This year I will dedicate a monthly blog to Medical Doctors (MDs) on topics related to Chiropractic that relates to their medical practices. Since Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) are educated in separate universities than medicine and that DCs do not work out of hospitals, there are few occasions for MDs to become familiar with their local DCs or Chiropractic in general for that matter. I pray this blog will reach doctors focused on caring for their patients, that they look objectively at the information I will share, to enable them to better serve their patients by understanding where a local DC can be of value to their patients. After all, we are both professionals in any given community dedicated to serving our patients.
It is common to hear from a patient that their MD is opposed to or resists their use of chiropractic services. We know that even in integrated clinics, MDs rarely refer to the DC that is right down the hall from them and we would think that reflects a negative attitude but it is much simpler than that. I manage some 30 DCs in 30 communities and see this all the time. What we do know is that an MD will refer to a DC when they have met them personally. What I am saying is that when an MD is comfortable with a DC that they know personally they will refer some patients to them when the patient asks for a referral and when a case fits their understanding of what a DC can do. This does not mean they are chiropractic converts, just that they know this individual doctor well enough to feel that their referral will be a safe experience for their patient and not reflect badly on them for making the referral.
Newer MD graduates may have had greater exposure to chiropractic as patients because we know today that about 50% of American, Australian and Canadian residents have received chiropractic care. So it is not uncommon for someone to have already visited a DC clinic before they made their decision to study medicine. These individuals know the local chiropractor is a professional, highly trained and effective in certain areas of healthcare. Once they graduate and start seeing patients, this generation of MDs is more active in considering chiropractic care for their patients, simply due to their personal experience. In countries where the chiropractic profession is not yet established, MDs there have not been exposed to much of anything on chiropractic, so they do not pre-judge DCs but instead are interested in learning more about this new profession. This respect is mainly given because of the training by the DCs has taken place in a Western country, a lengthy and expensive education and that matters to learned people.
That is today’s reality. This blog honors those who serve humanity in caring for their pain and suffering and in supporting patients in their goals for a better, healthier life. So I am staring this first MD focused blog with the following message and appeal:
“Doctors, our community is blessed to have such well-educated and qualified professionals to serve in their healthcare needs in many health professions: Medicine, Dentistry, Chiropractic, Optometry, Veterinary, Osteopathy, just to name several. If you have previously experienced chiropractic with positive, mixed or negative results please afford the entire profession the courtesy to remain objective in assisting patients in making their healthcare decisions by including chiropractic. If you have never been to a DC and have never been exposed to objective information on the chiropractic profession, and you know what I mean, nothing discriminatory that has unfortunately surfaced all these years; please reach into your sence of moral decency and be patient-centered, not profession-centered in your attitudes to professionals that have different training than you do. Legislative bodies consist of people who represent people, so it is a significant matter that DCs are recognized, licensed and regulated in the same way that MDs are held accountable. Thank you so much for taking the time to reach this far into my message.”
Yours in Health,