the July 14, 2002 issue of the Boston Globe appeared an article with the
headline, "Demand for Alternative Medicine Rises - Acupuncturists and
Chiropractors Increasingly Sought." The article defines all forms of
healthcare that are not medical as "Alternative Medicine". Most
chiropractors object to the usage of this term since chiropractic care is
clearly not medicine. Chiropractic stands as a separate and distinct form of
Despite this terminology issue, the Globe article cited numbers from the
National Institutes of Health that calculate that all of "alternative"
health care represents a $21 billion-a-year industry. This number should be
kept in context. According to figures released in a report on February 7,
2001, the US Census Bureau showed that US health care industry revenues hit
$1.01 trillion in 1999. The article also states that surveys show about
one-third of Americans visit one of these "alternative" practitioners at
least once a year, and that this percentage will increase.
In an attempt to have the medical profession better understand
chiropractic and other forms of health care classified as alternative, Tufts
University received a five-year, $1.5 million grant last August from the
National Institutes of Health (NIH) for finding ways to include alternative
medicine as part of the required medical school curriculum. Dr. Mary Lee,
dean of educational affairs at Tufts' School of Medicine stated, "The NIH is
interested, and so are we, in training traditional doctors to understand
To meet the increased demand the article cited statistics and projections
that showed the current and future numbers of doctors of chiropractic.
According to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics, (BLS) in the year 2000,
there were an estimated 49,949 chiropractors. The BLS projects that by 2010
that number will grow to 61,654 chiropractors, representing a 23 percent
increase. "Since the average growth rate for all occupations over a 10-year
period is 15 percent, those figures are significant," said BLS economist
Alan Lacey. This projected growth represents the ever-increasing desire on
the part of the public to continue to embrace chiropractic care.