After working within the chiropractic field for a few years now, I occasionally come upon interested patients who question the number of years of training it requires to get a degree in chiropractic. A fair amount of these folks seem to have the idea that it’s merely a two-year education. I’m not necessarily astonished at this kind of belief, nonetheless I do think this is a general indication of our society’s view of chiropractic care. In fact some of my pals will occasionally jest about visiting a ‘real doctor’.
Given the history between the medical industry and the chiropractic industry, this type of perspective of the general population should not be surprising. The American Medical Association (AMA) went to great effort to attempt to discredit chiropractic for quite a while, and it wasn’t until the lawsuit Wilkes v. American Medical Association in 1983, which decided against the AMA, that it was revealed that their purpose had been to eliminate chiropractic as a discipline. Of course the AMA made an effort to appeal the verdict up to 1990. Ever since that point in time, attitudes between medical doctors and chiropractic professionals have begun to change, but remnants of that former feud still linger.
As a consequence of years of propaganda from the AMA seeking to depict chiropractors in a damaging light, it’s unsurprising that the general public doesn’t have a more favorable view of the profession. The primary distinction between chiropractic doctors and medical doctors boils down to their philosophy and approach to treatment. Normally, chiropractors start conservatively with their treatment plan, and only proceed to more intrusive procedures when there is no improvement with initial methods. DC’s are generally focused on the nervous system, muscles, and joints within the body. Medical doctors put a greater emphasis on medications and the way those medications act in the human body, and they also deal considerably more with things like infections, and internal issue.
So just how do the educations of medical doctors and chiropractic doctors compare to each other? They are in reality pretty much equivalent. Each of them needs very similar undergrad education to be accepted to the school. A few colleges in both disciplines need a bachelor’s degree, however others only require 3 years of undergraduate instruction to be accepted into the doctoral program. On the whole a chiropractor gets to spend roughly 4485 hours in class and clinic time, whereas a medical practitioner spends 4248 hours in order to acquire their diploma. Although the majority of the schooling is similar, a couple of differences consist of chiropractors have more class hours on neurology and fewer on such things as gynecology, and psychiatry. Doctors of chiropractic also have more class time focused on manipulation, and allopathic doctors have more class time focused on pharmacology. Needless to say this makes sense once you understand the sort of treatment options each one utilizes.
As you have seen, the education involving the two occupations is just the same. I would like to mention that medical professionals are required to do a minimum of a 3-year post degree residency after med school. If you ask me, this is just smart due to the degree of associated risk included in the form of treatments they use. The risk of chiropractic treatments are comparatively low, particularly when compared to risks of some medications. Medical doctors must be familiar with a great variety of prescription drugs, and not merely the side-effects of those medications, but any plausible interactions they can have with other drugs. Spending time in residency where they’re supervised by more knowledgeable MD’s is just a good idea.