Qualifications of Chiropractic Care: Educational Requirements for Doctors of Chiropractic

Have you ever wondered what type of education and chiropractic training your chiropractor receives?
Where did they go to school? What kind of courses did they take? How many class hours did they need to receive their qualifications?
Unfortunately, these are questions that many people, including some who go to a chiropractor regularly, don’t know the answer to.
We know that chiropractors don’t go to medical school, so what is it that they do?

Requirements for Admittance to a Chiropractic College

Well, it turns out, comparing Chiropractic college to medical school is actually a pretty good place to start. Considering both are training students to understand and work with the human body, a lot of the course topics are very similar. They include anatomy, physiology, pathology, chemistry, microbiology, diagnosis, neurology, x-rays, psychiatry, obstetrics, and orthopedics. [1]

To attend Chiropractic college, like medical school, chiropractic students must complete at least two years of prerequisite studies, though some states require a completed bachelor’s degree in order to apply for a Chiropractic doctorate degree.

The two to four years of prerequisite college classes are typically the same as or at least similar to a standard ‘pre-med’ program, including courses in biology, chemistry, physics, and general education requirements. [2]

Chiropractic Degree and College Structure & How Long is Chiropractic School?

Are chiropractors doctors? How long is chiropractic training? And more chiropractic informationUpon acceptance into a Chiropractic college, students must complete an intensive 4-year program, which focuses heavily on the sciences, diagnosis, and adjusting techniques. Some students pair down this 4-year timeline by choosing to enroll year-round, completing more than the standard two semesters per calendar year. [3]

It’s in these years of study that Chiropractors get their qualifications, and they are far more plentiful than most would think.
Consider for a moment, the amount of trust we place in our traditional primary care doctors. We know that they went to college for a bachelor’s and then attended medical school. We don’t necessarily know the details of what they learned in those studies, but we trust them to monitor our health, diagnose us, and treat us. In other words, we trust them with our lives, mostly because they carry the title “doctor.”

Are Chiropractors Doctors?

Chiropractors have often been slighted by the contraction of their true title: Doctor of Chiropractic, or DC to the Chiropractic-savvy. For some of the history behind why Doctor of Chiropractic has frequently been simplified to ‘Chiropractor,” check out our article on the history of Chiropractic to learn more.
However, the degree that Chiropractic students achieve is a “doctorate of chiropractic,” and actually requires more course hours than a standard medical school program!

Chiropractor Training and Intensity of Study

Chiropractic students complete more course hours studying anatomy, microbiology, diagnosis, microbiology, x-rays, and orthopedics than medical students. Plus, their programs usually include an internship program (think of it similar to a residency for a medical student) where the chiropractor-to-be must carry out x-rays, laboratory studies, diagnoses, and adjustments on real patients. [4]

woman getting a chiropractic adjustmentDuring Chiropractic college, students are also required to complete several rounds of national boards, the first after 2 years of basic sciences and the second after two years of clinical sciences. Chiropractic students must complete Part 3 of the National Boards if the chiropractor plans to you physiotherapy in practice, and they must complete Part 4 successfully to prove their proficiency in diagnostic imaging (X-rays), chiropractic technique, and case management.

As a result of these rigorous studies, successful students achieve the status of “Dr.,” which qualifies them to diagnose and treat without a referral from another healthcare provider. [5] And, if that wasn’t enough to convince you that your chiropractor knows what he or she is doing, perhaps the 16 hours of continuing education requirements each year will! Every year, chiropractors are required to study subjects including ethics and risk management, along with refresher courses in their scientific and diagnostic knowledge. [6]

In other words, chiropractors are incredibly dedicated, well-trained, and knowledgeable healthcare professionals!

What Makes MaxLiving Chiropractors Different

Chiropractic Office Sioux FallsAt MaxLiving, our doctors often take it even further, achieving advanced certifications in areas such as orthopedics, neurology, and nutrition. Our chiropractors do this in order to become an expert in all areas of human health, allowing them to give you the best advice on promoting health throughout your body.

MaxLiving chiropractors are able to diagnose conditions like subluxation, which may be causing other health concerns, and can both treat that subluxation and offer fitness and nutrition advice. [7] Plus our chiropractors are versed in prescribing nutraceuticals, teaching natural detoxification techniques, and more!

So, the next time you wonder what exactly you have to do to become a chiropractor, you’ll know just how much hard work and dedication it takes!
Find a MaxLiving chiropractor near you and discover a new kind of health treatment system: https://maxliving.com/locations/


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About the Author

Author Jason BoehmDr. Greg Loman graduated in 1990 from Life University in Marieta, GA, and swiftly built one of the country’s largest and most successful chiropractic clinics in history. In 1998, Dr. Loman’s continued success in his own clinic and his mentorship of others as they too built successful chiropractic practices led him to the co-founding of the guiding principles of health that have become the core of MaxLiving.

Dr. Loman has been a leader in his community for decades, hosting a popular radio and TV show, ‘Ultimate Health,’ co-authoring New York Times best-seller One Minute Wellness, and building a foundation focused on providing care, healthy meals, and education to those in need. Today, Dr. Loman continues to lead MaxLiving as well as practicing Chiropractic in Naples, Florida.

[1] https://www.ignitechiropractic.com/education-comparison/
[2] https://www.nuhs.edu/admissions/chiropractic-medicine/applying/prerequisites/
[3] https://www.naturalhealers.com/chiropractic/#:~:text=Chiropractor%20school%20typically%20takes%20four,knowledge%20of%20the%20human%20body
[4] https://www.calchiro.org/sites/main/files/file-attachments/education_of_dcs_and_mds.pdf
[5] https://mynbce.org/
[6] https://learn.org/articles/What_Are_the_Continuing_Education_Requirements_for_Chiropractors.html
[7] “https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/subluxation-and-chiropractic