In response to fhayashi and to anyone else out there who has similarly misguided ideas about chiropractic:
As a student at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, I should start by saying that I never considered becoming a medical doctor - for myself and many of my classmates, chiropractic was my first and only choice for a career in health care. It isn't a question of our ability (or lack thereof) to compete in traditional medical schools. The numbers alone make the point: compare one chiropractic college in all of Canada, which accepts only the top 160 applicants every year, with the dozens of medical schools across the country which each take up to 160 students, and decide for yourself which would have the most fierce competition for admission. The comparison is the same, or more dramatic, in the States. There is no question that any of my classmates could have attended their choice of medical school, had they so desired.
The fact of the matter is, the chiropractic curriculum parallels the traditional medical education, and then goes beyond, adding material specific to the art and science (yes, science, see below) of chiropractic. We are required to attend more class hours in subjects that would be considered more traditionally 'medical' (for example, anatomy, pathology, radiology, microbiology, and clinical diagnosis, to name a few) than do actual medical students. Even though our practice does not involve prescription medicines, we are required to learn and understand relevant pharmacology, whereas MDs are not required to learn any of the techniques we use. Who, then, has the more complete clinical understanding of the patient, the issues they face, and the best treatment options for their circumstances? Simply put: we take every course 'they' take, and more.
To address the criticism of chiropractic as unscientific: science always begins with questions. Our question is, "We see that these techniques are helping people... but how?" I can only begin to list all the ongoing studies that are seeking out the answers. For example, at the University of Waterloo, researchers are investigating the biomechanical responses to chiropractic adjustment. At my school, PhDs, MDs, and DCs are colloborating to study the effects of spinal manipulation on the immune response. There are dozens of other examples. These studies would be progressing at a faster rate, and maybe we would know some of the answers by now, if chiropractic had some commercially successful equivalent to the toothpaste and pharmaceuticals that fuel dental and medical research. This isn't an excuse; it is simply the reality of research economics. So instead, we learn what we can, slowly, surely, and eagerly.
The key fact driving all of these efforts (proven through many RCTs) is that chiropractic is beneficial in treating mechanical low-back pain and headaches. Although we do experience positive outcomes for a wide variety of ailments, we recognize that it is only the aforementioned two conditions for which there are published scientific results. No true practitioner of the science of chiropractic would make any claim otherwise.
This brings me to a final point, on the topic of 'pseudoscience-based healthcare'. Many of the people fhayashi refers to who currently use the term 'chiropractic' to describe their services recognize that they are not practicing evidence-based medicine, and are making efforts to disassociate from chiropractic and form their own distinct group(s). They recognize that science is what separates their spiritually driven practice from ours.
It's always better to learn the truth about something before criticizing it. I hope I've provided a little more information for people to better understand the truth about chiropractic.