Are Chiropractors Real Doctors?

Chiropractors (DC’s) are doctors in every sense of the word and they get equivalent amounts of training and education as medical doctors (MD’s), however, the time spent on certain subjects is different (scroll to the bottom for a side-by-side comparison of DC vs MD education).

 

When most people ask this question what they’re really asking is…

 

“Are chiropractors the same as medical doctors?”

 

… and the answer is “No”. A medical doctor is trained to diagnose a disease or health condition and then use medication or surgery to manage the symptoms of the condition. The goal of the medical doctor is symptom management, not corrective care or health restoration.

 

A chiropractor is trained to identify structural and functional problems that are causing a person’s disease or health condition and then use their hands (or sometimes a device) to adjust an area of the spine in an effort to improve the patient’s nervous system function. The goal of the chiropractor is health restoration, not symptom management.  

 

Now you may be asking yourself…

 

“What does my nervous system have to do with the symptoms I’m trying to get rid of?”

 

Your nervous system is the master system of your body and it controls and coordinates everything in your body from digestion, hormones, immune system, balance, posture, etc. Due to major and minor physical traumas (sports injuries, car accidents, slip and falls, repetitive motions, etc) some of the vertebrae in your spine can get stuck out of normal position and disrupt nervous system function… specifically within the autonomic nervous system.

 

If your nervous system is working well then you have the potential to experience optimal health as long as you also have a diet & lifestyle that supports your body’s efforts to function well. On the other hand, if your nervous system isn’t working well then you can expect frequent and chronic health issues.

 

We all know that diet and lifestyle play a big roll in many diseases and health conditions. And although it’s not the main focus of their education and training you’re much more likely to get help with your diet and lifestyle from a chiropractor than a medical doctor.

 

To be considered a doctor you need to complete the highest level of education and training in your field from a recognized institution. Both MD’s and DC’s are considered doctors because both have achieved that standard, just like doctor’s of philosophy, or law, or engineering.

 

Here’s a side-by-side comparison of the education and training…

Chiropractic

Subject

Medical

540

Anatomy-Physiology

508

240

Physiology

326

360

Pathology-Geriatrics-Pediatrics

401

165

Chemistry

325

120

Microbiology

114

630

Diagnosis, Dermatology, EENT

324

320

Neurology

112

360

Radiology

148

60

Psychology-Psychiatry

144

60

Obstetrics-Gynocology

148

210

Orthopedics

156

3065

Total

2706

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