I wrote this handout for a recent career day I was asked to attend. The children were all very interested, and it was gratifying to see that many of them had seen a chiropractor for their health problems.
What Is A Chiropractor?
A chiropractor, or chiropractic doctor, is a primary care physician who uses spinal adjustments, nutrition and herbs and other methods to help your body heal from injuries or illness. Chiropractic is the second largest form of health care in the U.S., and chiropractors are the only doctors who have chosen not to prescribe drugs. They prefer to use all-natural methods that have been proven both through research and centuries of use.
Chiropractic doctors examine how their patients move and walk to help their patients get out of pain. They do physical exams to find problems before they become worse and to make sure their patients can play on a sports team or drive safely.
Chiropractic doctors also use laboratory tests, x-rays and other tests to diagnose their patients' problems. Many patients prefer chiropractic care because it is very safe and has few side effects.
A Chiropractic Education
The chiropractic doctor's education is very similar to a medical doctor's education. Both types of doctors usually have a bachelor's degree before they are admitted to chiropractic or medical school. And for the first two years, the education of a chiropractic doctor is identical to that of a medical doctor.
After the first two years, each type of doctor begins to focus on their core skills. While the medical doctor begins to learn about drugs and surgery, the chiropractic doctor begins to learn how to adjust the spine and other joints, and learns about nutrition in taking care of patients. Then the chiropractic doctor does an internship, where he begins treating patients under the supervision of an experienced doctor.
Chiropractic doctors love to help people. They get to see people go from being very sick or in pain to being healthy again. Most chiropractic doctors own their own practices or work in a small group with 1 or 2 other doctors. Some chiropractors are on staff at hospitals.
Many chiropractors get additional education to become specialists in certain fields or techniques. Chiropractic specialties include pediatrics (treating children), sports medicine, orthopedics (bone and joint problems), internal medicine, clinical nutrition and acupuncture.
Chiropractors may work long hours, and have to be “on call,” or constantly available to speak to patients. As primary care doctors, they will see patients for most of their lives. Helping patients live healthier lives is one of the chiropractic doctor's greatest rewards.