Chiropractic Education

   In some recent surveys it was surprising to note that some people were unaware of the educational level of a Doctor of Chiropractic. The basic question was, "Is the education of a Doctor of Chiropractic at the same level as a Medical Doctor?" The correct answer is, of course, yes. Doctors of Chiropractic undergo a rigorous and demanding professional education equivalent to any other primary care provider. To obtain a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, they must complete several years of prerequisite undergraduate education and spend nearly the same number of classroom hours at a fully-accredited chiropractic college as MDs do in medical schools. Student doctors are thoroughly trained in the appropriate use of sophisticated analytical equipment including X-rays, examination procedures, and state of the art chiropractic investigative technologies. Before they can practice, all Doctors of Chiropractic must pass a series of National Boards, as well as a licensing exam for the state in which they choose to practice. Even after all that, most states require the doctors to attend clinical continuing education programs for annual relicensure.

What does it take to become a Chiropractor?

   
According to many sources Chiropractic is the second largest health care profession. Some articles and authors have referred to chiropractic as alternative . This label may not fit in the face of the growing numbers of people seeking chiropractic care. In the 1998 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine is an article on chiropractic that makes a profound statement, Even to call chiropractic alternative is problematic, in many ways it is distinctly mainstream.

   
Even with all this growth and increased usage, many people are unaware of the rigors of a chiropractic education.

   
In order to become a Doctor of Chiropractic chiropractic students must go through college and a chiropractic program every bit as strenuous and in-depth as other health care practitioners. To help demonstrate this better, the following charts are given.

Comparison of Hours of Basic Sciences Education in Medical and Chiropractic Schools
Chiropractic Schools Medical Schools
Hours % of Total Hours % of Total
Anatomy
Biochemistry
Microbiology
Public Health
Physiology
Pathology

Total Hours
570
150
120
70
305
205

1,420
40
11
8
5
21
14

100
368
120
120
289
142
162

1,200
31
10
10
24
12
14

100

Comparisons of the Overall Curriculum Structure for Chiropractic and Medical Schools
Chiropractic Schools Medical Schools
Mean Percentage Mean Percentage
Basic science hours
Clinical science hours
Chiropractic science hours
Clerkship hours

Total Contact Hours

1416
3406
1975
1405

4822

29%
71%
41%
29%

100%

1200
3467
0
3467

4667

26%
74%
0
74%

100%


Source for both above charts: Center for Studies in Health Policy, Inc., Washington, DC. Personal communication of 1995 unpublished data from Meredith Gonyea, PhD.
 
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