SB 5817

This analysis was prepared by non-partisan legislative staff for the use of legislative members in their deliberations. This analysis is not a part of the legislation nor does it constitute a statement of legislative intent.

As Passed House - Amended:

April 4, 2019

Title: An act relating to senior students in accredited schools of chiropractic.

Brief Description: Concerning senior students in accredited schools of chiropractic.

Sponsors: Senators Rivers, Cleveland, Walsh, Randall, Schoesler and Short.

Brief History:

Committee Activity:

Health Care & Wellness: 3/15/19, 3/27/19 [DPA].

Floor Activity:

Passed House - Amended: 4/4/19, 93-0.

Brief Summary of Bill

(As Amended by House)

  • Allows a senior student in an accredited school of chiropractic to perform chiropractic adjustments.


Majority Report: Do pass as amended. Signed by 14 members: Representatives Cody, Chair; Macri, Vice Chair; Schmick, Ranking Minority Member; Caldier, Assistant Ranking Minority Member; Chambers, Davis, DeBolt, Harris, Jinkins, Riccelli, Robinson, Stonier, Thai and Tharinger.

Staff: Jim Morishima (786-7191).


Chiropractic is a health care practice involving the diagnosis, analysis, care, and treatment of the vertebral subluxation complex and its effects, articular dysfunction, and musculoskeletal disorders, all for the restoration and maintenance of health and recognizing the recuperative powers of the body. To be a licensed chiropractor, an applicant must:

A person may practice chiropractic without a license for specified reasons, including when the person is a regular senior student in an accredited school of chiropractic approved by the Chiropractic Quality Assurance Commission (CQAC) if the practice is part of a regular course of instruction offered by the school and the student is under the direct supervision and control of a licensed chiropractor. Such a student may not, however, administer chiropractic adjustments.

Summary of Amended Bill:

A regular senior student in an accredited school of chiropractic approved by the CQAC may administer chiropractic adjustments if:

The CQAC may adopt rules requiring the student and his or her supervising chiropractor to file information regarding the student's practice, including the name and contact information of the student, the name and contact information of the supervising chiropractor, and the location where the student will be practicing.

Appropriation: None.

Fiscal Note: Available.

Effective Date of Amended Bill: The bill takes effect 90 days after adjournment of the session in which the bill is passed.

Staff Summary of Public Testimony:

(In support) This bill is good for patients and beginning chiropractors alike. Current law unreasonably limits training and is inequitable, which does not enhance the welfare or health of Washington citizens. Washington is one of the only states that excludes manipulation by students, which is the modality that sets chiropractors apart from other professions. The current prohibition hampers and limits training. Chiropractic students should be able to learn from other chiropractors. This bill is about allowing mentored refinement of skills after students have demonstrated competency. This bill will help chiropractors practice in Washington.

(Opposed) None.

Persons Testifying: Senator Rivers, prime sponsor; Lori Grassi, Washington Chiropractic Association; Joe Pfeifer, University of Western States; and Austin Bell.

Persons Signed In To Testify But Not Testifying: None.