are chiropractors real doctors?

27 Answers

  • 2 decades ago
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    Doctors of Chiropractic receive extensive, demanding professional education on par with medical doctors (MDs) and osteopaths (DOs).

    To receive the doctor of chiropractic degree, candidates must complete extensive undergraduate prerequisites and four years of graduate-level instruction and internship at an accredited chiropractic institution. Comprehensive knowledge of all systems of the body and diagnostic procedures enable the DC to thoroughly evaluate a patient, address disorders relating to the spine and determine the need for referral to another health care provider.

    Doctors of Chiropractic are primary health care providers.

    According to the Center for Studies in Health Policy, "The DC can provide all three levels of primary care interventions and therefore is a primary care provider, as are MDs and DOs. The doctor of chiropractic is a gatekeeper to the health care system and an independent practitioner who provides primary care services. The DC's office is a direct access portal of entry to the full scope of service."

    Doctors of Chiropractic are licensed in all 50 states.

    DCs have been licensed and recognized for many decades in all states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico.

    Chiropractic is recognized by governmental health care programs.

    Chiropractic is included in Medicare, Medicaid, Federal Employees Health Care Benefits Programs, Federal Workers' Compensation and all state workers' compensation programs. Chiropractic students are qualified to receive federal student loan assistance and DCs are authorized to be commissioned as health care officers in the U.S. Armed Forces.

    The practice of chiropractic is based on sound scientific principles.

    The existence of the nervous system as the primary control mechanism of the body is an undisputed scientific fact. Its relationship with the spine is the focus of the practice of chiropractic. The spine develops in utero to provide two primary functions: (1) allow for freedom of movement and (2) house and protect the spinal cord. When the vertebrae of the spine become misaligned through trauma or repetitive injury, two major consequences will result: (1) the range of motion becomes limited and (2) spinal nerves emerging from the spinal cord are compromised. DCs use the term "subluxation" to describe such disruptions. Interruption of nerve flow can eventually lead to pain, disability, and an overall decrease in the quality of life. Conversely, the removal of that interference has been shown to have significant, lasting health benefits. Through the adjustment of the subluxation, the doctor of chiropractic endeavors to restore normal nerve expression. The body is then able to respond appropriately to any imbalance in the system, thus relieving symptoms and restoring health.

    Doctors of chiropractic provide effective, low-cost health care for a wide range of conditions.

    Studies conducted according to the highest scientific standards and published by organizations not affiliated in any way with chiropractic institutions or associations continue to show the clinical appropriateness and effectiveness of chiropractic care. One of the most recent, funded by the Ontario Ministry of Health, stated emphatically that:

    "On the evidence, particularly the most scientifically valid clinical studies, spinal manipulation applied by chiropractors is shown to be more effective than alternative treatments for low back pain...There would be highly significant cost savings if more management of low back pain was transferred from physician to chiropractors."

    The doctor of chiropractic is an effective source of preventative and wellness care.

    The anatomical focus of the DC on the human spine has created the perception of the DC as just a "back doctor." Although this perception is not entirely incorrect, it is very much incomplete. Doctors of chiropractic are a highly appropriate resource in matters of work-place safety, stress management, injury prevention, postural correction and nutritional counseling."

    The process of chiropractic adjustment is a safe, efficient procedure which is performed nearly one million times every working day in the United States.

    There is a singular lack of actuarial data that would justify concluding that chiropractic care is in any way harmful or dangerous. Chiropractic care is non-invasive, therefore, the body's response to chiropractic care is far more predictable than its reactions to drug treatments or surgical procedures. Of the nearly one million adjustments given every day in this country, complications are exceedingly rare. Perhaps the best summary statement on the subject of safety was published in 1979 by the Government of New Zealand which established a special commission to study chiropractic. They found:

    "The conspicuous lack of evidence that chiropractors cause harm or allow harm to occur through neglect of medical referral can be taken to mean only one thing: that chiropractors have on the whole an impressive safety record."

    Source(s): www.pubmed. govcomplementary and alternative medicine (CAM)
  • 5 years ago

    Chiropractors ARE NOT DOCTORS - A doctor title is earned upon successful completion of a doctorate, whether medical or other. It takes a minimum of eight years to go earn a Ph.D, LL.D, [etc.] as the process usually involves graduate degree, Masters degree - even though some graduate degrees may be sufficient for entry to doctorate programmes - and then finally a Doctorate programme (usually doing extensive research culminating in the publishing of a successful thesis). Medical doctorates are subject to a similar length and more so if becoming specialists.

    So, if people believe that a four year degree (three in other countries other than USA) is enough to qualify Chiropractors as doctors then why stop there? Physiotherapists, nurses, and clinical physiologists (just to name a few professions) also go through a three/four year graduate programme (nurses even more so with internships) so let s call them doctors by the same logic, since their knowledge on physiology and pathology is as good if not superior to most chiropractor s...

    Bottom line, and not to take anything away from chiropractors or osteopaths, to be a doctor you must have earned a genuine and accredited doctorate, period. In the UK, for example, it is a legal title and you can be legally liable for fraud if you use the title Dr without being one for real.

    All the best!

