According to the medical community I practice Alternative Medicine. I don’t use any medicine in my practice at all. An alternative medicine to Tylenol would be Advil, not chiropractic. Perhaps if it was said that chiropractic is an alternative to medicine rather than chiropractic is Alternative Medicine then I could accept it. The medical community is obtaining a monopoly on health care terminology.
It may not have been planned that way originally, but there are now laws being put forward by medical associations to ban non-MDs from using the title doctor or physician. Below are a few samples of how the medical community refers to other providers of health care:
Here is the (government) MedlinePlus take (emphasis added):
“Complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) is the term for MEDICAL products and practices that are not part of standard care. Standard care is what medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and allied health professionals, such as nurses and physical therapists, practice.…The claims that CAM treatment providers make can sound promising. However, researchers do not know how safe many CAM treatments are or how well they work…
They later recommend you discuss it with your “doctor” implying of course medical doctor. This article leads you to the belief that “alternative medicine” is non-standard and of unknown safety.
This article on Wikipedia makes me want to become a Wikipedia editor.
“Alternative medicine is any practice that is put forward as having the healing effects of medicine, but is not based on evidence gathered with the scientific method… Examples include homeopathy, traditional [folk] medicine, chiropractic and acupuncture.”
Despite the myriad of medical treatments that are based on tradition rather than on the scientific method, and despite the mountain of scientific research supporting chiropractic treatment this article still exists.
The Mayo Clinic starts it’s CAM article by saying “You’ve heard the hype about complementary and alternative medicine. Now get the facts.” They list chiropractic as CAM, and then proceed to tell us that many medical doctors don’t have any training in CAM. They state that some CAM treatments have been proven effective (perhaps Wikipedia should cite the Mayo Clinic), but warn that because some aren’t proven you should talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of these treatments about which they have no training.
I recommend that you discuss your treatments and possible treatments with all of your providers. They should all be working as a team and some treatments do interact poorly. The purpose of this article is not to discourage communication with your medical provider nor to disparage them. Most of the medical doctors that I have worked with are well trained, intelligent, and work with alternative providers to compliment their own treatments.
I would like to bring attention to the fact that words have meaning. Chiropractors have struggled for years to come up with good terminology in our profession, even skipping the debate on the word “subluxation,” we’re still left saying things like “it went” after a successful treatment. Chiropractors need to do better producing our terminology, because if we don’t the medical community will.
According to the State of Utah I am a Chiropractic Physician, According to the Department of Education I am a Doctor of Chiropractic. I am a practitioner that provides an alternative to medicine, but I am not an Alternative Medicine provider.