What is the Difference between MD and DC
(Medical Doctor and Doctor of Chiropractic)
It’s important to know the basic differences between a Medical Doctor (MD) and a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) so that you understand the unique role that each type of medical professional plays in helping you to maintain or regain your health.
In the state of Florida, MDs and DC’s are both licensed healthcare physicians. They examine, diagnose and treat patients. Their methods of practice may help explain this difference in emphasis. DCs are experts in musculoskeletal health and general wellness. Both MDs and DCs will use diagnostic imaging, lab tests, clinical exams and questionnaires to determine a diagnosis, but the course of treatment will be different. MDs prescribe pharmaceuticals and surgery to treat patients, whereas DCs use a more holistic approach involving a variety of hands-on treatments as well as advice on diet and exercise.
Office visits are also quite different experiences. On a typical visit to an MD, you will likely be asked by a nurse or assistant to fill out paperwork and provide information about your condition. Then the MD will visit you, look at the information, perhaps perform a brief clinical examination, and quickly prescribe a treatment. In the course of doing this, most doctors will take only a small amount of time to understand your overall health picture. And treatment will usually involve drugs and/or medical procedures.
It is not uncommon for patients to have a more personal relationship with their DC than with their MD. The Chiropractor will speak with you at length about not only your physical symptoms, but your lifestyle habits as well. He or she will examine you, perform any necessary tests, discuss possible treatment options, and provide appropriate manual therapies. These may include targeted spinal adjustments, therapeutic massage, disc decompression, laser therapy, electrical stimulation as well as structured exercise and stretching programs. In addition, the chiropractor may also make specific suggestions about your nutrition, day-to-day environment and physical activity.
MDs should be consulted for infections, cancers and various autoimmune diseases for treatment. Musculoskeletal problems (particularly those related to back, neck and joint pain) are better treated by a DC. The basic differences between an MD and a DC so that you understand the unique role that each type of medical professional plays in helping you to maintain or regain your health.