Education and CredentialsA chiropractor has the initials DC after his or her name. This stands for Doctor of Chiropractic. The educational requirements for Doctors of Chiropractic are similar to that of Medical Doctors (MDs) and generally include 4 years of undergraduate study, (usually pre-med) and 4-5 additional years of advanced study in the following areas:
Currently, there are 15 Colleges of Chiropractic in the United States accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education, a national organization recognized by the Department of Education as the authority on the quality of training offered by chiropractic colleges.
The first 2 years of chiropractic and medical school study are very similar. In fact, many chiropractic colleges rotate interns through hospital rounds with medical students. The main differences occur in the third or fourth years of study when medical schools emphasize drugs and surgery while chiropractic study emphasizes biomechanics, radiology, adjustments, and natural medicine.
LicensureDoctors of Chiropractic are licensed in all 50 states. State licensing boards regulate the practice of chiropractic and grants licenses to chiropractors who meet certain educational and examination requirements including:
- Completion of a 4- or 5-year chiropractic college course of study at an accredited program leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
- Satisfactory completion of the clinical competency examination of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) as well as separate state board exams.
- Yearly completion of continuing education courses or programs offered by chiropractic associations.
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