Research Study – What Does A Chiropractor Know About It?

Wednesday, November 11th, 2015

Following research in 1979, Scott Haldeman, DC, MD, PhD, and the Royal Commission of Inquiry on Chiropractic in New Zealand concluded,

“The Commission accepts the evidence of Dr. Haldeman, and holds, that in order to acquire a degree of diagnostic and manual skill sufficient to match chiropractic standards, a medical school graduate would require up to 12 months’ full-time training, while a physiotherapist would require longer than that.”

Have you heard that old line about how chiropractors aren’t “real” doctors? I’ll be the first to admit that it’s the truth…..IF the only “real” doctors are medical doctors, that is…… Then that is absolutely true.

Of course, that would also exclude osteopathic doctors, dentists, veterinarians, optometrists, and a whole bunch of others. So, we would have to leave all of them out of the “real” doctor category as well.

The point is….OF COURSE chiropractors are “real” doctors. They’re just different in the sense that veterinarians are different kinds of doctors than optometrists. They’re ALL doctors that are highly qualified to treat healthcare patients. Even four-legged healthcare patients.

What do I mean when I say, “Highly qualified,” in terms of chiropractic? Well, here is a rundown of chiropractic education in comparison to medical school.

Reference “Whiplash and Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries: A Guide for Patients and Practitioners.”, Arthur C. Croft; 2nd Printing, 2009.

You see, in some states, chiropractors are held to the standards of a primary care physician so all colleges must teach them as such, regardless of where they will be practicing. A chiropractor’s basic sciences (i.e. physiology, anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, etc..) are essentially identical to that of a medical school. A chiropractor’s clinical sciences (i.e., differential diagnosis, pathology, bone pathology, radiology, etc.) are the same except that chiropractors have a heavy dose of radiology classes whereas medical students do not. Medical students, however, are going to have more education with pediatrics, gynecology, and obstetrics.

Chiropractors attend an internship while still in college, medical students are much more experienced in terms of internship in my opinion. They are in the field in other medical doctors’ clinics learning first hand while chiropractors are mostly in a controlled college program for their internship.

Chiropractors also have to pass four extremely difficult national board exams. They aren’t just handed degrees when they pass the course work and graduate.

The following will give you an idea of specific courses normally attended in chiropractic school.

Reference “Whiplash and Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries: A Guide for Patients and Practitioners.”, Arthur C. Croft; 2nd Printing, 2009.

And, finally, here is a demonstration of the World Health Organization’s requirements.

Reference “Whiplash and Mild Traumatic Brain Injuries: A Guide for Patients and Practitioners.”, Arthur C. Croft; 2nd Printing, 2009.

My goal here is to shine a light on the virtues of a chiropractic education. Not to somehow diminish the education of medical students. Medical doctors save lives daily. My argument is for the inclusion and promotion of chiropractic in playing a larger role in the overall healthcare system based on knowledge, research, and results.


I think we can all agree that not all doctors are created equal. This is true with any profession. However, the general notion that chiropractors are uneducated folks playing “doctor” is just irresponsible and uninformed and I hope that I have adequately demonstrated this. If not, then stay tuned. I have plenty more research-based blogs on the horizon.

Please feel free to leave a comment and tell me your thoughts. I’d love to hear what you think. And….SHARE, SHARE, SHARE!!

This blog is based on information via Mr. George McAndrews found in the article at this link in Dynamic Chiropractic:

Till next time……

The Amarillo Chiropractor Blog is written by Dr. Jeff Williams.

Amarillo TX Amarillo Pain & Accident Chiropractic Clinic provides customized chiropractic care to the Amarillo, Canyon, Pampa, Happy, White Deer, Dumas, Groom, Conway, Panhandle, Claude, Clarendon, Borger, Tulia, Hereford, Fritch, Bushland, and Vega communities. Visit our main website at for customized Chiropractic in Amarillo TX.

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by Jeff S. Williams, D.C.
Amarillo Chiropractor

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