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Still, Osteopaths did benefit from a majority of courts’ unwillingness to interfere with their practice rights. Despite the split between the courts, a clear majority ruled that Osteopathy did not constitute the practice of medicine. In some ways, these decisions suggested that the ambivalence expressed earlier by courts about medical licensing in general. They did not hesitate to hobble these laws because of sloppy drafting or overreaching provisions. By finding Osteopathy to be outside the practice of medicine, a majority of courts sent a clear message to state legislatures that they would not allow an expansion of who was a physician without explicit legislation classifying Osteopath as doctors. While these decisions typically favored Osteopaths, the outcome was still problematic. These court decisions essentially stated that Osteopaths were not equal to physicians as healers. If Osteopaths wanted to be considered by the public to be legitimate, they needed to gain state validation.
Osteopaths already had been somewhat successful in establishing licensing laws in several states between 1892 and 1904, but they wanted to create separate licensing boards controlled by Osteopaths and expand the legislative recognition of their sect. With separate boards, Osteopaths could develop their own criteria for licensure and increase the status of legitimate practicing Osteopaths. In California alone, the newly established Osteopathic board between 1901 and 1907 issued more than nine hundred certificates to practice Osteopathy. Even as Regulars, Homeopaths, and Eclectics were moving toward unified boards, Osteopaths realized that separate boards could preserve their unique sect.