“Pastoral medicine" designation spreading
Hundreds of practitioners—most of them chiropractors—have begun using the credentials "PSc.D.," "D.PSc." and/or "Doctor of Pastoral Medicine" to promote their practice. These titles are being issued by the Texas-based Pastoral Medical Association (PMA), which "licenses" provider members and registers prospective patients who wish to receive care as "private members." Its provider members typically offer services for a broad range of conditions that are outside the legal scope of chiropractors, but the PMA asserts:
- "Regulation of the Almighty's health care concepts is outside the jurisdiction of . . . secular regulatory boards."
- "When PMA license rules are followed, including separation of PMA services from any state licensed services, PMA license has no effect on any state license and state license has no effect on PMA license."
- Under PMA's membership agreement, all patient services are provided as a "private contract" between the practitioner and the patient.
- It would be a breach of the membership agreement to complain to a State Medical Board, the FDA, Medicare, Medicaid or insurance companies without permission of the provider and the PMA.
- "Violation of this contractual membership agreement by a member will result in a no contest legal proceeding against them."
Most chiropractic boards have ignored this problem, and the legality of the "licensing" arrangement has not been tested in the courts. The PMA Web site does not reveal the cost or requirements for its licensure.