Code of the District of Columbia

§ 3–1210.03. Certain representations prohibited.

(a) Unless authorized to practice acupuncture under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “acupuncture,” “acupuncturist,” or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices acupuncture.

(b) Unless authorized to practice as an advanced practice registered nurse under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “advanced practice registered nurse”, “A.P.R.N.”, “certified registered nurse anesthetist”, “C.R.N.A.”, “certified nurse midwife”, “C.N.M.”, “clinical nurse specialist”, “C.N.S.”, “nurse practitioner”, “N.P.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices advanced registered nursing.

(c) Unless authorized to practice chiropractic under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “chiropractic,” “chiropractic physician,” “chiropractic orthopedist,” “chiropractic neurologist,” chiropractic radiologist,” “chiropractor,” “Doctor of Chiropractic,” “D.C.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices chiropractic.

(d) Unless authorized to practice dentistry under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “dentistry,” “dentist,” “D.D.S.”, “D.M.D.”, “endodontist,” “oral surgeon,” “maxillofacial surgeon,” “oral pathologist,” “orthodontist,” “pedodontist,” “periodontist,” “prosthodontist,” “public health dentist,” or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices dentistry.

(e) Unless authorized to practice dentistry or dental hygiene under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “dental hygiene,” “dental hygienist,” or similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices dental hygiene.

(f) Unless authorized to practice dietetics or nutrition under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “dietitian/nutritionist,” “licensed dietitian,” “licensed nutritionist,” “dietitian,” “nutritionist,” “L.D.N.”, “L.D.”, “L.N.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices dietetics or nutrition.

(g) Unless authorized to practice medicine under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “physician,” “surgeon,” “medical doctor,” “doctor of osteopathy,” “M.D.”, “anesthesiologist,” “cardiologist,” “dermatologist,” “endocrinologist,” “gastroenterologist,” “general practitioner,” “gynecologist,” “hematologist,” “internist,” “laryngologist,” “nephrologist,” “neurologist,” “obstetrician,” “oncologist,” “ophthalmologist,” “orthopedic surgeon,” “orthopedist,” “osteopath,” “otologist,” “otolaryngologist,” “otorhinolaryngologist,” “pathologist,” “pediatrician,” “primary care physician,” “proctologist,” “psychiatrist,” “radiologist,” “rheumatologist,” “rhinologist,” “urologist,” or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices medicine.

(h) Unless authorized to practice nursing home administration under this chapter, a person shall not use the words or terms “nursing home administration,” “nursing home administrator,” “N.H.A.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices nursing home administration.

(i) Unless authorized to practice occupational therapy under this chapter, a person shall not use the words or terms “occupational therapy,” “occupational therapist,” “licensed occupational therapist,” “O.T.”, “O.T.R.”, “L.O.T.”, “O.T.R/L.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices occupational therapy.

(j) Unless authorized to practice as an occupational therapy assistant under this chapter, a person shall not use the words or terms “occupational therapy assistant,” “licensed occupational therapy assistant,” “certified occupational therapy assistant,” “O.T.A.”, “L.O.T.A.”, “C.O.T.A.”, “O.T.A.L.”, or” any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices as an occupational assistant.

(k) Unless authorized to practice optometry under this chapter, a person shall not use the words or terms “optometry,” “optometrist,” “Doctor of Optometry,” “contactologist,” “O.D.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices optometry.

(l) Unless authorized to practice pharmacy under this chapter, a person shall not use the words or terms “pharmacy,” “pharmacist,” “druggist,” “registered pharmacist,” “R.Ph.”, “Ph.G.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices pharmacy.

(l-1) Unless authorized to practice as a registered pharmacy technician under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “registered pharmacy technician”, “certified pharmacy technician”, “pharmacy technician”, “R.Ph.T.”, “C.Ph.T.”, “Ph.T.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices as a registered pharmacy technician.

(m) Unless authorized to practice physical therapy under this chapter, a person shall not use the words or terms “physical therapy,” “physical therapist,” “physiotherapist,” “physical therapy technician,” “P.T.”, “L.P.T.”, “R.P.T.”, “P.T.T.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices physical therapy.

(m-1) Unless authorized to practice as a physical therapy assistant under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “physical therapy assistant”, “licensed physical therapy assistant”, “certified physical therapy assistant”, “P.T.A.”, “L.P.T.A.”, “C.P.T.A.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices as a physical therapy assistant.

(n) Unless authorized to practice as a physician assistant under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “physician assistant,” “P.A.”, “surgeon’s assistant,” or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices as a physician assistant.

(o) Unless authorized to practice podiatry under this chapter, a person shall not use the words or terms “podiatry,” “podiatrist,” “podiatric,” “foot specialist,” “foot correctionist,” “foot expert,” “practipedist,” “podologist,” “D.P.M.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices podiatry.

