The Undergraduate Education
Similar to the requirements of medical schools, prior to entering chiropractic college students must first complete 4 years of premed undergraduate studies. During this time there is an emphasis on basic sciences including organic chemistry, general chemistry, physics, biology, and psychology.
The Chiropractic Education
Upon successful completion of the undergraduate studies, those students who are accepted to a chiropractic college enter a 4-5 year academic program, which is similar in content to medical school.
Course work includes an in-depth study of anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, radiology, biomechanics, spinal adjustive techniques, including a variety of other health-related areas.
The primary focus of the chiropractic education is to teach the student how to recognize and effectively treat a wide variety of soft tissue disorders in order to reduce pain and discomfort, allow for effective and proper healing, restore normal body biomechanics and improve overall health.
In order to treat such conditions, students are taught a number of different techniques and methods. An emphasis is also placed on other aspects of health including diet, exercise, nutrition and wellness.
Moreover, students receive thorough training aimed at identifying those conditions which are beyond the chiropractor’s scope of practice and which require outside medical referral.
During the academic program, students must successfully complete 4 national board examinations which are required for licensure. In addition, students must spend several hundred hours of internship in which they treat patients suffering from true health ailments while under professional supervision.
This ensures that the graduating doctors of chiropractic will have all the necessary education, skills and clinical experience to provide exceptionally safe and effective chiropractic health care. Many colleges have additionally employed externship programs in which student interns assist field doctors in their private practices prior to graduation.
Upon graduation and the passing of all national board exams, students undergo state board examination for the state which they wish to practice in. If successful, the new doctor of chiropractic will receive his or her license for the practice of chiropractic in that state.
Once licensed, most states require the doctor of chiropractic to attend annual seminars in order to maintain a high level of competency and keep technical skills sharp and as current as possible. Failure to do so will result in the revocation of the doctor’s license.
Subject Hours Comparison Between DC’s and MD’s
You may be surprised to learn that chiropractic doctors receive more class and study time in many important subjects compared with their medical counterparts.
|Doctor of Chiropractor||Required Subject||Doctor of Medicine|
|Class Minimum hour||Class Minimum hour|
Additional required subjects
|Doctor of Chiropractor||Doctor of Medicine|
|Advanced Radiology||Other subjects related to specialty|
|Grand Total Class hours|
|4485 hours||4248 hours|