Chiropractors form the largest group of natural medicine
practitioners. Like any large group of people, there are some that are legitimate and others you need to be careful of. How do you separate the wheat from the chaff? This article give the basics of how chiropractors come to practice medicine.
Time Required: Varies
U.S. Chiropractors must complete 4-5 years of advanced study from one of the 15 Chiropractic Colleges that are accreditated by the Council on Chiropractic Education. To be accepted into chiropractic school, candidates must have at least 3 years of undergraduate training. So, all in all, a Chiropractor will have a minimum of 7 years of schooling in preparation for their career. Chiropractic education includes an internship.
Chiropractors are licensed by the state in which they practice. All 50 U.S. states license chiropractors. In addition to completing the educational requirements stated in Step 1, licensing is also contingent upon satisfactory completion of state and national exams. Qualified continuing education each year is also required for relicensing of chiropractors. Continued education for chiropractors is offered by chiropractic associations.
- Past Complaints by Other Patients
If you would like to know whether other patients have had problems with the Chiropractor you are considering (or are seeing), the place to go is the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners. The name of this agency may vary slightly from state to state. You should be able to find the Board on your state's government website. This is also the place to start if you are the one to file a complaint.
Although they are physicians, Chiropractors choose not to perform surgery or prescribe drugs. This is because they believe in the body's innate power to heal itself. You may want to ask yourself - is this an idea you can buy into? Interview the doctor to learn more about his or her attitude toward health. Also, some chiropractors are way out there, while others remain virtually unaware of the holistic healing field. Where in this spectrum of natural medicine do you feel comfortable and safe?
- Diagnosis of Conditions
Taking X-rays is sometimes indicated in diagnosing spinal conditions. The decision to take an X-ray is at the skilled discretion of the doctor. However, chiropractic techniques exist that do not use X-rays at all. Be aware-by blindly investing in one type of technique, especially one that does not allow a non-partial view of the spine, if need be, the risk for iatrogenic injury is there.
Created November 17, 2005
What You Need
- Willingness and ability to do some research