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Improving referral relationships between primary care physicians and chiropractors

The importance of this research is that it supports greater exposure to chiropractic in the medical curricula.

First, the details.

  • 2 rounds of focus groups with a group of chiropractors and medical doctors were held.
  • The results were reviewed and analyzed by independent evaluators to determine key themes and concepts.

And, the results.

  • Both groups suggested that good communication, openness to discussion, and patient interest are key factors for developing positive interprofessional referral relationships.
  • Barriers include lack of good communication, bias toward alternative medicine, lack of knowledge or understanding of chiropractic care, geographic constraints, and economic considerations.

The bottom line?
Most of this is well known. But, it appears that greater knowledge of chiropractic among medical doctors — perhaps as part of the medical curricula — might help break the barriers.

It’s important because of the results from a similar study where the same researchers concluded, “The lack of direct formalized referral relationships between primary care physicians and chiropractors has implications for efficiency, continuity, quality, and patient safety in the healthcare delivery system.”

12/21/07 21:40 JR

Hi, I’m JR

John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at, a complementary and alternative medicine website.