Are chiropractors allowed to call themselves "doctor"?

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Tim Beck (July 03, 2009, 01:10:41 AM):
This is my first post - I don't know why I haven't been here before. :-[

As you might be aware, the English science writer Simon Singh is being sued for libel by the British Chiropractic Association. He called their claims "bogus" which was deemed by the court to mean deliberate dishonesty on the part of chiropractors - a claim impossible to defend. Btw, this case brought home to me how dangerous the English libel laws are to anyone - not just the English. I blogged about this here: http://www.reasoncheck.com/2009/06/05/beware-english-libel-laws/

This has caused quite a kerfuffle amongst English science bloggers, resulting in some close scrutiny of chiropractors' claims. This has caused some panic in the chiropractic ranks (see: http://www.reasoncheck.com/2009/06/11/chiropractors-running-scared/ ), particularly their use of the title "doctor" to describe themselves, which I understand is not allowed in Britain. So I did some digging locally and found that all (so far) chiropractors in SA call themselves "doctor".

I have discovered that chiropractors are controlled by the Allied Health Professions Council of South Africa, who have a non-functioning website (www.ahpcsa.co.za). I have trolled though the entire Health Professions Act as well as a number of other notices and publications put out by the various health bodies but have not been able to answer the question: are chiropractors allowed to call themselves "doctor" in SA? All I could find out is that you're not allowed to call yourself anything if you're not registered.

This might sound a bit pernickety but it's a starting point in a series I want to do on woo medicine in SA, and I would like to cause a bit of a nuisance.

So I would appreciate any help in this regard. I must say I find it hard to believe that these quacks - including homoeopaths, aroma therapists and the like - are allowed to fob themselves off as "doctors".

Tim.
Tim Beck (July 03, 2009, 14:04:28 PM):
I can answer my own question. I eventually got hold of someone at the AHPSA who gave me this info:

Registered homoeopaths and chiropractors ARE allowed to call themselves "doctor", having completed their masters degree in their respective disciplines plus a year of internship. Institutions that offer these courses are Durban University of Technology and University of Johannesburg. These are six year courses!

No other "allied health" woo merchants may call themselves "doctor".
Wandapec (July 03, 2009, 21:42:08 PM):
Welcome ReasonCheck!
Registered homoeopaths and chiropractors ARE allowed to call themselves "doctor", having completed their masters degree in their respective disciplines plus a year of internship. Institutions that offer these courses are Durban University of Technology and University of Johannesburg. These are six year courses!

No other "allied health" woo merchants may call themselves "doctor".

This kind of thing grates me as well; the fact that the government has to spend money on a controlling body to manage practices that in many cases is nothing more than wishful thinking! I wonder why they get special treatment? I can understand that you can call yourself doctor if you complete a doctorate in a certain discipline at university. The problem with homeopaths and chiropractors is that they can abuse that title in the context of being a "healer".

Can you imagine that they took over and started running our hospitals and clinics - it would probably end up like Homeopathic A&E? (I don't want to detract from the seriousness of the topic but this is really funny!)

Tim Beck (July 06, 2009, 19:34:16 PM):
Welcome ReasonCheck!

Thanks - looks like my kinda people hang out here.

Can you imagine that they took over and started running our hospitals and clinics - it would probably end up like Homeopathic A&E? (I don't want to detract from the seriousness of the topic but this is really funny!)

Excellent find!
silverbullets (July 07, 2009, 15:31:53 PM):
Good Day,

It seems that the claims of the Chiropractors are continually expanding, at least it seems so in the area where I find myself. I have in the last week heard via my mother of three friends claiming to have had their symptoms "healed".

Can any one assist with a short well written reprieve to these claims. I have been able to find some relevant information to share, but I want something a little "believer" friendly that has a toned down science content as not to frighten the older ladies.

REgards,

Silverbullets

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