Is a Chiropractor a doctor?
The short answer is “yes” but that answer might benefit from some extra clarification.
A Doctor of Chiropractic is not a Medical Doctor and so cannot prescribe or unprescribe medical intervention. Even though they are doctors and have D.C attached to their name, many state boards prohibit them from using the term “physician.”
A Chiropractor is a specialist but among specialists the Chiropractor is also a portal of entry provider. This required that Chiropractors be trained to identify conditions outside of the Chiropractic scope of practice and make appropriate referrals. The Chiropractor is more likely to be well positioned as the non-surgical spinal specialist to evaluate spinal injury such as occurs in an auto accident or the like. The Chiropractor is trained in examination, diagnosis, physiology and pathology and so can be trusted to not only identify and refer disorders which require emergency intervention but also deal with an injury presentation without being limited to addressing complaints of pain alone but also provide functional management and so increase the likelihood of optimized prognosis.
What contributes to this difference between a doctor of Chiropractor versus a doctor of medicine? In schooling the major difference is philosophy. A medical doctor focuses on the treatment of diseases, while a doctor of chiropractic focuses more on the principle that our bodies are self-healing and self-regulating.
These principals are one of the main reasons that so many people are attracted to the Chiropractic field when trying to build or maintain a healthy lifestyle for themselves. Chiropractic doctors have a very strong understanding of how to achieve a state of wellbeing or health and the many factors that can affect this.
The educational hours are very similar, but vary greatly in a few areas to help further the different understandings. Doctors of Chiropractic have more education hours in categories such as anatomy, neurology, X-rays and orthopedics. Doctors of Chiropractic also have more classroom hours compared to a medical doctor, but medical doctors have more years of clinical training.
The main point of this is to show that you can trust your Chiropractic doctor for various reasons. If you have just been in a trauma, like a car accident, they have the schooling and knowledge to properly diagnose, treat, and/or get you the correct providers you should be seeing. They are also the go-to person for any person struggling with various aspects of their personal health journey, like exercise, diets, inflammation, chronic conditions, joint pain, or stiffness.
Instead of reading about vast schooling and knowledge of Chiropractic doctors, come visit the doctor sometime and see for yourself how we can help you on your individualized journey.