What is the Educational Training of a Chiropractor?


Completion of a Doctor of Chiropractic degree requires four to five years of professional coursework.

The education of a chiropractor is similar in total classroom hours to that of a medical doctor.

An average of 4,822 hours is required in chiropractic schools, compared to 4,667 hours in medical schools.


Basic science courses comprise nearly 30% of total hours in both chiropractic and medical school programs, and the two programs have comparable hours in biochemistry, microbiology, and pathology. Chiropractors receive more training in anatomy and physiology, while medical doctors receive more training in public health.


The 4,822 hours of classroom instruction in chiropractic school include 1,416 hours in basic science,

1,975 hours in diagnostic and treatment methods, and 1,431 hours in clinical internship.


Chiropractic education focuses on chiropractic principles, diagnosis, orthopedics, physiologic therapeutics

and nutrition. Three areas: adjustive/spinal analysis, physical/clinical laboratory diagnosis, and diagnostic imaging, account for more than half of the education in clinical sciences. During their internship, chiropractors complete two years of hands-on clinical experience focusing on extremity and spinal manipulation as the primary procedure. The emphasis in chiropractic clinical sciences is clearly on diagnosis and adjustive technique.


How is Clinical Competency Assessed?


A chiropractic graduate must pass national licensing board examinations before receiving a license to practice. The multi-part examination  is comprised of written and practical clinical sections. The top goals in administering standardized exams are the promotion of high standards of competence and assistance

to the state licensing agencies in assessing competence.


In addition, licensed chiropractors are required to take at least 30 hours of continuing education credits every two years in ethics and professional boundaries, pain management, physical measures, and ordering and performance of tests.


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