What is a doctor of chiropractic?
A doctor of chiropractic is a physician whose purpose is to help meet the health needs of the public, giving particular attention to the structural and neurological aspects of the body.
The application of science in chiropractic concerns itself with the relationship between structure, primarily the spine, and function, primarily coordinated by the nervous system of the human body, as that relationship may affect the restoration and preservation of health. Chiropractic focuses on the inherent ability of the body to heal without the use of drugs or surgery.
As a gatekeeper for direct access to the health delivery system, the doctor of chiropractic’s responsibilities as a primary care clinician include wellness promotion, health assessment, diagnosis and the chiropractic management of the patient’s health care needs. When indicated, the doctor of chiropractic consults with, co-manages, or refers to other health care providers.
What does chiropractic professional education provide?
Chiropractic professional education provides core knowledge in the basic and clinical sciences and related health subjects sufficient for the doctor of chiropractic to perform the professional obligations of a primary care clinician.
Chiropractic programs and institutions accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) Commission on Accreditation produce competent chiropractic practitioners who provide quality patient care.
- A total curriculum comprising at least 4,200 hours.
- A curriculum structured to insure reasonable student load requirements.
- A curriculum designed and implemented to provide opportunities for students to acquire and demonstrate required knowledge, skills and attitudes.
Course offerings address at least the following subjects: anatomy; biochemistry; physiology; microbiology; pathology; public health; physical, clinical and laboratory diagnosis; gynecology; obstetrics; pediatrics; geriatrics; dermatology; otolaryngology; diagnostic imaging procedures; psychology; nutrition/dietetics; biomechanics; orthopedics; neurology; first aid and emergency procedures; spinal analysis; principles and practice of chiropractic; clinical decision making; adjustive techniques; research methods and procedures; and professional practice ethics.
What should I study now?
The CCE, authorized by the U.S. Secretary of Education to accredit programs and institutions offering the doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) degree, has established the following minimum criteria for admission to the study of chiropractic. Admission requirements at individual chiropractic programs and institutions may exceed these minimums.
For admission to a program, a student must have acquired a minimum number of hours of college credit leading toward a baccalaureate degree at an institution or institutions accredited at the college level by an accrediting body nationally recognized by the U.S. Secretary of Education.
For admission, students should consult the CCE Standards (p. 32) for course details, and must have completed minimum numbers of semester hours in:
- Social Sciences and/or Humanities
- Communication and/or Language Skills
- Biological Sciences with laboratory
- General or Inorganic Chemistry with laboratory
- Organic and/or Biochemistry with laboratory
- Physics and another accepted course with laboratory
Where can I obtain more information?
For college publications or further information on admissions requirements, pre-professional curricula, grants and other financial aid, please correspond directly with the admissions office of the CCE-accredited program or institution in which you are interested. The accredited programs are listed on this website and each program is accompanied by a link to its web page. Contact the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners regarding required examinations at http://www.nbce.org/.
Chiropractic licensing boards in all states and the District of Columbia recognize graduates from CCE-accredited programs and institutions as having partially fulfilled the requirements for state licensure. Most state licensing boards require graduation from a CCE-accredited program or institution. Specific questions concerning licensure should be directed to the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards http://www.fclb.org