The evolution of chiropractic from a marginal health profession to the strongest and most popular alternative to orthodox medicine in the United States is examined and compared with osteopathy and naturopathy. Evidence is offered that 1974 was the landmark year for recognition of chiropractors (e.g., accreditation of colleges, reimbursement for services under Medicare) and relaxation of the American Medical Association's policy of active and overt opposition (e.g., elimination from its code of ethics of the tabu on professional association. The public policy question of the future status of chiropractors is raised and alternatives considered. It is concluded that the most likely outcome, as well as the best for all concerned, is for chiropractic to evolve to a "limited medical" professional status comparable to that of dentistry, podiatry, optometry, and psychology.

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