You may not have considered discussing your digestive issues or depression with your chiropractor, instead saving larger health concerns for your medical doctor. But, did you know that chiropractors are licensed Primary Care Physicians, who are trained very similarly (in some areas even more intensively) to medical doctors?
Chiropractors and medical doctors receive comparable schooling with regard to how the body works. However, their approach to healing is different. Doctors of Chiropractic are Primary Health Care Providers, which means they are practitioners of the healing arts who examine patients, analyze the results of tests, diagnose and treat the patient’s health condition, and advise the patient about methods of preventive health care.
A study found that patient diagnoses by chiropractors as PCPs were in agreement with conventional medical specialist 93.1% of the time. In other words, a properly credentialed chiropractor could diagnose conditions almost as well as medical doctors, including conditions that are outside the normal scope of the conventional chiropractic setting.
In fact, research has shown that patients are much better off having a chiropractor as their primary care doctor. A study of Managed Care (HMO) demonstrated that those who use chiropractors as Primary Care Physicians (PCPs) had improved patient outcomes, and achieved this at substantially lower costs.
Research, published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics (JMPT), has found that a managed care network consisting of chiropractors as Primary Care Providers (PCPs) provided equivalent care, and saved substantial costs, compared to patient management utilizing medical doctors and osteopaths.
This study also found that there were significantly fewer hospital admissions among patients seeing a chiropractic PCP, fewer outpatient surgeries, and the cost associated with pharmaceutical usage among chiropractic PCP patients was approximately half of that seen in traditional HMO patients. Patients in the chiropractic network spent dramatically less days in the hospital in a one year period.
Outcome studies are showing that the conventional drug/surgical model of disease care as the primary or first method to be used has a lot of disadvantages. Cost is only one of them. The conclusion of this research was that “Reliance on the conventional medical model, in which pharmaceuticals and surgical interventions represent first-line treatment, may not provide the best therapeutic index to our patients.”
Chiropractors as primary care physicians assess health risks of patients who may present a multitude of ailments, some of which are dependant on proper medical care involving medications. Research also shows chiropractors are superior to medication to reduce the symptoms from headaches and migraines.
Wow! Having a chiropractor as your PCP can save you money and time by avoiding expensive, often unnecessary procedures and drugs, and keep you healthier and living well? Amazing! Chiropractors can also make all of the necessary referrals needed, just like your medical doctor. According to Matthew McCoy DC, MPH, editor the Journal of Pediatric, Maternal & Family Health, “more and more families are choosing chiropractic for a good portion of their healthcare needs because of its effectiveness and safety. People want to avoid costly and unnecessary drugs and aggressive interventions when they can, so they are seeking alternatives like chiropractic.”
As the cost of sufficient health care coverage rises, your options are not actually limited. Having a chiropractor as your PCP can keep you and your family living well for less.
Keep in mind: Some think that it is appropriate to ask a medical doctor if chiropractic can help, but medical doctors don’t have training in chiropractic and because we often shy away from what we don’t know much about, they may hesitate. Chiropractors have been trained as to what they can help and what they cannot help. So, ask a chiropractor if chiropractic can help you.
Did you know that Chiropractic Physicians also do physicals for work, school and sports?