Chiropractic Care in California
With 65,000 practitioners nationwide, chiropractic is the third largest “primary” health profession in the US (behind medicine and dentistry). This issue brief examines the chiropractic workforce in California. Beginning with its history and recent growth, the report looks into supply, demand and demographic characteristics for these professionals as well as current education and training regimens. Critical issues and policy concerns addressed: six-year versus eight-year post graduate education for doctors of chiropractic, identity of chiropractic as general versus specialized health profession, safety and efficacy of non-chiropractic spinal adjustments, geographic distribution of chiropractors as favorable to health care access, and the cost-effectiveness of chiropractic care. While acceptance by both mainstream medicine and the general public continues to grow, the roles of the chiropractor as a primary care provider, and as either a complement or alternative to allopathic medicine, have not been universally resolved.