Becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic
by Sherry McAllister, DC, executive vice president, Foundation for Chiropractic Progress
Maybe you’re interested in becoming a doctor of chiropractic (DC). Maybe you’re wondering what kind of training your own DC has been through. We can help with some details.
When you go to your chiropractor for care, you’re seeing a practitioner with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. They receive this degree from a nationally accredited chiropractic school. Many chiropractic programs require an undergraduate degree for entry, but that can vary from school to school. At minimum, 90 hours of college coursework prerequisites are necessary before entering a chiropractic school. Most applicants already possess a B.S. degree.
While enrolled in the program, students will take courses similar to those attending medical school. Anatomy, physiology, pathology, biology, chemistry are part of the curriculum, as well as nutrition, rehabilitation and public health. A large portion of their schooling is spent in clinical training, giving them countless hours of experience with patient care before even graduating. When combined, time in clinical training, classroom settings and lab experiences totals over 4,200 hours.
Once the program is complete, graduates are required to pass an exam governed by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Each state also issues licenses for their practitioners. Maintaining a license is contingent on continued education and training throughout the entire course of a chiropractor’s career.
The training to become a doctor of chiropractic is challenging and stringent. If you’re considering a career in the chiropractic field, you will work hard but be rewarded with a degree that can help people manage their health issues in a drug-free manner. Ask your own chiropractor about their experience!