Certifying Sports Physicals

Certifying Sports Physicals

Are chiropractic physicians allowed to certify sports physicals?

No.  The State of Illinois defers to the Illinois High School Association (IHSA), a private entity, to regulate sports physicals for high school student-athletes.   The IHSA is a non-governmental, not-for-profit organization whose members include public and private high schools. 

The IHSA’s Medical Advisory Committee has consistently recommended that athletic pre-participation exams be performed only by physicians licensed to practice medicine in all its branches (medical and osteopathic doctors), advanced practice nurses, or physician assistants.  Contrary to the language of the Medical Practice Act and established case law, the IHSA does not acknowledge doctors of chiropractic as licensed physicians. The IHSA has adopted this position in its Constitution and By-laws that govern conditions of sports participation for each school.  The ICS has advocated to change this restriction and will continue to seek avenues to do so.

On the other hand, the Illinois School Code law prescribes rules for many school-related health examinations, some of which may be performed by chiropractic physicians:

  • Student sick leave
  • Teacher sick leave
  • Modification or excusal from student physical education class

For a full list of school-related examinations that chiropractic physicians are permitted and not permitted to perform, see this article.

About Author

ICS Staff

The Illinois Chiropractic Society staff works collaboratively on many topics to bring the most comprehensive and relevant information to our members. We have over 60 years of chiropractic experience and understand the heartbeat of the profession. We all look forward to providing relevant information to our members for years to come.

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