Notes

For the sake of promoting good health, helping you save money, eliminating ambiguity and shedding light on the dark corners of the healthcare field
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Chiropractors

In the medical community, chiropractors are not regarded as doctors. There is very little scientific support for chiropracty with the exception of minor low back pain. Many chiropractors have attempted to rebrand themselves as “health experts” or “nutritionists” (and will attempt to sell their patients “exclusive” vitamins, herbs, minerals and/or supplements). Most of the services they offer are dependent upon ritual and placebo effect. Chiropracty is based on the premise that all illness stems from misalignment of the spine (subluxation). We know this premise is false with the discovery of bacteria, fungi and viruses along with advances in biology (including genomics), chemistry, anatomy and physiology.  What is most concerning is that chiropractors are lobbying government officials to practice medicine (and to have the ability to prescribe medication) without ever having attended medical school and without having undergone residency training.  An emerging gimmick these individuals may employ is touting themselves as experts or specialists in:

"complementary medicine" (C.M.)
"alternative medicine"
"complementary (and) alternative medicine" (C.A.M.)
"homeopathic medicine"
"integrative health"
"integrative medicine" (I.M.)
(inappropriately) administering I.V. (intravenous) medications / infusions
(inappropriately) administering chelation therapy
"functional medicine"

All of the above have little, if not any, basis in science.  Furthermore, these individuals may claim to have special knowledge in diseases with no effective treatment or cure (and may still proceed to attempt treating them).  The medical community views these gimmicks as the practice of fringe medicine (also referred to as pseudomedicine).
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Naturopathic physicians

In the medical community, individuals of this job are not regarded as doctors. They have no background in medical training and disturbingly enough (in many states) they have lobbied hard to have the ability to attempt to practice medicine and prescribe medication as well. The majority of doctors in the medical field embrace natural approaches to curing when a natural approach is found (through scientific studies) to be effective. Unfortunately, most studies have demonstrated that very few natural approaches do work (or in any clinically significant capacity). While individuals of this field like to make the accusation that “doctors are paid by the pharmaceutical industry,” there is little evidence to support this in the overwhelming majority of cases. The “Sunshine Law” mandates public disclosure of financial interests that doctors and/or healthcare facilities / entities do have, which most don’t.  An emerging gimmick these individuals may employ is touting themselves as experts or specialists in:

"complementary medicine" (C.M.)
"alternative medicine"
"complementary (and) alternative medicine" (C.A.M.)
"homeopathic medicine"
"integrative health"
"integrative medicine" (I.M.)
(inappropriately) administering I.V. (intravenous) medications / infusions
(inappropriately) administering chelation therapy
"functional medicine"

All of the above have little, if not any, basis in science.  Furthermore, these individuals may claim to have special knowledge in diseases with no effective treatment or cure (and may still proceed to attempt treating them).  The medical community views these gimmicks as the practice of fringe medicine (also referred to as pseudomedicine).  It is the opinion of the Hospitalist’s Union that these individuals should be avoided at all costs as most of their treatment plans appear to depend on ritual and placebo effect.
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Nutritionists

Nutritionists are not dietitians. They lack the formal training of a dietician. Typically, dietitians carry the title of R.D. (Registered Dietician). They (dietitians) are essential members of the healthcare field and they undergo rigorous training to serve their patients. Becoming a nutritionist appears to be an amalgam of marketing, online courses and self-research.  These individuals may also self-identify as fitness coaches, wellness coaches and/or life coaches.
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Wellness Coaches

Individuals who have this job incorporate a vague fusion between internet research of diet and exercise. These individuals are neither dietitians nor certified personal trainers but they may claim to be nutritionists in addition to being wellness coaches. “Wellness” is a vague and subjective term that is at the discretion of one’s view of it. It is recommended that you seek the services of a dietician and/or certified personal trainer depending on your needs and goals rather than a wellness coach.  These individuals may also self-identify as fitness coaches, nutritionists and/or life coaches.
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Dietitians

For the most accurate and up-to-date counseling regarding dietary advice, always seek the services of a registered dietitian (R.D.). They may also have the degree of R.D.N. (Registered Dietitian Nutritionist).  To avoid confusion, keep in mind that "all registered dietitians are nutritionists but not all nutritionists are dieticians."  It is not recommended that you seek dietary counseling from a chiropractor, a doctor of pastoral science and medicine, a naprapath, a nutritionist, a wellness coach or a life coach.
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Physical Therapists / Occupational Therapists

