Are Chiropractors Real Doctors?
First, it is important to ask yourself how you define a Doctor? According to a Google search, a doctor is someone who who holds a doctorate degree. There are many different professions that require a doctorate degree, such as a college professor or psychologist. In order to practice in the US, chiropractors must hold a doctorate of Chiropractic.
Often when someone asks if a chiropractor is a “real” doctor they are making the comparison to a medical doctor. A medical doctor is someone who goes to medical school for 4 years, and obtains a doctorate to practice medicine. “Practicing medicine” means to prescribe medications or perform surgeries, in order to treat disease. This western portrayal of a healthcare provider is the mainstream image that comes to mind when “doctor” is mentioned. There are many different types of healthcare providers, but when they do not fall under the main stream umbrella often times they can be disregarded as true professionals.
One common misconception is that chiropractors do not have as extensive of an education or training as medical doctors. Chiropractors are masters of the nervous system, and since the nervous system runs the entire body they must be well versed in how it operates and functions. They complete over 4,200 credit hours and are proficient in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, pathology, plus many more subjects pertaining to the working of the body. They do not learn surgery or pharmaceuticals, but when compared side to side to a medical doctor’s education, there is very little difference. Chiropractors have a year and a half of clinicals and even have a “residency” at the end of their schooling.
A lesser know reason to why this common misconception exists, is due to a scheme to destroy chiropractic. This is a whole other topic on its own, in short a couple of groups (one being the American Medical Association) got together and plotted against the chiropractic profession. One of their tactics was to create a stigma that chiropractors are not real doctors. The truth was revealed after a court trial between this group and chiropractors proved the plot to be real. Unfortunately, this misconception about chiropractors has remained in the public’s perception. Next time you go visit a chiropractor feel free to ask them any questions regarding the human body, you might just be surprised they know a little more than just the spine!