There has always been controversy when it comes to our field and mainstream medicine and when I was growing up it was much more obvious than it is today. Its funny, I clearly remember the days of high school when my medical doctor couldn't believe that I had actually seen a chiropractor and shot me a look as if it was voodoo or some other black magic. I remember thinking "well...it worked...my back pain was instantly gone" but I didn't say a word. I still occasionally run into people who still think that way but it has exponentially decreased over the years. I get the feeling this is due to a number of factors; seeing the benefits we provide each day, availability of information and educational resources online, and increasing cooperation between medicine and our field. Many of our referrals come from mainstream medical practitioners and that breaks down a lot of outdated prejudices. You know, manual manipulation of joints is something a lot of people do, including Osteopaths and now even PTs. While that is another discussion in and of itself, the point being, I find it quite telling when some of the people who question our profession hear that and their whole attitude and demeanor change, this "adjusting" thing immediately seems "less weird" to them.
As simple as this is, many people I run into don't know this; here is how we're different from medicine; we don't prescribe medicine. Many of us recommend supplementation; fish oils, Vitamin D, tumeric, etc... but we typically don't resort to medicine first, we try more physical approaches such as manipulation of the problematic joint / nerve interference, or deep tissue therapies with an instrument or via a licensed massage therapist, or even rehab exercises targeting weak areas in much the same way a PT or Yoga instructor does. However, we DO refer to medicine when we see something outside of our scope of practice. We don't tell anyone that they should disregard what their MD is telling them. That is ludicrous. In order to work together, we have to function together and that means respecting each other and I think that is by far and away how MOST of today's chiropractors function in regards to their medical counterparts. You will find some who disregard medicine completely and on the other side you will find some who completely disregard chiropractors, but for the majority of us in the middle somewhere we are able to coexist and many are even able to thrive together, and when that happens and you are within that team of providers, YOU BENEFIT more than you know! Having a team of providers who can seamlessly work together will always be the gold standard and its what we have aimed to build here since we opened our doors 15 years ago.
Dr. Tracy J Smith