Are Chiropractors Real Doctors?

Occasionally I get the question “Are chiropractors real doctors?” This is usually asked by curious people that have had no chiropractic experience in the past. The fact is, many people associate doctors with medications and, given that chiropractors do not prescribe medications, it’s easy to see where there can be confusion. In this article I’ll discuss the topic in more detail but first please take a look at the picture chart showing a breakdown of chiropractor and medical student class hours.

Real Doctors?

Our philosophy is that the human body is self-healing and self-regulating. We believe most medications interfere with this process.

Schooling for chiropractors is just as intense as drug prescribing medical doctors…chiropractors just have different emphasis on different specialty area (see chart). Chiropractor have a lot more training in reading and studying X-rays and less emphasis on pharmacology and chemistry. Also, chiropractors spend a lot more time on diagnosis and anatomy then medical doctors during schooling.

Have you ever been to your medical doctor with lower back pain? Have you seen a chiropractor for lower back pain. If you answer yes to both of these questions, you know there is a vast difference in the examination process. Most medical doctors ask a few questions and then prescribe some medications. Chiropractors ask a lot of questions and then get hands on to see where is the pain coming from.

Chiropractors check for alignment and feel of the joints in your spine, feel for muscle spasms and imbalances, swelling or edema in the tissues, and so much more. The hands on exam is so important and it’s unfortunate the medical community does not do this! I am not bashing medical doctors at all, I have many as patients an they are amazing individuals. We just have different philosophies, because they are looking for a chemical solution to your physical problem, they don’t need to be hands on. Because chiropractic methods of healing are very physical in nature, we need to know physically what’s going on with your body.

After schooling, chiropractors are required to pass a national examination to become board certified and eligible to practice here in the United States. Many states also have further testing that is required to be licensed. Here in Illinois, Chiropractors are required to obtain 150 hours of continuing education every 3 years. I’m constantly learning and improving the services we offer to our community here at Bourdage Chiropractic.

So next time someone asks the question, are chiropractors real doctors, you can answer a resounding YES! We are real doctors, we are just different than Medical Doctors…Not better or worse, just different!

Your Turn

Did you find the class/hour chart interesting?



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