Founder’s Day 2020 + Wilk vs AMA

Celebrating 125 Years of Chiropractic

We finally made it! Last month, we looked at the introduction of electrotherapy to chiropractic. This month in our continuing series we officially celebrate the 125th anniversary of chiropractic medicine! In addition to the Founder’s Day celebrations, we will also look at the final judgment in the Wilk vs AMA case as well as the formation of the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC), spanning the decade 1980–1990. 

Founder’s Day 2020!

September 18th marks the official 125th anniversary of chiropractic! September 18, 1895 is recognized as the day the first chiropractic adjustment was performed by the founder of chiropractic D.D. Palmer on Harvey Lillard. This year students at the Palmer College of Chiropractic are celebrating virtually with a 125th Founder’s Day Celebration at 5:15 p.m. CDT on Friday, September 18 on Palmer’s Facebook page. Speakers include Palmer College of Chiropractic Chancellor and CEO Dennis Marchiori, D.C., Ph.D.; great-granddaughter of D.D. Palmer, Vickie Anne Palmer; and current students. Happy 125th anniversary!

Wilk vs AMA

In 1987, the court case between Dr. Chester Wilk, D.C. and the American Medical Association (AMA) concluded. Dr. Wilk and four other chiropractors filed suit in 1976 against the AMA on the claim that the AMA had orchestrated and deliberated plotted to eliminate chiropractic medicine through a well-conceived and executed plan spanning back to the early 1960s.1 On August 24, 1987, Judge Susan Getzendanner ruled that the AMA were guilty of:

  • Concealing evidence supporting the validity of chiropractic care,
  • Encouraging complaints against chiropractic medicine,
  • Blocking healthcare coverage for chiropractic treatment,
  • Containing chiropractic schools,
  • And more.

With this ruling, chiropractic medicine was allowed to grow with greater cooperation between chiropractors and other medical doctors both in research and practice. However, chiropractors today are still dealing with the damage done to chiropractic medicine’s reputation by this plot. 

World Federation of Chiropractic

In 1988, the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC) was formed in Sydney, Australia. The WFC is a consulting body representing chiropractic internationally to the world-wide healthcare community. WFC members are 90 national associations of chiropractors in 89 nations. The goals of the WFC include: 

  • “Acting with national and international organizations to provide information and other assistance in the fields of chiropractic and world health;
  • Promoting uniform high standards of chiropractic education, research, and practice;
  • Developing an informed public opinion among all peoples with respect to chiropractic; and
  • Advancing the chiropractic profession and protecting the character and status of the profession.”2

Looking Ahead

As we continue to look through the decades of chiropractic innovations, in our next article we will look at National Chiropractic Health Month.

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1Organization, Chiropractic Resource. “The Chiropractic Antitrust Suit Wilk, Et Al   vs.   the AMA, Et Al.” Chiropractic Antitrust Suit ~ Wilk, Et Al vs. the AMA, Et Al, 2020,

2“About WFC.” World Federation of Chiropractic, 2020,

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