Chiropractic Education & Licensure

Doctors of Chiropractic undergo a rigorous and demanding professional education equivalent to any other primary care provider. To obtain a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, they must complete several years of prerequisite undergraduate education and spend nearly the same number of classroom hours at a fully-accredited chiropractic college as MDs do in medical schools.

Student doctors are thoroughly trained in the appropriate use of sophisticated analytical equipment including X-rays, examination procedures, and state of the art chiropractic investigative technologies.

Before they can practice, all Doctors of Chiropractic must pass a series of National Boards, as well as a licensing exam for the state in which they choose to practice. In addition, most states require the doctors to attend clinical continuing education programs for annual re-licensure.

Comparison of Hours of Basic Sciences Education in Medical and Chiropractic Schools

Subject

Chiropractic Schools

Medical Schools

Hours

% of Total

Hours

% of Total

Anatomy

570

40

368

31

Biochemistry

150

11

120

10

Microbiology

120

8

120

10

Public Health

70

5

289

24

Physiology

305

21

142

12

Pathology

205

14

162

14

Total Hours

1,420

100

1,200

100

Comparisons of the Overall Curriculum Structure for Chiropractic and Medical Schools

Chiropractic Schools

Medical Schools

Mean

Percentage

Mean

Percentage

Basic science hours

1416

29%

1200

26%

Clinical science hours

3406

71%

3467

74%

Chiropractic science hours

1975

41%

0

0

Clerkship hours

1405

29%

3467

74%

Total Contact Hours

4822

100%

4667

100%

Source for both above charts: Center for Studies in Health Policy, Inc., Washington, DC.