Dr. Friedman’s Health Blog

UNdoctored: AMA found guilty of illegal attempt to eliminate Chiropractic

By: Dr. David Friedman

At the young age of eighteen, I was in a car accident. That day, my life would change forever!   I felt a snap in my back, which lead to debilitating low back and leg pain.  I was told by my a medical doctor that I had a herniated disc and, “surgery was my only option.”  Being from a medical family (my father, grandfather and great grandfather were all MDs,) I grew up embracing the traditional medical mindset of taking drugs for what ails you and having surgery for what drugs won’t remedy. However, this time, instead  of going the traditional medical route, someone recommended I try a chiropractor.

In less than three weeks of chiropractic care,  I was pain free and back to normal. I found it amazing how this chiropractor, using just his hands, was able to save me from taking pain meds and  going under the knife. During a follow up with my medical doctor, I told him how I had gone to a chiropractor and was now pain free!  I couldn’t believe his reply, “If you feel better after seeing a chiropractor, it was just a coincidence.”  What?! If  someone goes to a dentist with a toothache and the next day that tooth feels better, is that also a coincidence?  It was  no secret that  a lot of  medical doctors didn’t think too fondly of chiropractors; however, based on the wonderful results I achieved, I was a true believer!  I decided to break the family medical doctor chain and become a Doctor of Chiropractic.

I remember friends of mine asking me why I didn’t want to be a “real doctor” like my father?  It’s sad that the definition of “real” when it comes to a health care provider means someone who chooses to write you a prescription. Rather than masking the symptoms with drugs,  chiropractors focus on finding and treating the cause.   I had no idea that, for the next 8 years,  I would attend more classroom hours than medical doctors are required to earn their degree.   Chiropractors have advanced training in anatomy, orthopedics, physiology, neurology, and x-ray diagnosis and spend twice the amount of time performing cadaver dissections than medical doctors.  Why  then is there animosity in the medical community against chiropractors? For that answer, follow the money….

Big Pharma and the American Medical Association (AMA) has made prescription drugs  the  go-to “treatment” for  headaches, neck and back pain.  Over $86  billion dollars is spent annually on medical treatments for these conditions; more money than any other medical conditions, according to researchers from the University of Washington, Seattle.  Chiropractic is considered the AMA’s #1 competition when it comes to sharing  a piece of that multi billion-dollar pie.  As chiropractic continued to gain more and more momentum in the 50’s and 60’s, the  AMA decided to create a smear campaign designed to eliminate the chiropractic profession.

In 1963, the AMA’s Committee on Quackery was formed. The committee worked aggressively — both overtly and covertly — to eliminate chiropractic. One of the principal means used by the AMA to achieve its goal was to make it unethical for medical doctors to professionally and personally associate with chiropractors.    Medical doctors were encouraged to speak badly about chiropractors to their patients and spread rumors that they were “quacks” and “unscientific cultists.”  Chiropractors were put into the same category as cult leaders, Charles Manson and  Reverend Jim “Kool-Aid”  Jones.  The prejudice went far beyond just name calling.  If a medical doctor’s child was on the same little league team as a child of a chiropractor, the MD would have the “cultist’s”  child kicked off the team.  It wasn’t uncommon for chiropractors to lose country club memberships where  medical doctors attended and to be banned from joining the  same YMCA.



In 1976,  the chiropractors fought back! They filed a lawsuit against the AMA for illegal restriction of trade, conspiracy to eliminate  a competitor and for violations of anti trust law. Due to  improper jury instructions  and admission of irrelevant and prejudicial evidence presented at the  trial, in 1981 the chiropractors lost their battle against the AMA.   Because of  limited funding, which would be required  to continue the grueling  uphill battle against  the AMA, with their deep pockets,  the chiropractors considered throwing in the towel.  The judge looked at George McAndrews, lead counsel for the chiropractors and said,   “I need to know if the chiropractors want to  appeal the decision,  but before you answer,  I have something I want to say to the AMA’s legal team.”  The judge held up a set of house keys and said,  “Counselor, I’m willing to bet my house against yours that if the chiropractors appeal they will win.”

