There are many misconceptions about chiropractic treatments and just how effective it actually is. One of the greatest misconceptions is that the training and education a chiropractor receives is not the same level as the training and education a doctor receives. This is totally false.
A chiropractor Rockville, MD trusts is as much a medical professional as other licensed doctors are. In order to practice, a chiropractor must earn a doctorate of chiropractic (D.C.). Chiropractors are also governed by a licensing board.
The biggest difference between a chiropractor and other types of doctors is their approach to how they treat patients. The majority of medical doctors treat patient ailments primarily with surgery and medication. A chiropractor treats patients using nonsurgical and nondrug treatments. The aim of chiropractic treatment is to be as noninvasive as possible.
Another misconception that people have about the training and education between the two is that a chiropractor’s education is not nearly as rigorous as that of a medical doctor. In reality, the two go through a very similar education and typically take between four to five years to obtain their degree. Both chiropractors and doctors also are required to study many of the same subjects, including:
A person studying to be a chiropractor spends approximately 4,800 hours in their pursuit. They will spend just under 2,000 hours on clinical sciences and another 1,400 hours on clinical clerkship. A person who is attending medical school will spend approximately 4,250 in class. Both a chiropractor and medical doctor are required to complete an internship while attending school and residency upon their graduation.
Another myth that many people have about chiropractors is that they only know and work on the spine. It is true that chiropractors perform spinal manipulations on many of their patients, but they are also trained in other areas, including diagnosis of patient issues. Chiropractors also provide guidance on lifestyle changes, therapeutic exercises, and nutritional advice.
Some of the areas that a chiropractor can specialize in include:
- Diagnosis and internal disorders
- Diagnostic imaging
- Occupational health
- Physical and therapeutic rehabilitation
- Sports physician
And just as medical doctors are required to do to obtain their medical license, a chiropractor is required to pass a very intense and difficult national board exam – comprised of four parts – in order to obtain their chiropractor license.
Continuing education is also a requirement for chiropractors after they are licensed, just as it is for medical doctors. They must attend regular seminars to keep apprised of the latest adjustment techniques and research.
And just like a medical doctor, a doctor of chiropractor has the formal training to perform many of the same things a primary care doctor can do, including:
- Advise patients on preventative care
- Examine patients
- Analyze lab results
- Diagnose medical conditions
- Treat medical conditions
- Refer patients to other specialists
What a chiropractor cannot do that a medical doctor can do is prescribe medications. However, with that in mind, a medical doctor cannot perform spinal manipulations or adjustments. Only a chiropractor can do that.
Thank you to our friends and contributors at the Pain Arthritis Relief Center for their knowledge about chiropractic practices.