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Have you ever wondered how much education your Doctor of
Chiropractic is required to have compared to a Medical Doctor?  
Chiropractors can be forgiven for feeling a bit put upon, considering
the unfavorable comparisons that are sometimes made between their
educational backgrounds and those of medical doctors.  I bet most
folks would be surprised to learn that chiropractic students endure
four years of post graduate professional education that closely mirrors
that of medical students. An examination of the facts reveals that the
distinctions---and there certainly are many---are not quite as great as
many people suppose.  Let me make it clear that Chiropractic is not
better than Medicine nor vice versa, they are just different.
Similar to the requirements of medical and dental schools, prior to entering Chiropractic College, students must
first successfully complete 2-4 years of pre-med undergraduate studies.  During this time there is an emphasis
on basic sciences including organic chemistry, general chemistry, physics, biology, and psychology.  Upon
completion of these studies those students who are accepted to a chiropractic college enter a 4-5 year academic
program.  The education received by all diagnostic health care providers is necessarily thorough and demanding.
Chiropractic college course work includes an in-depth study of anatomy, physiology, pathology, neurology,
radiology, biomechanics, spinal adjustive techniques, including a variety of other health-related areas.  Future
doctors of chiropractic receive extensive teaching in the structure and functioning of the human body, the disease
processes, and how health is achieved and maintained.  Special emphasis is placed on the management of
spinal disorders and their role in the overall health and wellness of the individual.  It is important to note that
chiropractic students also receive thorough training aimed at identifying conditions which are beyond the
chiropractic scope of practice requiring immediate outside medical referral.
During the academic 4-5 year program, students must successfully complete at least three National Board
examinations which are required for licensure.  Many states require a rigorous fourth three day National Board
practical exam that focuses on x-ray interpretation and diagnosis, chiropractic technique, and clinical case
management.  The purpose of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners is to establish and maintain uniform
high standards of excellence in the chiropractic profession and chiropractic education.
During the academic 4-5 year program, students must successfully complete at least three National Board
examinations which are required for licensure.  Many states require a rigorous fourth three day National Board
practical exam that focuses on x-ray interpretation and diagnosis, chiropractic technique, and clinical case
management.  The purpose of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners is to establish and maintain uniform
high standards of excellence in the chiropractic profession and chiropractic education.
In addition to board testing, students must spend several hundred hours of internship in which they treat patients
suffering from true health ailments while under a professionally licensed doctors supervision.  Some schools
actually begin introducing and training students to the clinical setting in just their second year of studies. This
ensures that the graduating doctors of chiropractic will have all the necessary education, skills and clinical
experience to provide exceptionally safe and effective chiropractic health care. Many chiropractic colleges have
employed additional externship programs in which student interns assist field doctors in their private practices
prior to graduation.
Upon graduation and the passing of all national board exams, the Doctor of Chiropractic must then apply for
licensure in the state they wish to practice in.  All states have different standards required to attain and continually
renew a valid license to practice chiropractic.  Once licensed, most states require the doctor of chiropractic to
complete continuing education hours to ensure the highest level of competency and keep their technical skills
sharp and as current as possible. Failure to do so ultimately results in the revocation of the doctor's license to
practice.  Some states such as Illinois require as many as fifty hours of continuing education to maintain the
ability to practice as a chiropractor.
Many doctors further their knowledge and skills by completing additional studies after graduation. These one to
three year programs provide the information to place the doctors at the top of the health care field in specific
areas. Some of the areas of study include orthopedics, neurology, radiology, sports, rehabilitation, nutrition,
pediatrics and research.
The Comparison Between Chiropractic Education And Medical Education
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