Question: Dr Harvey,
Would you please tell me how much education is required to become a Chiropractor? Is it more or less than it takes to become a Medical Doctor? Also, are you considered a real Doctor?
These are excellent questions. I hope I can clear up some of the misconceptions about a Chiropractor's education.
First of all, in order to be accepted into a chiropractic college, you must go to an undergraduate school to take a number of prerequisite courses. The prerequisites to enter Chiropractic College are very similar to those required to get into Medical
or Dental school. A minimum of two years of undergraduate work with credits in biology, chemistry, anatomy, and other "pre-med" subjects are required, although most chiropractors have four years of undergraduate education.
Once in Chiropractic College, the first two years are very similar to medical school. Actually, Chiropractors receive more hours in subjects like anatomy and physiology x-ray and nutrition than do Medical Doctors.
The second two years of our four years in Chiropractic College are specialized in the chiropractic field. While medical doctors study drugs and surgery, chiropractors study the various techniques of adjusting the spine, diagnosis, case management, nutrition, and X-ray analysis, to name a few areas. The average chiropractic college requires over 4,000 hours of study over four years, just as much as medical doctors get.
A graduate must then pass very rigorous national and state exams to get licensed. The exam is only given twice a year and you must pass all parts to get you license. Once the exams are passed and the license received, the Chiropractor must return to school every year for additional training, as required by the state.
Once they receive their licenses, many Chiropractors continue their education with postgraduate courses. Personally, I have over 4,000 hours of postgraduate education specializing in nutrition, anti-aging, sports injuries, treatment of auto- and work-related injuries, case management, and advanced adjustment techniques.
As to the last question-- Are Chiropractors considered real Doctors? Yes we are! Chiropractors like most Doctors have their field of specialty. When something is not in our field of practice we refer out to another type of Doctor. A real Doctor is someone who helps educate patients on ways to improve their health and that of their families. We choose to do that without the use of drugs or surgery. We diagnosis and treat a wide variety of conditions and symptoms and get great results. We use a non-invasive, low-risk, holistic approach to accomplish that. Thus chiropractic should be your first choice when you seek health care, as it is now for millions of patients.
©2009 Dr. Harvey