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EDITORIAL : NB- This article is an editorial. However, it is well documented, and written by an individual with first hand knowledge of the subject. WikiChiro allows some editorials when they contribute to a better understanding of the subject. The content/opinions expressed herein do not necessarily reflect those of WikiChiro or any of its Directors.

Physician is a term which generally means a doctor trained to diagnose and treat human diseases and not anatomically limited. Thus by this definition a Medical doctor, Osteopath (in the US) and a Chiropractor are all physicians. However, effective July 1, 2009, the Joint Commission which is the basis of all HOSPITAL policy throughout the US, [1] has changed its statutes to specify that Doctors of Medicine ( Allopaths), Osteopathy, Podiatry, OD's Optometry and Chiropractic are physicians.

The term is a word regulated by Federal and individual State laws, not by professional associations; in the same way that "bank" is a regulated term. Pursuant to US Federal Law, any doctor receiving medicare benefits is defined as a "physician". Infamous exceptions to this rule include California and New York.

Of course, when it must be remembered that e.g. New York was the 49th State to grant licensing to Chiropractors, (only lagging behind Louisiana) and at that time, fully one third of the membership of the AMA was in New York.[citation needed]