Chiropractors & physical therapists (or physiotherapists) are professionals who help in the treatment of different injuries or trauma to the body.
A chiropractor is a professional who is engaged in the diagnosis and treatment of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system, whereas a physical therapist (also called physiotherapist) is a medical professional who provides treatment in case of injury, disease or caused due to aging, to assist and restore mobility and function.
|Residency and Internship||One-year internship that coincides with clinical courses while in training. NO Residency required, but have the option to complete if accepted and desire to.||All curriculums are required to have a minimum of 30 weeks of full time internship. Residencies exist in all specialties, certified by the American Board of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education.|
|Practice||Private practice clinics, generally. However, some are employed by health systems and hospitals. Generalist practice, neurology related, orthopedic related, and general alignment restoration dealing with the skeletal system.||Acute care, Inpatient/Outpatient Neurologic Rehab, General Outpatient, Othopedic, Geriatrics, Pediatrics, Veterans Affairs, Military, Sports Medicine, Women’s & Men’s Health, Wound Care, Work Rehab, Electrophysiology, etc.|
|Can prescribe medication||No. New Mexico recently allowed limited prescription rights to DCs||Unless in the Military, PT’s do not prescribe medications. However, all PT’s are tested on pharmacology.|
|Medical Licensing Exam (MLE)||National Board Exam (NBCE). Parts I, II, III IV (practical) and state boards.||The National Physical Therapy Exam (NPTE) administered by the Federation of State Boards.|
|Treatment Techniques||Chiropractic adjustment (grade I-V) ranging from soft tissue mobilization to joint adjustment. Electrical Stimulation. Acupuncture, Pain Management||All manual therapy techniques including joint manipilation, and all modalities; Neurologic rehabilitation, sports performance, gait training, muscle coordination & performance, wound care, tissue mobilization, massage, cardiovascular rehab, etc.|
|Years of medical school||4-5 undergraduate years (Bachelor’s required / state dependent), 5 Chiropractic school, 1 year residency, minimum 10 years||Doctor of Physical Therapy = 3 academic years. All accredited Physical Therapy programs require a Bachelor’s Degree. As of January 2012, only 5 Master’s programs remain, which are typically 2 years in length. There are 213 programs in the US.|
|Status||DC stands for Doctor of Chiropractic. They are not medical doctors, however for insurance purposes, some states consider chiropractors health care providers, some do not.||A PT (Physical Therapist) is also not a medical doctor and cannot prescribe medication. PTs are also considered specialty practitioners by the insurance industry.|
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