The Education and Training of a Chiropractor

Doctors of Chiropractic are trained to diagnose and treat problems of the spine. They are also formally educated to examine and diagnose the entire body. Training is comparable to that required of osteopathic or medical doctors, making this an educationally-intensive career. Training to be a chiropractor involves coursework, clinical applications, and ongoing education.Chiropractor Degree ProgramsPrograms of chiropractic study include anatomy, physiology, pathology, and other basic sciences. According to a Center for Studies in Health Policy, Inc. report, only medical doctors, doctors of osteopathy, and doctors of chiropractic focus on health care interventions that contribute to the well-being of the entire person. Doctors of Chiropractic are considered generalists regarding primary health care services and specialists in chiropractic treatment methods.Most chiropractic colleges do not require a bachelor degree for admission but four years of undergraduate study in the sciences is recommended. Chiropractic education includes at least four years of professional study, two years of which must include basic sciences and two years of training in the clinical sciences. Part 1 of the National Boards must be successfully completed following the initial two years and Part 2 must be passed following the second period of study. Individuals who plan to use physiological therapeutics must complete Part 3 of the National Boards chiropractic training. On Part 4 of the National Boards, students must demonstrate their skills in chiropractic technique, diagnostic imaging, and case management.Chiropractor Internships and Post-Graduate RequirementsStudents who aspire to be licensed practitioners must complete a one-year internship at a college clinic. This usually takes place after taking the National Boards but before completing the licensure requirements. During the internship, the student learns skills that are necessary within a private practice setting.At the post-graduate educational level, requirements vary by state. Many states require at least 40 credit hours of approved course work every two years. Post-graduate residency programs are available for practitioners who wish to attain board certification. These span from one to three years and may be taken at a chiropractic college while actively practicing in the profession.In the United States, chiropractic school graduates receive a Doctor of Chiropractic degree and are eligible for licensure in all jurisdictions. The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) establishes the minimum guidelines that chiropractic colleges must follow and all 18 chiropractic institutions in the U.S. have CCE accreditation. Classroom-based and clinical training prepare the individual for a career in this medical specialty. Chiropractic license requirements are determined by jurisdiction.

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