Education

The Doctor of Chiropractic is a post-graduate education, which focuses on the structure and function of the human body, the disease processes, and how optimum health is achieved and maintained.

Undergraduate Studies

Similar to the requirements of medical schools, individuals applying to chiropractic college must first complete 2-4 years of premed undergraduate studies, depending on the requirements of each chiropractic college. These studies emphasize basic sciences, including general and organic chemistry, physics, biology, and psychology.

Chiropractic Studies

Upon successful completion of the required undergraduate studies, students accepted to a chiropractic college enter a 3-4 year academic program, which is similar in content to medical school. Course work includes anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, radiology, biomechanics, spinal and extremity adjustive techniques, nutrition, and more. In addition, students receive thorough training in identifying those conditions which are beyond the chiropractor's scope of practice and which require other medical referral.

Throughout the academic program, students must successfully complete a number of national board examinations, which are required for licensure.

In addition, students are required to complete several hundred hours of internship, under professional supervision, in treatment of patients suffering from true health ailments. Many chiropractic universities also require a number of hours of postceptorship in approved private practices prior to graduation.

Licensure

Once all coursework and clinical hours are completed, students are required to take a final practical national board exam for licensure. The state in which the doctor applies for licensure administers another exam upon passing national boards.

Continuing Education

Once licensed, each state requires the doctor of chiropractic to attend annual seminars to maintain a high level of competency and keep technical skills as current as possible. Failure to do so will result in revocation of the doctor's license.