Here's a fun little exercise for rainy days. Go to Google, type in the beginning of a search, and see what Google's autocomplete feature suggests. It gives you a sense of what people are asking about, in a more granular way than looking at Google's overall search trends. And as any good quantum scientist can tell you, the question you ask gives as much information as the answer does. Thus, it was with some concern that I looked at the autocomplete results when I typed in a search phrase starting "Do chiropractors...." Here's what came up:
This screenshot, more than anything, is a testament to the success of the smear campaign conducted for nearly 100 years by the AMA and its cohorts. And even after the Federal Court ordered the AMA to stop defaming chiropractic physicians, the smear campaign continued in the form of fringe groups with funding of uncertain provenance.
So even now, after millions of clinical successes and thousands of studies demonstrating the value of chiropractic services for the treatment of myriad disorders, we are faced with these questions, which I will address one by one. First, to the perennial, AMA-disinformation induced question: Do chiropractors work?
The efficacy of spinal manipulation has been demonstrated for a variety of musculoskeletal and non-musculoskeletal disorders. The efficacy of nutritional treatments and herbs for another gazillion disorders is also well-established, and it should go without saying that a chiropractic physician is far more equipped to deliver science-based nutrition than any other type of physician. Finally, when you couple that training with the increasing number of chiropractic physicians with advanced training in acupuncture, it is clear that chiropractic physicians are health care's most powerful triple threat against illness.
In short: Yes, chiropractors work. And quite effectively, I might add. Do chiropractors really help?
See the preceeding question. I'm just dumbfounded that this question continues to be asked.
Do chiropractors go to medical school?
Nope. But don't let that confuse you. Chiropractic school requires the same number of hours as medical school, and we study many of the same subjects during the first two years: Anatomy, physiology, pathology, endocrinology, etc. It is during the latter two years where the differences come more into play, as the students of each discipline begin to focus on the practical aspects of their professional tasks: Medical students to drugs and surgery, and chiropractic students to adjusting and nutrition. Do chiropractors prescribe medication?
Not currently, although the chiropractic physicians in one state are currently changing their scope of practice to incorporate prescriptions.
For the most part, however, chiropractic doctors really don't see the need for drugs, or have the interest in using them. My single biggest advantage over an MD is that I don't use drugs, a fact which brings more patients to my door than anything else.
Do chiropractors help?
Yes, we do. But whether a chiropractic physician can help you is something only you can decide in consultation with the chiropractic physician him- or herself.
But during my 15 years of practice, I have had many patients come to me and with hugs or tears in their eyes, thank me for changing their lives.
In all honesty, it wasn't me. It was the patients themselves that changed their lives. I just helped them along the path, that's all.
And, I suppose if you are looking for the clearest difference between medical doctors and chiropractic doctors, it is that one simple thing. While medicine and big pharma bluster and brag about their "new miracle cures" and "medical advances," and put themselves on the pedestal rightly belonging to the patient, chiropractic doctors recognize where cures really come from -- and are much humbler of our role in the process.