Influenced by a Possible Conspiracy?


Please sign the petition to allow Chiropractor to continue to perform DOT Exams in New York

It was initially thought that the situations in Connecticut and New York only involved elements within the states until a Listserv posting from Natalie Hartenbaum surfaced. (For those who are unfamiliar, Dr. Hartenbaum is the former President of the American College of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, and the leading authority in transportation medicine in the United States. She has lobbied vigorously to have the chiropractic profession removed from the National Registry). Her posting not only informed her readers of the situation in New York, but also included a generic copy of the letter from the state Board provided above.

Following our becoming aware of this posting, Dr. Mike Megehee emailed Dr. Hartenbaum and her response was our first indicator of outside influence within the state. Dr. Megehee’s email was cordial and informative and provided some information concerning NYS laws and the legality of the chiropractic CME within the state in performing a DOT physical.

(Message from Mike to Dave)


Got a response already. I think we need to prepare for this. Natalie has the FMCSA's ear. A battle is headed our way. Note the tone of the message.


Here is her response: On Tuesday, December 29, 2015 4:48 PM, Natalie Hartenbaum wrote: I was posting what had been sent to me. 390.5 is only applicable to the health care providers listed, but not limited to, if they are able to perform physical examinations, which is based upon state licensing. In my humble opinion, I believe that only those that are trained in and able to diagnose the medical conditions they are asked to evaluate should be determining qualification. It is essential to be able to understand the diagnosis, prognosis, pathophysiology and treatment of the conditions in order to perform a risk assessment. This examination goes well beyond what was in the medical examiner handbook, even more now that FMCSA is moving towards leaving determinations to medical examiners based on their training prior to NRCME training. Natalie P. Hartenbaum, MD, MPH, FACOEM President and Chief Medical Officer OccuMedix

She went on in her Listserv to call for anyone who is familiar with any chiropractic CME within the state who is performing DOT physicals, to contact the state Board and file a complaint.

Additionally, she went on to ask for any state medical board to investigate their states chiropractic scope of practice law, and that they would use the New York model as their method of approaching this issue on a state by state basis.

This is not only alarming in its content, but indicates an effort by elements in the medical profession whose focus is on eliminating us as competitors within the National Registry.

Her Listserv postings and follow up emails make us highly suspicious of collaboration between these medical elements and the NYS Board.

How for example would she receive a generic copy of the letter sent to some of the DCs within the State?

Additionally, there is some information contained in her response to Dr. Megehee that relates to the challenge within the state that could only be known if he had some source of insider knowledge with the NYS Board. In essence we suspect that she must have had some sort of direct contact with a member of the Board, or some other relationship to the Board.

This, coupled with the fact that our board is multidisciplinary and is composed not only of DCs, but MDs, DOs and PHDs allows one to conclude how this information may possibly have been communicated to Dr Hartenbaum.

Lastly, her response to Dr. Megehee tipped her hand in that she indicated that the approach will be used in other states. Even if your state already has approved a chiropractor’s ability to perform a DOT physical there still exists a risk of reversing its decision based not on competence, but on scope and what we treat (the New York model as referenced in her Listserv postings)!


On March 15th 2016, Dr. Mike Megehee, CCE and the University of Western States made a presentation to Merchant Mariner Medical Advisory Committee (MEDMAC) with the intent being to stimulate our inclusion as a profession, similar to our participation in the National Registry, for performing merchant mariner examinations.

During this presentation one of the MDs on the committee (composed of 10 MDs), Dr. Joseph Mangnola, CHSi Medical Director, raised the following question which is paraphrased by Dr. Megehee: Does anyone know about what is going on in NY regarding DC’s performing DOT physical exams?

He went on with his comments to indicate that this approach is expected to be continued into other states.

In addition to these examples, we have recently been contacted by a chiropractor from another state who has actually heard of what is going on in New York and has some concerns that his state is at risk.

How two different medical providers could have knowledge and mention the New York situation, from totally different venues is highly suspicious. How one could have what would be deemed insider knowledge as well as a generic copy of a letter sent to some of the chiropractic CME’s within the state of New York (she is not from New York!) certainly provides significant evidence of collusion! This coupled with the recent events in Connecticut are indicative of an organized effort to eliminate our profession state by state based on scope of practice and not on competence.

Any state that contains words such as 'subluxation', limits our treatment to spinal conditions only, or that does not allow for the diagnosis and treatment of medical conditions such as diabetes or heart problems (reference to Dr. Natalie Hartenbaum's email to Dr. Mike Megehee) may be at risk. If your state scope does not specifically include the words “physical examination” to determine a person’s health or wellbeing, may also be at risk. In essence, most if not all states are at risk. If one state board can change its opinion after 10 years, any other state board can do this.

Therefore, it is imperative that New York is successful in addressing this current challenge and that we work to defend any other state challenge that develops as soon as it surfaces. Otherwise this would set a precedence for other states to change their opinions and work to eliminate the profession from performing DOT physicals or any other examination similar to a DOT physical (other employment physicals, sports physicals etc.).

Rest assured that efforts are currently underway in New York, and we are gearing up to prepare for other states. Due to the current nature of how this is being approached, specific information cannot at this time be provided for review. Be assured however that we have as a group, discussed our approach with both state and national organizations including the ACA.


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