Comparative Training Requirements for Chiropractic & Medical Doctors
You will be glad to know the education your chiropractor received was very extensive and demanding and is on average several hundred hours longer than that of a medical doctor. (See table to right)
Chiropractic students undergo thorough teachings in the structure and function of the human body, how disease occurs, and how to prevent, correct and maintain proper health. Initially, chiropractors must complete – at a minimum – a 2 year undergraduate education, with most chiropractic colleges and Universities requiring a 4 year undergraduate degree in basic science. Emphasis is placed on the core sciences, including organic chemistry, general chemistry, physics, biology, and psychology.
Once undergraduate requirements have been met, a rigorous 4-5 year chiropractic program begins, which is very similar to that of medical school. Course requirements include gross anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology, radiology, bio mechanics, spinal and extremity adjusting techniques, along with a variety of other health sensitive subjects. Chiropractic school focuses on the ability to recognize and treat various soft tissue and structural disorders.
Chiropractic school focuses on developing chiropractors’ ability to recognize and treat various soft tissue and structural disorders. Doctors of Chiropractic are also trained in identifying disorders that are beyond their scope of practice and in recognizing when various outside medical referrals are needed. During the 4-5 year program, doctors complete a number of national board exams required for licensure. Several hundred hours of internship are undergone under the professional supervision of a Doctor of Chiropractic.
Many doctors also undergo an externship program to further adapt themselves to actual clinical practice. After graduation, national board exams I-IV must be passed, and depending on the individual state, a state board exam may be given. Once these tasks have been completed, a license to practice chiropractic will be granted.
Each state requires continuing education of your chiropractor and the majority of doctors routinely exceed the mandatory continuous education requirements to ensure knowledge of latest techniques.
* An average of required pre-clinical instruction hours during the first two years at 14 chiropractic schools.
** Average number of required pre-clinical instruction hours during the first two years of the medical school curriculum as listed in the 2000 Curriculum Directory, published by the American Medical Association