Objectives: The purpose of this commentary is to explore the concepts underpinning professional identity, assess their relevance to chiropractic, and propose a model by which a strong identity for the chiropractic profession may be achieved.
Discussion: The professional identity of chiropractic has been a constant source of controversy throughout its history. Attempts to establish a professional identity have been met with resistance from internal factions divided over linguistics, philosophy, technique, and chiropractic's place in the health care framework. Consequently, the establishment of a clear identity has been challenging, and the chiropractic profession has failed to capitalize on its potential as the profession of spine care experts. Recent identity consultations have produced similar statements that position chiropractors as spinal health and well-being experts. Adoption of this identity, however, has not been universal, perpetuating the uncertainty with which the public regards the chiropractic profession.
Conclusion: To gain public and professional acceptance, chiropractic must be unequivocal in declaring its scope, expertise, and intent. Failure to do so will lead to obscurity as other professions acquire necessary skills and position themselves as the custodians of spine care.
Keywords: Chiropractic; History.