Are Chiropractors Doctors?

As a Chiropractor Kitchener Waterloo Region I get asked a lot are chiropractors doctors? It’s not surprising to see how this question is confusing to the general public because the term doctor and physician gets used interchangeably. Chiropractors do not go to medical school and therefore do not have a medical degree and are not physicians.

The only country in the world where medical doctors and chiropractors attend the same school is Switzerland. In order to become a chiropractor, an individual must obtain a university degree and then complete 4 years of chiropractic college. Upon graduation, the recipient receives a doctorate of chiropractic degree.

Chiropractic schools in Canada and the U.S are private institutions. This is similar to optometrist and dentist; however, those professional schools are usually aligned with Universities. There are only 2 chiropractic colleges in Canada.

Can Chiropractors Call Themselves Doctors?

Chiropractors are legislated as primary contact health professionals in every province in Canada. There are 1 of 6 health care professionals in Ontario that have the rights to use the title Doctor along with its accompanying rights and obligations under the regulated health profession act, 1991 (RHPA). The 6 regulated health practitioners are:

  • College of Chiropractors of Ontario;
  • College of Naturopaths of Ontario;
  • College of Optometrists of Ontario;
  • College of Physicians and Surgeons of Ontario;
  • College of Psychologists of Ontario; or
  • Royal College of Dental Surgeons of Ontario.

Chiropractic Education vs a Medical Doctor Education?

In order to obtain your doctorate of chiropractic, applicants must complete a minimum of 3 years at university and 4 years at a recognized chiropractic college, with 1 year of clinical internship.

A study by Couter et al, 1998 compared the educational requirements of 3 chiropractic and 3 medical schools in the U.S. The study found that chiropractic and medical schools were more similar than dissimilar in the subjects taught and time spent on each subject. Where the study noted the greatest difference was in the clinical setting where medical schools far exceeded chiropractic.

The study also looked at the amount of hours studying individual subjects and the researchers found that the chiropractic students spent more hours learning anatomy, biomechanics, orthopedics, physiology and radiology.

Summary – Are Chiropractors Doctors? 

In summary to the question: “Are Chiropractors Doctors? Chiropractors do not go to medical school and do not have the same rights and responsibilities as a medical doctor. However, we are among the 6 regulated health professionals in Ontario that can use the term doctor.

As a practicing Chiropractor in Kitchener Waterloo since 2012, I always try to provide the best Chiropractic care possible to my patients. Please don’t hesitate to contact me anytime or make an appointment today.

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