You may have heard a chiropractor referred to as a chiropractic doctor before. Although chiropractors aren’t medical doctors, they are indeed doctors of chiropractic. Unlike professionals with an M.D. or medical doctor degree, chiropractors do not attend conventional medical school, undergo residency training, or obtain the same licenses that traditional doctors boast. Notwithstanding these things, they complete extensive training of their own, and they’re also responsible for obtaining and maintaining industry-specific certifications. As professionals who truly care about the well-being of their patients, chiropractors are committed to offering personalized, non-invasive treatments for meeting a very vast range of needs.
While your chiropractor isn’t an M.D. or medical doctor, this professional holds a Doctor of Chiropractic degree or D.C. This degree is obtained from an institution that has been accredited by the Higher Learning Commission. Moreover, the Higher Learning Commission is the very same organization that accredits all medical schools, including the ones that general doctors attend. Much like conventional doctors, chiropractors earn undergraduate degrees with science majors that have a strong “pre-med” focus. Every licensed chiropractor has obtained a healthcare degree from an accredited, four-year university or college. Before becoming licensed to practice, chiropractors must additionally pass a rigorous industry-specific exam. Once licensed, chiropractors are responsible for staying on top of all requirements for continued education.
How Chiropractic Degrees Differ From Medical Degrees
Chiropractic services are a highly specialized form of care. As such, a D.C. degree is specifically for someone who’s focused on the diagnosis, preventative care, and treatment of spinal and musculoskeletal disorders. Chiropractic doctors spend significant amounts of their time in training learning about:
- Human biology
A very strong emphasis is placed on the anatomy of the spine during a chiropractor’s training. This instruction allows chiropractors to accurately identify and treat a very large number of neuromusculoskeletal disorders and conditions. Moreover, given the amount of time that chiropractors spend learning about the connection between spinal health and overall health, they are often able to diagnose problems that conventional doctors overlook. They’re in-depth understanding of how the alignment and condition of the spine impacts a person’s general well-being enables them to use natural, hands-on strategies to facilitate relief and healing across the entire body.
Because chiropractic doctors take a hands-on approach when rendering treatments, they also spend a significant amount of time working with patients ahead of becoming licensed. Thus, although chiropractors aren’t responsible for completing residencies, they do spend thousands of hours as interns in labs and treatment facilities, and in working in a variety of research studies, group study projects, and independent projects before taking their very first clients. In short, the learning and training requirements for becoming a chiropractic doctor can be incredibly intensive.
As you consider your options in chiropractic care, you’ll likely notice that not every chiropractic clinic is exactly alike. Some chiropractors are only qualified to perform basic spinal manipulation techniques. Others have received training and instruction in using computer-assisted adjustment technologies, ultrasound equipment, and many other non-invasive therapies and treatments. Chiropractors who invest the most in continued learning tend to provide the most expansive suites of services. There are even a number of integrative chiropractic clinics that are staffed by both highly trained chiropractors and knowledgeable practitioners who specialize in other forms of alternative medicine. At these locations, you’ll have access to licensed massage therapists, naturopathic doctors, acupuncturists, and experts in acupressure among other things.
One of the key differences between the training that a medical doctor receives and the training completed by a chiropractor is that chiropractic medicine is designed to always take the least invasive approach to resolving illnesses and injuries. In instances in which conventional doctors might recommend surgery or prescription pain medication, a chiropractor is often able to resolve problems by realigning the spine, recommending adjustments within personal life habits, assisting in the establishment of effective weight loss plans, and providing nutritional guidance and support.
Some of the most pervasive, painful, and problematic health issues are ultimately related to poor posture, lack of adequate ergonomic equipment, poor bending and lifting techniques, and poor diet. Although chiropractic doctors aren’t able to address all of the health problems that a medical doctor can, they’re guaranteed to take a far more natural approach to promoting healing and wellness. If you’re dealing with joint dysfunction, chronic pain, stiffness, soreness, or changes in mobility, we can help. Call us today at 205-637-1363.