I got into a discussion recently as to whether chiropractic should be considered complimentary or alternative medicine. The April 25, 2008 issue of the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine published a study entitled “Do Chiropractors Identify with Complementary and Alternative Medicine? Results of a Survey”. Their findings were that the majority (69%) of the chiropractors in the sample rejected being characterized as CAM practitioners, showing some preference for the term integrated medicine (27%).
I suppose when a chiropractor is evidence-based and thrives to work within the medical model, the term ‘alternative’ might not apply. When I send a patient to his primary care physician to get medication during a course of chiropractic treatment, that is certainly not an alternative to medical care. It is complimentary to what the MD might prescribe. Is it integrated? Not yet for me. If I were practicing in a hospital setting or some multi-disciplinary setting, I might be more comfortable with the term “integrated.” For now, I’ll settle for complementary.
Dr. Kinsler, a chiropractor, is a complementary health practitioner 🙂 in the Rochester, NY area.