A Whistleblower reader wanted to know: Can alternative health care practitioners call themselves “doctors”?

State law prohibits:

Use of the title "doctor," "Dr.," or "physician" alone or in combination with any other words, letters, or insignia to describe the complementary and alternative health care practices the practitioner provides.

The state’s Office of Unlicensed Complementary and Alternative Health Care Practice handles complaints about practices including homeopathy, massage and traditional healing methods. Those and other alternative health care professions are not licensed by the state, but are still subject to state laws. To file a complaint with the office, call (651) 201-3728.

Rick Hnasko, the office’s investigator, said even someone with an academic doctoral degree can’t use the term “doctor” in the context of providing alternative health care because of the confusion it could cause. There are similar restrictions on the use of the term chiropractor, Doctor of Chiropractic and D.C. Anyone who is not licensed with the state Board of Chiropractic Examiners, cannot use those phrases.

Do you know of any “doctors” who really aren’t?