  • 5 years ago

    Chiropractors are real doctors. A chiropractor has a D.C. degree, which is a Doctorate of Chiropractic. The schooling required to become a chiropractor and an MD is extremely similar. Both take classes in biochemistry, physiology, anatomy, pathology, radiology and neurology among many more. Both require clinical practice before graduation in addition to the completion of board exams. Many people are unaware that in addition to a minimum of 3 years of undergraduate studies, chiropractors also receive 5 years of post graduate education in order to obtain their D.C. degree. Many people believe that not writing prescriptions is what makes chiropractors inferior to MD s. However, this is not the case at all. Chiropractors do not write prescriptions because the profession values a non-invasive approach that allows the body to heal without the use of medications. When it comes to musculoskeletal conditions chiropractors are extremely knowledgable and very effective with their treatment. One thing that sets chiropractors apart from other health care practitioners is that not all of them do the same thing. Like any medical approach not everything works for every single person and every chiropractor may have more experience in different techniques then others.

  • 5 years ago

    Are Chiropractors Doctors Real Doctors

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  • lyon
    Lv 4
    4 years ago

    Are Chiropractors Doctors

  • 5 years ago


    Source(s): Online Professional Medical Consultation :
  • 6 years ago

    Anytime I hear MD's claiming that their education is superior to that of a DC's I keep running into the same flawed logic that just needs to be addressed. The main source of error seems to stem from the incorrect assessment of chiropractic education through the lens of a medical scope of practice. Newsflash: chiropractic is not medicine, nor does it seek to be. They both focus on the same subject, the human body, but they have very different approaches to its care and management. This means that 1.) They must both be trained and exhibit competency in the sciences that govern the structure and function of the human body. 2.) They must both have adequate clinical experience included in their training, that is TAILORED TO THEIR SCOPE OF PRACTICE. Because an MD has a larger scope of practice it would make sense that their post doc residency training would be longer than a chiropractor's. However, this doesn't make their degree or formal training superior to that of a chiropractor's.

    As far as formal training that goes into the doctorate degree (the thing that brings the title "doctor" to both the MD and the DC), the chiropractor's training is at very least just as academically vigorous as that of the doctorate in medicine, or in some cases more so, considering the more key aspects of the life sciences.

    Chiropractic school is generally a 5 year academic program (although mostly completed within 3 or 4 years because they utilize the quarter or trimester system and go to school year round). Some chiropractors, besides their required clinical experience and preceptorships, go on to extensive internship positions with other doctors, post graduation.

    Examination is also very demanding for chiropractors, as they have to take 4 levels of national board exams (5 for those who take the PT board), and this is in exclusion to the state boards that they have to take after graduation. Medical school generally only requires 3 levels of boards pre-graduation.

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    As BOTH a chiropractor of 20+ years and a medical doctor (board certified neurologist), I can actually state fact. My brother and many of my friends as chiropractors as well. There is absolutely NO COMPARISON in the educational process. The statement of "on par" is extremely misleading and could not be more incorrect. It is like comparing a security guard at the mall to a polic officer. Yea, they both wear a badge, but the training and level of responsibility is incredibly different. There is no comparison, it is 1000 X more difficult in both becoming and practicing as a licensed as a medical doctor in so many ways. Chiropractors forget to compare the additional 100 hours a week of training in residency and, oh yea, the actual responsibility of taking care of life threatening conditions. I thought, going into medical school, that as I chiropractor I knew a lot....I knew minimal. I could go on about the 100 most major differences, but trust me, as a person licensed in both, not even close.

  • 7 years ago

    Yes they are, but different from medical doctors in their approach. Medical doctors have significantly more training in trauma, medication prescriptions and surgery. The good thing is that chiropractors don't do any of those things, except for ruling out a potential serious situation in a trauma and referring out to the local hospital or to other practitioners. But when it comes to treating patients with chronic musculoskeletal conditions, there is no comparison in the experience and treatment methods. Medical doctors rely on pain medications as a first line of defense. Medications do nothing except lessen the pain. Don't get me wrong this is not an entirely a bad thing for acute pain, but to have someone on pain medications either prescription or OTC it can create a lot more health problems. These include stomach ulcers, liver problems and kidney failure. There are more documented side effects and deaths as a result of using prescription medications than chiropractic care will ever have. Chiropractic addresses the cause of the nerve irritation not just the symptoms.

  • 2 decades ago

    Well, according to,

    "Yes. The degree that chiropractors hold is "D.C.", which stands for Doctor of Chiropractic. Becoming a chiropractor takes on the average seven years of school in a curriculum similar to a medical doctor's education (instead of training in pharmacology and surgery chiropractors have more training in radiology, neurology and spinal adjusting techniques).

    Chiropractic colleges are accredited by the Council of Chiropractic Education (CCE), and are recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.

    In order to receive a license to practice chiropractic, comprehensive State and National Board examinations must be passed and continuing education must be earned each year."

    I'm still a little skeptical. I think I'll stick to professionals with an "M.D."

  • Anonymous
    7 years ago

    They hold a degree with the word "doctor" in the title of the degree. But it is misleading to call a Chiropractor a Doctor. And it is not accurate to say that Chiropractors have received education on par with the education and training that Medical Doctors receive.

    Attorney's receive a Juris Doctor degree, but you don't call them Doctor. Chiropractors who insist on being referred to as a Doctor rather than Chiropractor reek of desperation that tends to show insecurity.

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