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Posted on 08-17-2017
As successful as chiropractic has become, there are a lot of myths about chiropractic floating around in the general public. Some of these myths are a result of chiropractic’s differences with the conventional medical establishment and some arise from misunderstandings of the basic philosophies of chiropractic. I like to address a few of these myths right up front.
The first myth we’ll discuss is that “Chiropractors are not real doctors.” Chiropractors are medical professionals licensed in every U.S. state, as well as the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Today most chiropractic schools require a minimum of two years of undergraduate study, with emphasis on the basic sciences, for a student to be considered for admission. According to statistics gathered by Terry A. Rondberg, D.C. (president of the World Chiropractic Alliance and founder of The Chiropractic Journal), the typical chiropractic curriculum is four years long and includes over 2,885 hours of instruction in anatomy, physiology, pathology, chemistry, microbiology, neurology, diagnosis, radiology, orthopedics, even psychiatry and obstetrics. Fields such as geriatrics and pediatrics are also part of the chiropractic student’s training.
As part of their education, chiropractic students also complete approximately nine hundred hours of work in a clinical setting, assisting licensed chiropractors, observing, and learning. There is additional training in nutrition, palpation, and different adjusting techniques, all under the supervision of working doctors of chiropractic. Once students earn their doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) degree, they must then pass the state licensing exam for the location where they wish to practice, as well as a practical exam and interview by the state board. Virtually all students also take the National Board of Chiropractic Examination, which is a comprehensive test accepted by most states as a licensing exam. Once a chiropractor has passed these tests, he or she can open a practice.
As you can see, chiropractors receive extensive, scientifically based training combined with many hours of practical work. Just like conventional medical doctors, they are medical professionals subject to testing, examination, licensing, and monitoring by state and national peer-review boards. Chiropractic is also recognized as a valid part of the overall health care system: Federal and state programs such as Medicare, Medicaid, and state workers’ compensation programs cover chiropractic, and all federal agencies accept sick-leave certificates signed by doctors of chiropractic. Chiropractic care is covered in the health insurance policies of over 75 percent of the insurance carriers in the United States. Many plans also will allow patients to have a doctor of chiropractic as their primary-care physician.
To read more about chiropractic myths, watch for our blog next week, or pick up a copy of Dr. Lenarz’s book The Chiropractic Way, available on Amazon.
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