Chiropractors are at the center of healthcare’s future. Chiropractic care is becoming increasingly popular, as more and more patients become aware of its palliative effects. In fact, 50% of the adults in the United States have seen a chiropractor and 95% of those patients report that their chiropractor’s care has been effective and beneficial. It’s no surprise, then, that the chiropractic field is expected to grow over the course of the next ten years. The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that employment in chiropractic medicine will increase by 4% between 2019 and 2029. As older generations continue to age, their need for whole-body care and pain relief will increase. Now is the perfect time to investigate how to become a chiropractor. Here are the education requirements for chiropractors, as well as licensing requirements you should know about.
Education Requirements for Chiropractors
Chiropractors are required to fulfill highly specific educational requirements before they are able to be eligible for licensure.
In order to become a chiropractor, you must complete a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree. Typically, students earn a bachelor’s degree before applying to a chiropractic program. However, many schools simply require that students have completed a minimum of 90 undergraduate credits in order to begin their chiropractic studies. Every school has their own specific requirements for admission (eg. GPA). It is common, however, that chiropractic schools require their students to have completed prerequisite courses in subjects such as anatomy, chemistry, biology, and physics.
If a student has completed all necessary prerequisites and meets the standards of their preferred chiropractic school, they may enter a Doctor of Chiropractic degree program. A Doctor of Chiropractic degree typically takes four years to complete. Students will complete a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, lab, and clinical experience over the course of eight semesters. During a chiropractic program, students will be educated in the musculoskeletal system, how to interpret diagnostic tests, and administer various therapies in an effort to alleviate pain and discomfort.
Required Chiropractic Coursework
Students in Doctor of Chiropractic programs will take a variety of classes, all in the interest of becoming skilled practitioners of chiropractic care. These classes may include:
- Clinical Microbiology
- Functional Anatomy
- Metabolism and Nutrition
- Examination Skills
- Cell and Tissue Microscopic Anatomy and Physiology
These Doctor of Chiropractic courses, in addition to others, prepare students to take their licensing exams and become successful chiropractitioners.
When searching for a chiropractic program, it’s vital that you matriculate at an accredited college of chiropractic education. In the state of Connecticut, prospective chiropractors are required to have graduated from a college of chiropractic accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education. If you graduate successfully from an accredited program, you will be eligible to complete your chiropractic examinations and earn licensure and certification.
Licensing Requirements to Become a Chiropractor
All states and the District of Columbia require chiropractors to be licensed. Specific requirements can vary from state to state, however all states require that chiropractic candidates earn their Doctor of Chiropractic and pass all four parts of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners exam.
In order to earn licensing in the state of Connecticut specifically, chiropractic graduates must have the following:
- Graduated from an accredited college of chiropractic.
- Completed at least 60 credit hours of college education.
- Completed and passed Parts I, II, III, IV and the Physiotherapy exams administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. These exams assess a candidate’s knowledge and problem-solving skills in areas of science and clinical science.
Once these requirements have been met, candidates must supply the state of Connecticut with the following documents:
- A official college transcript
- An official transcript of chiropractic education
- An official report of National Board scores sent from the examination service to the Connecticut Department of Public Health
- An application fee
All documentation should be sent to the Connecticut Department of Public Health.
Chiropractor Skills Requirements
In addition to “official” requirements, there are several skills and qualities that a good chiropractor should possess. These include:
- Empathy: Chiropractors care for patients who are in pain. A good chiropractor should be able to empathize with their patients. Through understanding and support, they’ll be able to provide excellent and effective care.
- Organizational Skills: Many chiropractors go into business for themselves, or open a private practice with a business partner. In this case, you’re not only a care provider but also a business owner. You’ll need to be able to keep yourself and your business organized. These skills will come in handy when it comes time to schedule appointments, manage employees, maintain patient files, and bill insurance companies.
- Dexterity: Chiropractors use their hands to perform manual adjustments of the spine, muscles, and joints. A good chiropractor should have excellent coordination.
- Integrity: Chiropractors treat patients when they’re at their most vulnerable. Patients rely on their chiropractor to provide the care they need to live healthy, full lives free from pain.
- Decision-making Skills: Chiropractors create specific care plans for their patients. They must be able to be decisive when prescribing a course of treatment and when deciding to refer their patient to other healthcare providers.
On the surface, Doctors of Chiropractic simply relieve their patients of pain. But through manual treatment and additional therapies, chiropractors are also able to radically improve their patients’ quality of life. If working with patients hands-on to improve their physical well-being is your calling, consider entering a Doctor of Chiropractic program.
Doctors of Chiropractic provide their patients with patient-centered care that can substantially improve their daily life. Find out whether University of Bridgeport’s Doctor of Chiropractic program is right for you by contacting us, here!