Why should you care about chiropractors in Texas? Because if patients in Texas lose the right to visit a chiropractor when they want, you may lose too.
What does medical freedom mean to you?
From where and how we give birth to what things we are required by law to put into our bodies, medical autonomy is something that touches the lives of every American. And sadly, it’s something that seems to be under fire on many levels.
So why should YOU care about chiropractors in Texas?
First, some background.
In most states you can visit a chiropractor and choose who and when you visit. Chiropractic, the art of adjusting the spine using the hands, is a well known and long practiced way to achieve healing and reduce pain.
Chiropractic philosophies vary, just as medical doctors have various disciplines and specialties. But, as a whole, chiropractors believe that aligning the spine can help the body function at peak performance and can reduce pain, but even more than that, allow the brain to effectively communicate with the body so that the individual can achieve optimal health.
Chiropractors are doctors, they attend undergraduate studies, are required to take many (if not all) of the courses that pre-med students take, and then complete a rigorous graduate degree. They have extensive hours in X-ray, clinic, adjusting techniques, anatomy, and more. They must pass a national board examination in order to practice. The test is divided into four parts that must be taken separately and all chiropractors in the US must pass this in order to practice.
After all this, a chiropractor is a DC – a doctor of chiropractic, and can start their own practice and see patients.
Chiropractors, while sometimes derided and spoken of as “quacks,” are incredible doctors who help millions of people who haven’t found relief through traditional Western medicine or prefer to simply fix what is causing them trouble rather than cover symptoms with a pill or surgery.
In most places, you could decide today that you wanted to see a chiropractor and could directly call a chiropractic office, get an appointment, and see them.
You do not need a referral from a medical doctor to visit a chiropractor.
This is changing in the state of Texas and it doesn’t just hurt the chiropractic profession, it hurts you and your medical autonomy.
First, you deserve the right to dictate your care over your body and have choices regarding from whom you receive that care.
Making you get a referral from a medical doctor to visit your chiropractor limits YOUR rights as a citizen and your ability to optimize your health as you see fit.
This is under serious threat of being taken away in Texas. In fact, the law has already been passed, it is now in the courts. If it goes through it won’t just hurt you.
This also hurts chiropractors.
Many people realize that medical doctors don’t always love chiropractors. Their philosophy of care is often different, and despite the fact that they both have doctorates, they don’t always see eye to eye.
Getting a referral to a chiropractor from your medical doctor will be difficult if not impossible.
Think of it as finding a doctor who will walk the road of VBAC with you in a very VBAC unfriendly state.
Probable? Not really.
Dr Kristen Hosaka, a chiropractor in Texas says this,
“In an attempt to once again undermine the Chiropractic profession, the Texas Medical Association (TMA) has sued and won a case limiting a chiropractor’s ability to diagnose patients in Texas. The outcome of this case, if the appeal fails, is that the public would have to have an MD or DO diagnose and refer to a chiropractor before a patient could be legally treated by a chiropractor. A decision of this magnitude would set a legal precedent giving the TMA the opportunity to sue other professions that are not currently under the medical umbrella to require a MD referral as well. It could mean the end to non medical, alternative therapies and if Texas falls, there is a higher likelihood that other states could follow.”
Not only could chiropractors only be visited if you receive a referral, but other alternative therapies such as acupuncture, massage, and more.
What’s next…you need a referral to go to your yoga class?
Now, you deserve to know that I hold the chiropractic profession very close to my heart. My husband is a chiropractor. I was there when he pushed through school to get his doctorate in chiropractic. It wasn’t easy.
I was there when he studied for his national boards. It took time and dedication.
I was there as he worked to build a practice from the ground up. It is just as difficult as everyone says.
Oh, and yes, chiropractors take out just as many loans as medical doctors in order to finish school.
So when I hear that this profession is under attack in a large and populous state, it makes me worried. What will happen to all those people who enjoy chiropractic care and enjoy visiting their chiropractor when THEY feel they need to?
More than that, what will happen to all those chiropractors who, inevitably, will no longer be able to practice without copious referrals from medical doctors?
What will happen to their families? Their employees? Their student loan payments? Their careers carefully built over many years of work and sacrifice?
Whether you believe in chiropractic or not isn’t really relevant.
What matters is that you believe that people have the right to pursue traditional or non-traditional medical care as they see fit.
It matters that you believe in patient autonomy.
You can learn more about what’s happening in Texas by reading here. We don’t want to see patient medical autonomy infringed upon in Texas or any state.