If you should suffer an injury or if you suffer from chronic pain you should speak with your doctor about the possibility of being referred to a physical therapist and/or an occupational therapist (one will be able to refer you to the other depending on the type of injury / pain and type of therapy required). There are excellent scientific studies demonstrating the benefits of the services offered by these professionals. It is recommended that you seek their services rather than that of a doctor of pastoral science and medicine, a chiropractor or a naprapath.
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Psychologists

Despite not having been educated at a medical school and not undergoing residency training, psychologists are lobbying to act in a capacity as a doctor. What’s even more disturbing is that they are lobbying for the right to prescribe medication. Although the terms “psychiatrist” and “psychologist” sound similar, they are very different fields of practice. A psychiatrist is a doctor whereas a psychologist is not (although a psychologist may have a doctorate degree which is not a medical degree and not equivalent to a medical degree).  Typically (and if coordinated correctly) psychologists work under the supervision of a psychiatrist and are an integral part of a mental / behavioral health team. If you have mental / behavioral health issues and you seek care for these issues, always seek the care of a psychologist who is managed by a psychiatrist. You may verify this with a psychologist by asking him or her who their supervising doctor is (not just the one they usually refer patients to).
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Optometrists

Although the terms “ophthalmologist” and “optometrist” may sound similar, the amount of training required to become an ophthalmologist is much more extensive. An ophthalmologist is an eye doctor (with a D.O. or M.D. degree) who has undergone 12 years of education and training comprised of four years of undergraduate education, four years of medical school and four years of residency training. Optometrists, on the other hand, are practitioners who have undergone four years of undergraduate education then four years of optometry school. It is strongly recommended that you seek the care of an ophthalmologist for vision screening and/or any eye issues you may be having. If you do seek the care of an optometrist rather than an ophthalmologist, you should ensure the optometrist is managed by an ophthalmologist. You may verify this with an optometrist by asking him or her who their supervising doctor is (not just the one they usually refer patients to). If you require any surgical procedure for your eye(s), you should always have it performed by an ophthalmologist.
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Naprapaths

In the medical community, individuals of this job are not regarded as doctors.  There is very little scientific support for "naprapathic medicine."  An emerging gimmick these individuals may employ is touting themselves as experts or specialists in:

"complementary medicine" (C.M.)
"alternative medicine"
"complementary (and) alternative medicine" (C.A.M.)
"homeopathic medicine"
"integrative health"
"integrative medicine" (I.M.)
(inappropriately) administering I.V. (intravenous) medications / infusions
(inappropriately) administering chelation therapy
"functional medicine"

All of the above have little, if not any, basis in science.  Furthermore, these individuals may claim to have special knowledge in diseases with no effective treatment or cure (and may still proceed to attempt treating them).  The medical community views these gimmicks as the practice of fringe medicine (also referred to as pseudomedicine).  It is the opinion of the Hospitalist's Union that these individuals should be avoided at all costs as most of their treatment plans appear to depend on ritual and placebo effect.
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Doctors of Pastoral Science and Medicine

In the medical community, individuals of this job are not regarded as doctors.  There is very little scientific support for what is described as "Bible-based medicine."
We find the claims they make and the reports about them to be so egregious that we will only provide descriptions from the following articles:

An N.P.R. article dated April 25, 2016 with the title "Pastoral Medicine Credentials Raise Questions In Texas" provides the following key points:

  • "In recent years, the Texas Medical Board has sent about a dozen cease and desist orders to people using the pastoral medicine certification.  Some hawk dubious supplements like colloidal silver, promise extreme weight loss, treat thyroid disorders and discourage vaccine use."

  • Dr. Stephen Barrett (a retired Psychiatrist and founder of the consumer protection site Quackwatch.org) stated, "People may feel they are more marketable if they get some credentials."  "There are lots of credentials you can buy."  "and this is just one of many."

  • According to the article, "[Dr.] Barrett says the Pastoral Medical Association functions like a private club.  Patients sign confidentiality agreements, pay out of pocket and are prohibited from suing if they're unhappy with the care they receive.  Any disputes are handled by an ecclesiastical tribunal.  They're claiming that 'Any advice we give you is pastoral in nature,'" [Dr.] Barrett says.  "In other words, 'If I give you health advice that's not health advice, that's pastoral advice.'"

In another article from One News Now dated May 3, 2016 and titled, "It's 'buyer beware' with this 'medical' title", Dr. Barrett states, "There's never been any public disclosure of requirements.  Most of the people who were using the PSC.D credential are chiropractors, [although] there are a few other people."

It is the opinion of the Hospitalist's Union that these individuals should be avoided at all costs.
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