A Chiropractic Education: What Does It Take To Be a Chiropractor
All of our nine chiropractic physicians have graduated from a fully accredited post graduate program resulting in obtaining a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Each chiropractor is fully licensed by the State of New Mexico. Below is the description of the rigorous academic training that chiropractors must undergo before they can become licensed.
In some recent surveys it was surprising to note that some people were unaware of the educational levelof a Doctor of Chiropractic. The basic question was, "Is the education of a Doctor of Chiropractic at the same level as a Medical Doctor?" The correct answer is, of course, yes. 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. Even after all that, most states require the doctors to attend clinical continuing education programs for annual relicensure.
What does it take to become a Chiropractor?
According to many sources Chiropractic is the second largest health care profession.Some articles and authors have referred to chiropractic as “alternative”.This label may not fit in the face of the growing numbers of people seeking chiropractic care.In the 1998 issue of the Archives of Internal Medicine is an article on chiropractic that makes a profound statement, “Even to call chiropractic alternative is problematic, in many ways it is distinctly mainstream.”
Even with all this growth and increased usage, many people are unaware of the rigors of a chiropractic education.
In order to become a “Doctor of Chiropractic” chiropractic students must go through college and a chiropractic program every bit as strenuous and in-depth as other health care practitioners.To help demonstrate this better, the following charts are given.
Comparison of Hours of Basic Sciences Education in Medical and Chiropractic Schools
% of Total
% of Total
Comparisons of the Overall Curriculum Structure for Chiropractic and Medical Schools
Basic science hours
Clinical science hours
Chiropractic science hours
Total Contact Hours
Source for both above charts: Center for Studies in Health Policy, Inc., Washington, DC. Personal communication of 1995 unpublished data from Meredith Gonyea, PhD.