Review of “Referral Patterns and Attitudes of Primary Care Physicians Towards Chiropractors BioMed Central Complementary and Alternative Medicine. 2006, 6:5 dii:10.1186/1472–6882–6–5”

Does the medical mainstream hate chiropractors? And if so, why is it that chiropractic is well known as an effective and safe treatment option for patients with musculoskeletal complaints.

The objective of this study was to contrast the intra-professional referral patterns of primary care physicians (PCPs) towards DC’s and determine why mainstream medical professionals refer to DC’s.

This data was found by mailing a survey instrument that 517 PCP’s participated in. Descriptive statistics and multivariable logistic regression analyses were conducted to identify the factors associated with inter-professional referral behaviors.

Most Americans Seek Out Natural Alternatives for Pain

A study conducted by Eisenberg et al [1] demonstrated that MORE Americans are consulting alternate care providers 425 (million visits) than conventional allopathic trained physicians (388 million).

It was found that nearly all (87%) physicians have had patients request a chiropractic referral. So it appears that the referrals are being requested by the public. This is further supported by the fact that only 27% of those physicians have made a “formal” chiropractic referral. The common reasons for referring a patient to a chiropractor were back or neck pains, unresponsive chronic pain, fibromyalgia, and musculoskeletal conditions.

While 82.5% of DO’s accepted referrals from a chiropractor only 55.4% of MD’s accepted a referral from a chiropractor because the referral was not formal and the health problem was outside of the physicians expertise. Nineteen percent of physicians had never received a referral from a chiropractor.

Are Physicians Threatened By Chiropractors Drug Free Approach

There are several possible explanations for physicians unwillingness to “formalize” their relationships with chiropractors. They may fear malpractice litigations [19] or they see them as a threat. Many physicians felt they did not know enough about chiropractic to have an opinion, or do not view chiropractic as a legitimate health profession.

“Chiropractic care was found to be one of the most frequently sought after alternative care, and evoked a high level of patient satisfaction…” “…the lack of direct formalized referral relationships between PCP’s and chiropractors has implications for efficiency, continuity, quality, and patient safety in the health care delivery system.”

Conclusion : Their is a lack of direct formalized referral relationships between conventional physicians and their alternative and complementary counterparts even though their is a high degree of interest from the public. I have worked hard to establish a positive referral network with MD’s, DO’s, NP’s, and PA’s in the Rogue Valley to ensure that you get the best care possible.

Check out my eBook on Chronic Neck Pain.


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