(p) Unless authorized to practice practical nursing under this chapter, a person shall not use the words or terms “practical nurse,” “licensed practical nurse,” “L.P.N.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices practical nursing.

(p-1) Unless authorized to practice as an art therapist under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms "professional art therapist," "graduate art therapist," or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices art therapy.

(q) Unless authorized to practice psychology under this chapter, a person shall not use the words or terms “psychology,” “psychologist”, “psychology associate”, or similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices psychology.

(r) Unless authorized to practice registered nursing under this chapter, a person shall not use the words or terms “registered nurse,” “certified nurse,” “graduate nurse,” “trained nurse,” “R.N.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices registered nursing.

(s) Unless authorized to practice social work under this chapter, a person shall not use the words or terms “social worker,” “clinical social worker,” “graduate social worker,” “independent social worker,” “licensed independent social worker,” “L.I.S.W.”, “licensed independent clinical social worker,” “L.I.C.S.W.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices social work.

(t) Unless authorized to practice professional counseling pursuant to this chapter, a person shall not use the phrase “licensed professional counselor” or “licensed graduate professional counselor”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices professional counseling. Nothing in this subsection shall restrict the use of the generic terms “counseling” or “counselor”.

(u) Unless authorized to practice respiratory care pursuant to this chapter, a person shall not use the phrase “licensed respiratory care practitioner” or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person is a respiratory care practitioner.

(v) Unless authorized to practice massage therapy under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “massage therapy”, “therapeutic massage”, “myotherapy”, “bodyrub”, or similar title or description of services, or the initials “LMT”, with the intent to represent that the person practices massage.

(w) Unless authorized to practice marriage and family therapy under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “marriage and family therapist” or “MFT,” or any similar title or description of services, with the intent to represent that the person practices marriage and family therapy.

(x) Unless authorized to practice naturopathic medicine under this chapter, a person shall not use the words or terms “Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine”, “Naturopathic Physician”, “Licensed Naturopath”, “Naturopathic Doctor”, “Doctor of Naturopathy”, “ND”, or “NMD”, or any similar title or description of services, with the intent to represent that the person practices naturopathic medicine.

(y) Unless authorized to practice as an anesthesiologist assistant under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “anesthesiologist assistant,” or “A.A.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices as an anesthesiologist assistant.

(z) Unless authorized to practice audiology or speech-language pathology pursuant to this chapter, a person shall not advertise the performance of audiology or speech-language; use a title or description such as “audiological,” “audiologist,” “audiology,” “hearing clinic,” “hearing clinician,” “hearing or aural rehabilitation,” “hearing specialist,” “communication disorders,” “communicologist,” “language pathologist,” “logopedist,” “speech and language clinician,” “speech and language therapist,” “speech clinic,” “speech clinician,” “speech correction,” “speech correctionist,” “speech pathology,” “speech-language pathology,” “speech therapist,” or “speech therapy,” or any other name, style, or description denoting that the person is an audiologist or speech-language pathologist or practicing audiology or speech-language pathology.

(aa) Unless authorized to practice as a surgical assistant under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “surgical assistant,” or “S.A.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices as a surgical assistant.

(bb) Unless authorized to practice addiction counseling under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “addiction counselor”, “licensed addiction counselor”, “supervised addiction counselor,” “certified addiction counselor I”, “certified addiction counselor II”, “advanced practice addiction counselor”, “C.A.C.I.”, “C.A.C.II.”, “A.P.A.C.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices as an addiction counselor.

(cc) Unless authorized to practice as nursing assistive personnel under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “nursing assistant,” “home health aide,” “trained medication employee,” “dialysis technician,” “health aide,” or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices as a member of nursing assistive personnel.

(dd) Unless authorized to practice polysomnography under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “polysomnographic technologist”, “registered polysomnographic technologist”, “licensed polysomnographic technologist”, “RPSGT”, “LPSGT”, “polysomnographic technician”, “polysomnographic trainee”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices polysomnography.

(ee) Unless authorized to practice as a trauma technologist under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “trauma technologist,” or “trauma tech,” or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices as a trauma technologist.

(ff) Unless authorized to practice assisted living administration under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “assisted living administrator”, “assisted living manager”, “A.L.A.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices assisted living administration.

(gg) Unless authorized to practice as an athletic trainer under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “athletic trainer”, “licensed athletic trainer”, “A.T.”, “L.A.T.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices as an athletic trainer.

(hh) Unless authorized to practice as a personal fitness trainer under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “personal fitness trainer”, “personal trainer”, “professional fitness trainer”, “fitness instructor”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices as a personal fitness trainer.

