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Joseph, Lawyer
Category: California Employment Law
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What is the deal with the use of the term "medicine" and "medical".

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What is the deal with the use of the term "medicine" and "medical". I'm a massage therapist, and I see some therapists using the term "medical massage" and "manual medicine." Is this legal? My understanding was that the "practice of medicine" was a guarded term by the American Medical Association. Some clarity around the legal use of the term is appreciated. Thanks!
Hello and welcome to JustAnswer,

My name isXXXXX am a licensed attorney, and my goal is to provide you with excellent service today.

The use of the term 'medicine' and 'medical' are not guarded terms by the AMA and can be used by massage therapists and others.

For instance, there are many people who practice acupuncture, holistic healing, hypnotherapy, etc., who use the term 'medicine,' normally 'alternative medicine.' And they can say that they provide medical services.

Additionally, there is advertising and use of medicinal herbs as well.

The AMA does not have a copyright or trademark or any other form of protection on the terms medicine or medical, so if you want to use them in conjunction with healing massage therapy, you have absolutely nothing to worry about. (And, indeed, massage is a very valuable medical treatment for some).

I hope the above information is helpful.

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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

So to clarify, if I stay within my scope of practice as a massage therapist, I can choose a business name of "Portland Manual Medicine" without being at risk of being legally shut down based on the name itself? (Assuming it isn't infringing on an already established business.)

Hello Nye,

Yes, you wouldn't have anything to worry about as long as you are not infringing on the copyright or trademark of another established business with the same name.
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