How Long to Become a Chiropractor?
A two-to four-year minimum education at a regular college or university followed by five academic years at a college of chiropractic is required to achieve an accredited degree as Doctor of Chiropractic.
First Year in Chiropractic College
In the first year at an accredited chiropractic college, along with studies in various sciences, students receive intensive education in anatomy (the study of the parts of the body) including dissection of cadavers to see where body parts are located and how they function and connect and relate to one another. Also in this first year, students of chiropractic participate in supervised “palpation” classes in a laboratory with other chiropractic students and learn to “feel” different bones, muscles, spines and to generally orient themselves with those parts of the bodies on other living persons.
Remaining Academic Years
During the students’ second, third and fourth years, they participate in “technique” classes. Here, under supervision of chiropractic instructors, they work with other students, learning to “set up” adjusting techniques for various conditions (headaches, neck problems, lower back pain, etc.) and for various types of patients (children, the elderly, pregnant women, different body sizes, etc.). During these years, of course, there is also a full schedule of classes in various advanced sciences and in other lab work.
Postgraduate Clinical Year – Chiropractic Residency
In the final or fifth year, at the National College of Chiropractic in Chicago, from which I graduated, students work with patients who come to one of the five Chiropractic Clinics affiliated with the college. One of these is an in-patient Chiropractic Hospital. The others are spread throughout the Chicago area, and training at them provides a wide variety of experience.
At the college out-patient clinics, rounds are made with “clinicians”, who are Doctors of Chiropractic. Under the observation of these clinicians, student interns position the patient for chiropractic adjustment. If the clinician approves the positioning, the intern proceeds with the adjustment.
At the in-patient chiropractic hospital internship covers treating patients suffering with extremely severe conditions. Many of these patients stay overnight, for several days or perhaps a week, being held for observation and intensive further treatment until their conditions are improved.
Students at the hospital make “rotations” or rounds at various times in the areas of diagnosis, x-rays, physical therapy and chiropractic adjustments of all possible types.
This variety of training and procedures encompasses all phases of chiropractic care and enters into the recommended treatment a patient receives at our office.