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Educational Level of Chiropractic Doctors

As a primary care provider, the doctor of chiropractic has a high level of education and training in areas of diagnosis and clinical sciences. Recognition of this academic standing has come from both federal and state government.

The U.S. Department of Education has recognized the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) as the authorized accrediting agency assuring excellence in chiropractic colleges since 1974. Before taking the Board of Chiropractic Examiners written and practical exams for California state licensure, the applicant must be a graduate from a chiropractic college accredited by CCE. For admission to one of the accredited colleges, the student must have first successfully completed a minimum of two years of college courses in basic biosciences.

During the four to five years of study in chiropractic college, the candidate for the doctor of chiropractic degree will complete more than 4,400 hours in specific basic science and clinical subjects.


Bioscience = 1,840 hrs.

Anatomy
Physiology
Inorganic Chemistry
Organic Chemistry
Pathology
Hygiene
Public Health
Nutrition
Dermatology

Clinical Science = 2,080 hrs.

Physical Diagnosis
Clinical Diagnosis
Laboratory Diagnosis
Differential Diagnosis
Roentgenology Technique and Interpretation
Neurology
Geriatrics
Principles of Chiropractic


In addition to the above classroom and laboratory study, the doctor-candidate undergoes a 550-hour clinical internship. The education is completed with courses in ethics, law and economics.

A recent medical study indicated that chiropractic doctors might be better prepared academically than family physicians in areas of back pain management. [1] In a representative sample of family physicians, 42% said they felt "poorly trained to manage low-back pain when they first entered practice", while only 15% in a representative sample of chiropractic doctors felt the same.



[1] Cherkin, MacCornack and Berg, "Managing Low Back Pain Care - A Comparison of the Beliefs and Behaviors of Family Physicians and Chiropractors", Western Journal of Medicine, October 1988; 149:475-480.