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DC to DO...

Posted: Mon Jun 26, 2006 11:42 pm
by ChiroGeek
Hi all,

Well, I guess I'm having that 40 something crises, for at 46 and after 20 years of being a chiropractor - a very medically geared chiro I might add - I've had it.

I want to become more of a "real doctor" as my father and grandfather were and go for at least a DO degree.

I graduated Cum Laude from Life Chiropractic University in GA and did my undergraduate in Michigan at Ferris University - almost got a BS in applied Bio.

So, how in the world to I start this journey? Do I need to start completely over or is there some way I can get directly into a DO school without starting completely over.

I've got an MD friend who converted from DC to DO and went to one of those Caribbean schools; however, my home state - California - no longer accepts doctors from these schools; so I guess that's out.

The other "challenge" for me will be this: I had a failed discectomy in 2003 and have limitations to heavy lifting and bending.

Any advise or words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated.


Douglas M. Gillard, DC

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:19 am
by future doc

I would start by calling around to the D.O. schools and explaining your situation. You will probably have to take the MCAT but as far as pre-reqs you might find a school that is willing to accept you without them due to your situation. My uncle was a practicing dentist until he decided he wanted to be an M.D. One med school allowed him to skip the first year and start as a second year because of his previous training. So just call around, and see what the deal is and go from there. Good luck and bravo for pursuing what you want.

Secondly, I have a question for you. A very good friend of mine is finishing up at Logan. He started out pre-med but didn’t really have the requirements. He went D.C. Since then he has convinced himself that “this is what he always wanted to do,” and if he could change things, he wouldn’t. I think he is still very bitter. Furthermore, you mentioned in your post that you wanted to become more of a “real doctor.” Well according to him, he is a real doctor! He basically says he is in “medical school.” He claims the only difference between chiro school and D.O./M.D. schools is that chrio’s don’t study pharmacology. He even wears that shirt that says “trust me I’m a doctor.”

He is a good guy and a good friend. But when he starts spouting off his “medical knowledge” apropos of nothing, it drives me crazy. It is like he always has something to prove. I can’t talk to him about it because he gets so defensive. On a more serious note, I’m worried one day he might try treating someone he doesn’t have the training to treat, and may very well end up hurting that person. Any advice/insights would be greatly appreciated. Thank you!

Posted: Tue Jun 27, 2006 10:57 pm
by ChiroGeek
Thanks so much for the reply; that's a great idea and I shall make some calls tomorrow.

What is the best way to prepare for the MCAT? I understand it is an incredibly hard test. Since all of my education was done in the 1980s, I've got a lot of re-learning to do.

My education was pretty darn thorough when it came to the core medical sciences (anatomy, physiology, PNS, CNS, hard & soft tissue pathology, Radiography, parasitology, embryology, diagnosis, etc) and some of our teachers also taught at near by Emory Medical School. However, the philosophy was just so "far out there" that is was laughable. We had a weekly assemble [the only class I ever failed, for I walked out on several occasions] that was just insane: They spoke of how chiropractic was all powerful and could cure any disease such as diabetes, asthma, allergies, menstrual cramps, bed wetting, and, the presidents favorite, "moth-eaten alopecia."

If your friend is prepared to buy into this sort of philosophy's (correcting subluxations will turn-on the bodies natural healing power and you'll live forever and be free of disease), then he may do well. For me, who am a man of science, I could never subscribed to sort of this heresy and it sickens me that these types of chiropractors continue to thrive.

There are more medically orientated chiropractic philosophies that know their place in the health care hierarchy and simply look for and correct vertebral fixations. This sort of philosophy is more grounded on science and much more down to Earth; however, you will not make as much money as you are really nothing more than a glorified physical therapist.

We are trained (or at least I was) very well in reading radiograph, so hopefully he will recognize that fracture before cracking it back into place.

Chiropractic certainly has it's place, but I want more: I want to be able to prescribe medication; perform EMG/NCS studies; and perform transforaminal fluoroscopically guided ESIs, facet blocks, SI blocks, etc... you know, things A REAL DOCTOR can do.

If anyone else has any ideas how I can get a DO degree without spending another decade of my life in doing so, I'd be glad to hear from you here or at