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Illness is the experience of being sick - the impact of disease on the patient's perceived quality of life.  Patient's problems are not lab values or abnormal findings on exam procedures.  Advances in technology have changed the whole construction and philosophy of medicine.  Interests have shifted from clinical evaluation of the patient to the interpretation of sophisticated procedures.  This attitude tends to alienate physicians from the patient.  

The integration of health care disciplines is the foundation of Physicians Plus, which acknowledges and cares for the whole person.  The patient is the center of care:  His or her function, well-being, quality of life, general health and structural integrity - not just a disease or symptom.

Increasingly, medical physicians are witnessing a synergy that occurs when the team plays in concert.  Utilizing these different systems enables us to focus on the most important thing - the patient.

Chiropractors today are more likely to refer a patient to a medical doctor when they suspect that an underlying condition may be responsible for their pain and likewise, a medical doctor to refer to a chiropractic doctor for management of neuromusculoskeletal pain. Some chiropractors insist that their patients have a primary care physician that they can communicate with in order to ensure that the they are receiving the best quality care. In this sense, Chiropractors are becoming part of the broader spectrum of providers that treat neck and back pain.

Just like chiropractic there are a variety different medical specialties; general or family practice, orthopaedics, neurology, sports, and physical medicine and rehabilitation. Doctors usually have a four-year undergraduate degree and a four-year medical degree, and many have also completed diplomate programs (residencies) in the various specialties.

There is a lot to be offered by different disciplines, different traditions, and different systems of medicine. We need to act as scientific pioneers and help individuals with their own unique sensitivities and deliver a healing path commensurate with their recovery and feeling comfortable.
- Dr. Wisneski JACA Aug 1999. V36 N8 P12.


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