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What’s surprising to know is that the licensing requirements for chiropractors are among the strictest in the health professions.
Doctors of Chiropractic need to attend a four year doctoral graduate program with national accreditation. The curriculum in this program has to contain at least 4,200 hours of classroom work, internships, hands on time spent in the laboratory and clinics. The average chiropractor has to spend many classroom hours studying a variety of subjects in order to pass their state and national board exams.
The chiropractors are physician level providers. Chiropractors can work in many states as well as with the Federal Medicare program. Each patients situation can be very different, but most Chiropractors can work with patients that use federal health care systems like Medicaid, Veterans Affairs, Federal Employee Health Benefit Programs, the Federal Worker’s Compensation program, and all worker’s compensation programs.
A chiropractic college requires that the applicant has a certain amount of credits in certain subjects of a four year undergraduate degree. This includes courses in biology, organic or inorganic chemistry, psychology, physics, and other lab related degrees. Once an applicant has been accepted into chiropractic school, they need to study for at least an additional three years and are held to high professional standards. There are many hands on courses and classes to learn adjustment techniques. Most chiropractic students spend a great deal of their studies working in clinical training.
As part of their training the chiropractic student will study health sciences and take many similar classes that medical doctors take. They will receive intensive training in the areas of anatomy, rehabilitation, physiology, pathology, public health, and nutrition. Some of these areas of their coursework can be more intense than those of a medical doctor. They will spend a great deal of time in the student clinics learning how to evaluate as well as care for their patients. As part of the training program the chiropractic student needs to complete at least one year of training in a clinical based setting where they will be around actual patients and provide care to them. There is also a requirement that the student spends a minimum time of 4,200 hours of related classroom instruction, lab instruction, and clinical experience. The program has to be approved and accepted by the U.S. Department of Education. These requirements has been around for the past 25 years.
This training will allow the DC to diagnose specific health problems, treat the problems within their practice, and refer patients to other medical providers if needed.
Licensing and Certification
Certifications and licensing of those in the chiropractic field are overseen by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners as well as state boards.
A chiropractic applicant needs to pass a written exam by the board of National Examiners to become nationally licensed, and also a board exam in the state that they want to practice in. There are yearly continuing education requirements that the chiropractor has to meet to keep their license valid and in good standing.