The Differences and Similarities Between a Medical Doctor and a Chiropractor

When it comes to achieving health and wellness, you’re not alone. Along with regular exercise and a good diet, you have professionals available to give you the care you need. Medical doctors and chiropractors can both work to treat a variety of conditions and provide short- and long-term relief. You should understand how these doctors differ in their training and approach to your well-being.


Medical doctors and chiropractors must both complete a four-year bachelor’s degree from an accredited college or university. An aspiring medical doctor must then enroll in a medical school program and complete the required four-year coursework. Chiropractors must earn a doctorate of chiropractor degree, which can take three or four years. Both types of doctors must obtain a license to practice in their respective states.

Areas of Focus

A medical doctor is concerned about diagnosing a patient’s condition and treating the symptoms. The MD will do this by prescribing medication or performing surgery. Chiropractors use a more natural approach and can’t prescribe medication. These doctors help the body heal itself by aligning the spine and helping to restore the proper function of the body. The chiropractic adjustment is the most common way to do this. The chiropractor does an adjustment by using controlled, sudden force to manipulate the spine and move it into the proper spot. This approach can give the patient better flexibility, range of motion and mobility.


Both types of doctors can treat patients of all ages. Medical doctors may specialize in different areas, including pediatrics (children) and geriatrics (the elderly). Chiropractors, meanwhile, help relieve the pain and aches of both children and adults. Like medical doctors, the chiropractor will customize treatment according to the persons’ needs. and condition.

Working Together

Though the two may seem at odds over their philosophies, medical doctors and chiropractors can use their collective skills and knowledge to treat patients. One may recommend patients to the other. Some patients will get treatment simultaneously from a medical doctor and a chiropractor.

Whom To See

Patients often go to a chiropractor when medication has been ineffective. Chiropractic adjustments can also be a viable alternative for patients who wish to avoid surgery. However, in severe cases, such as internal injuries, the medical doctor may be the right choice.

Chiropractors are not medical doctors but still undergo extensive treatment to help patients with various ailments. If you have discomfort in your joints or other nagging issues, make an appointment with a chiropractor, like a chiropractor from AmeriWell Clinics, today.