(ii) Unless authorized to practice veterinary medicine under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “doctor of veterinary medicine”, “veterinary doctor”, “veterinarian”, “animal doctor”, “animal surgeon”, “D.V.M.” or “V.M.D.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices veterinary medicine.

(jj) Unless authorized to practice as a clinical laboratory practitioner under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “medical technologist”, “cytotechnologist”, “medical laboratory technologist”, “histotechnologist”, “histologic technician”, “clinical laboratory scientist-generalist”, “clinical laboratory scientist-specialist”, “medical laboratory technician”, “phlebotomist”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person is a clinical laboratory practitioner.


(Mar. 25, 1986, D.C. Law 6-99, § 1003, 33 DCR 729; July 22, 1992, D.C. Law 9-126, § 2(i), 39 DCR 3824; Mar. 14, 1995, D.C. Law 10-203, § 2(g), 41 DCR 7707; Mar. 14, 1995, D.C. Law 10-205, § 2(g), 41 DCR 7712; Mar. 23, 1995, D.C. Law 10-247, § 2(y), 42 DCR 457; Apr. 18, 1996, D.C. Law 11-110,§ 7(g), 43 DCR 530; March 10, 2004, D.C. Law 15-88, § 2(j), 50 DCR 10999; July 8, 2004, D.C. Law 15-172, § 2(i), 51 DCR 4938; Mar. 16, 2005, D.C. Law 15-237, § 2(i), 51 DCR 10593; Mar. 6, 2007, D.C. Law 16-219, § 2(h), 53 DCR 10211; Mar. 6, 2007, D.C. Law 16-220, § 2(e), 53 DCR 10216; Mar. 6, 2007, D.C. Law 16-228, § 2(j), 53 DCR 10244; Mar. 25, 2009, D.C. Law 17-353,§ 151, 56 DCR 1117; July 7, 2009, D.C. Law 18-19, § 2(d), 56 DCR 3629; July 18, 2009, D.C. Law 18-26, § 2(h), 56; May 1, 2013, D.C. Law 19-303, § 2(e), 60 DCR 2711; Jan. 25, 2014, D.C. Law 20-64, § 2(h), 60 DCR 16533; Mar. 26, 2014, D.C. Law 20-96, § 102(s), 61 DCR 1184; May 2, 2015, D.C. Law 20-272, § 2(h), 62 DCR 1911; June 24, 2020, D.C. Law 23-115, § 2(g), 67 DCR 5077.)

Prior Codifications

1981 Ed., § 2-3310.3.

Effect of Amendments

D.C. Law 15-88 added subsec. (w).

D.C. Law 15-172 added subsec. (x).

D.C. Law 15-237 added subsec. (y).

D.C. Law 16-219, added subsec. (z).

D.C. Law 16-220, added subsec. (m-1).

D.C. Law 16-228, added subsec. (aa).

D.C. Law 17-353 validated a previously made technical correction in subsec. (aa).

D.C. Law 18-19, in subsec. (x), deleted the last sentence, which had read as follows: “Nothing in this subsection shall be construed as prohibiting a person registered to practice naturopathy or naturopathic healing under § 3-1209.01 from using the terms “Naturopath” or “Registered Naturopath”.

D.C. Law 18-26 rewrote subsec. (c); in subsec. (i), inserted “O.T.R/L.”; in subsec. (j), inserted “O.T.A.L.”; in subsec. (q), inserted “psychology associate”; in subsec. (t), inserted “or ‘licensed graduate professional counselor”’; and added subsecs. (bb) to (cc). Prior to amendment, subsec. (c) read as follows: “(c) Unless authorized to practice chiropractic under this chapter, a person shall not use or imply the use of the words or terms “chiropractic,” “chiropractor,” “Doctor of Chiropractic,” “D.C.”, or any similar title or description of services with the intent to represent that the person practices chiropractic.

The 2013 amendment by D.C. Law 19-303 added (l-1).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-64 added (ee).

The 2014 amendment by D.C. Law 20-96 added the subsections designated herein as (ff) through (ii).

The 2015 amendment by D.C. Law 20-272 added (jj).

Applicability

Section 7081 of D.C. Law 23-149 repealed section 3 of D.C. Law 23-115 removing the applicability provision impacting this section. Therefore, the amendment of this section by Law 23-115 has been implemented.

Applicability of D.C. Law 23-115: § 3 of D.C. Law 23-115 provided that the change made to this section by § 2(g) of D.C. Law 23-115 is subject to the inclusion of the law’s fiscal effect in an approved budget and financial plan. Therefore that amendment has not been implemented.

Emergency Legislation

For temporary (90 day) amendment of section, see § 2(h) of Health Occupations Revision General Amendment Emergency Act of 2009 (D.C. Act 18-146, July 28, 2009, 56 DCR 6308).