Patients are frequently surprised when I describe the level of education necessary to be a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic. That DC at the end of our names is associated with a tremendous amount of information related to the anatomy, physiology and pathology of the human being. In the State of Florida a DC license is in the same class as an MD or DO. Our evaluation of a patient and identification of their state of health or disease is our primary function. What we do to treat that disease is what sets us apart. Which conditions we are licensed to treat is identified by our State Licensing Board. The important distinction here is that there is disparity between what we know and what we do. And, this, I feel, is where most people fall short of their understanding of our profession.
The reason for bringing this to the attention of the general public, is that it is important to have the trust of your patients to help guide them in all matters of health. All, or at least multiple, perspectives can be of value in decisions related to health choices. To know that your healthcare practitioner, no matter with which discipline they are affiliated, has the same background knowledge as all other alike healthcare practitioners, should give some confidence in the guidance they may offer. This can provide comfort to a person who has health challenges that they are currently navigating.
When choosing a physician of any discipline, look for someone with a wide perspective of healthcare, one who acknowledges other disciplines, has your best interests in mind and respects your values. Doctors of Chiropractic will often address your issues directly, as in treatment for musculoskeletal or neuropathic concerns, but also by supporting your general health through encouragement of good dietary, exercise and lifestyle habits, as this leads to better healing responses. We are trained to review all forms of information from laboratory tests to various imaging studies (x-ray, CT, MRI, ultrasound), allowing us to be another perspective when considering their ramifications to your health and associated choices given the information they provide.
Doctors of Chiropractic will always consider the best and least onerous options for your care. It may include referring you to the most appropriate discipline outside of our offices. Our bodies have an innate ability to heal, our profession is designed to access and manipulate that to help you achieve an optimum response. We recognize when our skills are capable of providing the desired result and will always observe the outcome of our care to ensure that we are on track. You will always be the most important part of the process and we will listen to your concerns at all stages of care. We will also be supportive should you desire preventative measures and can help outline a strategy unique to you and your lifestyle.
I hope this helps you feel that you can safely consider a Doctor of Chiropractic when you are addressing your health. Always ask as many questions as you need to, to feel you are with the right practitioner for you or your loved ones.