting. The delegates also will be able to vote on individual bylaws amendments, rather than the "all-or-nothing" single amendment the old guard usually presented to the delegates.
In addition, the delegates finally will receive complete financial information on every penny paid or spent by one of their directors. While the financial disclosure was much improved last year, some questions were still left unanswered. Full financial disclosure, combined with the proposed term-limit amendment, will prevent many of the abuses of power that have been seen in the past.
But the delegates have one more issue to address in their efforts to revise the NBCE. There are two remaining "old guard" directors: Dr. Frank Hideg, who has been a director for almost 30 years; and Dr. Jerry Blanchard, who has been one for more than 12 years. Dr. Blanchard has already stated that he will not seek re-election. To my knowledge, Dr. Hideg has not yet made his intentions public.
Dr. Hideg has the distinction of serving both the NBCE and the Kentucky Board of Chiropractic Examiners for almost 30 years. While some may suggest that he offers a wealth of experience, others are concerned his tenure has resulted in a certain amount of inertia. A case in point is the handling of the initial complaint against "Uncle" Paul Hollern, DC. Dr. Hideg was an officer of the Kentucky Board, as well as its paid investigative office, when the complaint was filed with the board almost two and a half years ago.
Based upon the complaint filed with the Kentucky Board, Hollern was indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts, including health care fraud; videotaping patients; retaliation against a witness; and HIPAA violations. If convicted, he faces a maximum sentence of 10 years and $250,000 in fines for the four allegations. Dr. Hideg's investigation of Hollern obviously was not what it could have been, as it resulted in only a $100 fine.19
Should Dr. Hideg decide to seek three more years as a director, the delegates will be forced to "keep their paddles down" in order to finish replacing the last of the "old guard." This is why Dr. James Edwards is encouraging NBCE delegates to "just keep your paddle down" when Dr. Hideg's name is submitted to the assembly for election. As Dr. Edwards says, "by doing so, you will complete the reform of the NBCE and put a bold, shining exclamation point on the history-making events of last year!"
- "Nat'l Board Delegates Seek Greater Authority." Dynamic Chiropractic, May 31, 1999. www.chiroweb.com/archives/17/12/20.html.
- "NBCE: Violating a Professional Trust or Doing Business as Usual?" Dynamic Chiropractic, Jan. 25, 2000. www.chiroweb.com/archives/18/03/13.html.
- "Clean the Slate!" Dynamic Chiropractic, Jan. 25, 2000. www.chiroweb.com/archives/18/03/17.html.
- "ICA Calls for 'Immediate, Profound Reforms' of the NBCE." Dynamic Chiropractic Feb. 7, 2000. www.chiroweb.com/archives/18/04/09.html.
- "ACA Weighs in on Nat'l Board Debate." Dynamic Chiropractic, Feb. 21, 2000. www.chiroweb.com/archives/18/05/12.html.
- "Chiropractic Students Weigh in on NBCE Controversy." Dynamic Chiropractic, April 3, 2000. www.chiroweb.com/archives/18/08/19.html.
- "NBCE: More Questions." Dynamic Chiropractic, April 17, 2000. www.chiroweb.com/archives/18/09/15.html.
- "Now It's up to the National Board Delegates." Dynamic Chiropractic, April 17, 2000. www.chiroweb.com/archives/18/09/19.html.
- "College Presidents Call for 'Consolidation of NBCE Parts II and III.'" Dynamic Chiropractic April 17, 2000. www.chiroweb.com/archives/18/09/01.html.
- "NBCE Bylaws: Directors vs. Delegates." Dynamic Chiropractic, May 1, 2000. www.chiroweb.com/archives/18/10/19.html.
- "NBCE Embraces Change." Dynamic Chiropractic, May 29, 2000. www.chiroweb.com/archives/18/12/10.html.
- "More Changes at NBCE." Dynamic Chiropractic, June 18, 2005. www.chiroweb.com/archives/23/13/12.html.
- "How Do the Same People Stay in Control of the National Board?" Dynamic Chiropractic, April 10, 2006. www.chiroweb.com/archives/24/08/18.html.
- "Top Eight Obvious NBCE Contradictions." Dynamic Chiropractic, April 24, 2006. www.chiroweb.com/archives/24/09/16.html.
- "NBCE Control Group - Actions Reveal Attitudes." Dynamic Chiropractic, May 8, 2006. www.chiroweb.com/archives/24/10/16.html.
- "NBCE Meeting Results in Reform." Dynamic Chiropractic, June 6, 2006. www.chiroweb.com/archives/24/12/12.html.
- "Do the Right Thing: Keep Your Paddle Down!" Dynamic Chiropractic, April 24, 2006. www.chiroweb.com/archives/24/09/07.html.
- "NBCE Delegates: The Beating of Hearts, the Beating of Drums." Dynamic Chiropractic, June 20, 2006. www.chiroweb.com/archives/24/13/08.html.
- "Grand Jury Brings Charges Against Uncle Paul." Dynamic Chiropractic, April 9, 2007. www.chiroweb.com/archives/25/08/08.html.
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