Definition of a Chiropractic Radiologist

By Norman W. Kettner, DC, DACBR, FICC
The terms "radiologist" or "chiropractic radiologist" signify a board certified specialist who uses the methods of the practice of radiology and imaging procedures including, but not limited to:
  1. supervising and performing imaging procedures;


  2. interpretation and advising for imaging procedures; and


  3. teaching, advising, and research in the areas of diagnostic imaging.

Chiropractic radiology is a specialty which provides consultation services at the request of other doctors. Chiropractic radiologists provide consultation in health care facilities (private offices, hospitals and teaching institutions) to meet the needs of referring physicians and their patients.

The quality of the interpretive services provided by the chiropractic radiologist in independent practice is reflected by the quality of their professional credentials. Each radiologist is a licensed doctor of chiropractic and has specialty certification status as Diplomate from an examination board with the minimum standards:

a) a minimum of three years of clinical radiologic experience and required postgraduate hours in radiology, sponsored by a chiropractic college which holds status with the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) or its equivalent, following a syllabus prescribed by the school; or

b) a minimum 4000 hour residency under the auspices of a chiropractic college which holds status with a national chiropractic accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education, or its equivalent, following a syllabus prescribed by the college; and

c) successful completion of a comprehensive certifying examination covering all aspects of radiology.

General members of the American Chiropractic College of Radiology are certified Diplomates of the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology (DACBR).

Radiologists supervise and interpret routine radiologic, and advanced imaging procedures. Radiologists provide written radiology reports. They advise referring physicians on the necessity and appropriateness of radiologic services and whether to seek or to avoid certain diagnostic or therapeutic procedures.

A radiologist makes available modern imaging on a cost-effective basis to the public and the referring doctors. In some instances, there is a need for the radiologist to take an active part in ordering radiologic studies. They pursue research in the diagnostic application of radiologic procedures. They may be called upon to act as expert witnesses in radiology in legal matters or litigation.

Radiologists serve in an advisory capacity to governmental agencies, licensing boards and other organizations as a radiology consultant.

Chiropractic radiologists are also deeply involved in advancement of technology. The production of images in the demonstration of normal and abnormal anatomy, as well as an understanding of the interaction of energy and matter, make the radiologist vital in the practice of modern chiropractic in almost any setting. The advance of the medical and technological facets of radiology is so rapid that certified radiologists are essential in assisting the clinician to integrate new technologies with case management.

The practice of radiology continuously involves the application of this technology to patient imaging and treatment. As long as these modalities continue to evolve, it is not practical to prepare a static definition of the practice of radiology which cites every modality and procedure by name.

Acceptable practice of radiology is now well recognized to include, but is not limited to, plain films, fluoroscopy, tomography, thermography, ultrasound, nuclear medicine imaging, computed tomography, digital radiography, magnetic resonance, and interventional radiology.

Individual practices may vary by intent, licensure and scope of practice laws.

Norman W. Kettner, D.C., DACBR, FICC
President, ACA's American Chiropractic College of Radiology
Chesterfield, Missouri

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