There are four primary branches of doctors, licensed to be primary care providers.
Note: All end in “opathic.”
By definition from medical dictionaries: Allopathic medicine works in disharmony with nature by using drugs to subdue biological reactions. Allopathic Doctors are looking for disease states, then treating those diseases with prescription medications. This branch of medicine is sometimes called “Conventional Medicine,” or “Western Medicine.” With certification, they are licensed to perform major surgery. The common name for an Allopathic Doctor is “Medical Doctor, M.D.”
Chiropractic medicine believes heath, or lack of health, all centers around the ability, or inability, of adequate nerve signaling to pass through the spinal column, unimpeded through all nerves, into target systems, such as muscles, organs, etc. Their primary mission are spinal manipulations. The word “adjustment” is a trade name specific to a D.C.. Their common name is “Chiropractor, D.C.”
Naturopathic medicine works in harmony with nature by emphasizing natural medicines as much as possible. Occasions do arise when a Naturopathic Doctor may need to prescribe prescriptions medications for a short period of time. They are licensed to perform minor surgery. Their common name is “Naturopathic Doctor, N.D.”
Osteopathic medicine is a combination of conventional medicine and spinal manipulation. With certification, they are licensed to perform major surgery. Their common name is “Osteopathic Doctor, D.C.”
All four branches of primary care doctors are required to be licensed in the state of their practice. They are also required to attend annual educational seminars. Requirements range from 20 to 50 hours per year, depending on what type of doctor they are, and in which state(s) they are licensed. All must take board exams before becoming licensed.
I am a Naturopathic Doctor.