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Chiropractic Education

Chiropractic Education

Educational requirements for doctors of chiropractic are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions.

The typical applicant at a chiropractic college has already acquired nearly four years of pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding — four to five academic years of professional study are the standard.

Because of the hands-on nature of chiropractic, and the intricate adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical training.

Doctors of chiropractic — who are licensed to practice in many nations around the world — undergo a rigorous education in the healing sciences, similar to that of medical doctors. In some areas, such as anatomy, physiology, and rehabilitation, they receive more intensive education than most medical doctors or physical therapists. 



                                                                                   Dr Kes attended the Anglo European School of Chiropractic, the oldest Chiropractic College in England.


The following chart compares the course hours of Chiropractic Doctors and Medical Doctors. The class hours were compiled following a review of curriculum catalogues of 22 Medical schools and 11 Chiropractic colleges, and updates from the National Health Federation Bulletin and other publications' statistics.


Medical Class
(Minimum Hours)
Subject Chiropractic Class
(Minimum Hours)
508 Anatomy 520
326 Physiology 420
335 Pathology 271
325 Chemistry 300
130 Bacteriology 114
374 Diagnosis 370
112 Neurology 320
148 X-ray 217
144 Psychiatry 65
198 Obstetrics & Gynecology 65
156 Orthopedics 225
2,756 Total Hours 2,887
4,248 Grand total class hours including other subjects 4,485

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Like other primary health care doctors, chiropractic students spend a significant portion of their curriculum studying clinical subjects related to evaluating and caring for patients. Typically, as part of their professional training, they must complete a minimum of a one-year clinical-based program dealing with actual patient care. In total, the curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency which is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This has been the case for more than 25 years.

Before they are allowed to practice, doctors of chiropractic must pass national board examinations and become state-licensed. Chiropractic colleges also offer post-graduate continuing education programs in specialty fields ranging from sports injuries and occupational health to orthopedics and neurology. These programs allow chiropractors to specialize in a healthcare discipline or meet state re-licensure requirements.

This extensive education prepares doctors of chiropractic to diagnose health care problems, treat the problems when they are within their scope of practice and refer patients to other health care practitioners when appropriate. This means, a doctor of chiropractic can both diagnose and treat patients, which separates them from non-physician status providers, like physical therapists. According to the Council on Chiropractic Education DCs are trained as Primary care Providers.