What Qualifications Does a Chiropractor Have?
Chiropractors undergo a rigorous educational program. Doctor of Chiropractic (DCs) are required to complete four years of pre-medical undergraduate college coursework, including biology, physics, psychology, organic chemistry, inorganic chemistry, and related lab work. DCs receive their education in a nationally accredited four-year doctoral graduate school program. Once receiving their acceptance, they complete the same classroom hours as students in medical school. In fact, chiropractors partake in similar healing sciences education as medical doctors. However, due to the hands-on nature of chiropractic and intricate adjusting techniques, a signification amount of their training is spent in a clinical setting. Chiropractors even receive more intensive education in anatomy, rehabilitation, physiology, nutrition and public health than their MD counterparts.
Chiropractors Are Physician-Level Providers
As part of their professional training, DCs must complete a minimum one-year clinical program dealing with actual patient care. All in all, chiropractors receive four years of undergraduate work, four to five years graduate work and a total minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory, and clinical work. The extensive education DCs undergo prepares them to diagnose and treat health care problems within their scope of practice. It also allows them to refer patients to the correct health care professionals when necessary. Ultimately, chiropractors are physician-level providers in the greater majority of states and federal Medicare programs. This course work has been a requirement of accrediting agencies of the U.S. Department of Education for over 25 years. The education and licensing procedure requirements for chiropractors is among one of the most stringent of any of the health care professions.
Certification and Licensure
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) governs the certification and licensure of chiropractors. All chiropractors must pass the national board exam by NBCE. Lastly, they must get a state license for the state they intend to practice in. All chiropractors must also complete annual continuing education requirements in order to maintain their license.