The chiropractors did appeal and on  September 25, 1987, David beat Goliath! A judge found the AMA guilty of violating anti-trust law and conspiring  to contain and eliminate the chiropractic profession. A permanent injunction was filed against the AMA to prohibit future unlawful behavior.  The AMA appealed the decision three times; however, the U.S Supreme Court would not overturn the guilty verdict. Chiropractic was finally vindicated.   The safety and efficacy of chiropractic care was presented to the court and the judge ordered that, medical doctors could now work with, refer to, and even become chiropractic patients. Because of this  landmark decision,  chiropractic went on to become part of  the  mainstream medical system, covered by all  major health insurances, medicare, medicaid, and workers’ compensation. Today, many chiropractors practice in the same office with medical doctors and in some states, chiropractors have hospital privileges.

Silencing The Trial of the century


Why didn’t you hear about this landmark legal victory??   If McDonalds sued Burger King and the U.S Supreme court found them guilty of  illegal  restriction of trade and  unlawful conspiracy to eliminate a competitor,  that news would have been EVERYWHERE!  Why didn’t the chiropractors triumphant battle against the AMA get coverage in TIME magazine, USA Today or on CNN, Fox News, 20/20 or 60 Minutes?  For that answer, follow the money.  The media is largely funded by the AMA and pharmaceutical industry. From medications for heartburn, erectile dysfunction to irritable bowel syndrome, these drug advertisements pay for your favorite TV shows, magazines and newspapers.  After the verdict, the AMA made it known to the media if they uttered a word about this guilty verdict,  they would pull their sponsors.  For decades, the details of this case have been swept under the carpet;  until now.

UNdoctored: The Movie the AMA Doesn’t Want You To See


Thanks to Academy Award nominated movie maker Jeff Hays, this story is finally being told.   UNdoctored, a film that I am proud to be an executive producer for,  exposes the AMA’s corruption and illegal tactics of trying to eliminate their biggest competitor, the chiropractic profession. Chiropractic is now the third largest health care profession; however,  had the chiropractors not prevailed in their case against the AMA,  they would have monopolized the health care system and taken away YOUR rights to a healthier and safer alternative to drugs and surgery. The AMA would have also gone after the acupuncturists, massage therapists, naturopaths and nutritionists.

Just like a chiropractor did for me when I was 18 years old, I’ve paid it forward and went on to help thousands of patients avoid unnecessary medications and back surgery. I’m also proud to treat many medical doctors and their families who, because of this court ruling, can  proudly walk into my waiting room without having to hold their head down. UNdoctored is the  true story where the underdog wins. You will hear from real patients and  world-class profession athletes that rely on chiropractic to keep them in the game. Watch UNdoctored and experience the malice, mayhem and miracles.

To see the film go to: UNdoctoredmovie.com

I had the privilege of interviewing UNdoctored filmmaker Jeff Hays and George McAndrews, lead attorney for the case. On my radio show,  they shared some great information and a behind the scenes look at this 15 year court battle, the trial of the century that you never heard about.


To hear my exclusive interviews please visit:

About the author:   Dr. David Friedman is a Chiropractic Physician, certified Doctor of Naturopathy and Nutritionist. He’s the co-author of the #1 National Bestselling book, “A Cup of Coffee With 10 Leading Chiropractors in the United States” (Available at Barnes & Nobles and Amazon.com.) Often referred to as “The Chiropractor to the Stars,” Dr. Friedman’s patients include many of today’s top celebrities. As health expert for Lifetime Television and Syndicated Radio Host, Dr. Friedman shares educational, cutting edge health topics with millions. ToYourGoodHealthRadio.com. Follow him on Twitter: @DrDavidFriedman



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About the Author

Dr. David Friedman is the author of the award-winning, #1 national best-selling book Food Sanity, How to Eat in a World of Fads and Fiction. He's a  Doctor of Naturopathy, Chiropractic Neurologist, Clinical Nutritionist, Board Certified Alternative Medical Practitioner, and Board Certified in Integrative Medicine.  Dr. Friedman is a syndicated television health expert and host of To Your Good Health Radio, which has changed the face of talk radio by incorporating entertainment, shock value, and solutions to everyday health and wellness issues.

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