There was a large article in the Weekend Australian magazine (2/7/2011) titled “The Chiro Kids”, which examined the role of Chiropractors treating young children and how Chiropractors are encroaching in on the General Practitioner’s space as the “family doctor”.
In my opinion, Chiropractors have been safely and competently treating young children for decades, with no media publicity, no debate, no public opposition from the medical community and I see no reason why this shouldn’t continue on.
In regards to Chiropractors assuming the role of the family doctor, I can never see a Chiropractor replacing a family doctors as they have greater expertise in internal medicine than Chiropractors do. I do see a role for Chiropractors to share some of the load, over stretched family doctors currently carry, as Chiropractors have greater expertise and knowledge in musculoskeletal medicine.
I believe Chiropractors can play a very strong role in being the first port of call for all musculoskeletal injuries acute and chronic, this is what we study for 5 years at university and this is what we see everyday. Whether it be neck pain, headaches, a hamstring strain, a rolled ankle, back pain, an acute knee injury, Chiropractors have the skills, knowledge and expertise to assess, diagnose, image, treat/manage and refer if required.
Ultimately Chiropractors and family doctors should co-exist for the greater good of the patient whether they be an adult or child.
Dr. Nicholas Shannon