Have you ever wondered about the educational requirements and training of chiropractors? This article focuses on what chiropractors are taught and why they are called "Doctors of Chiropractic."
Part 1: Educational Requirements To Become A Houston Chiropractor
Part 2: Clinical Experience Prior To Graduation And Licensing
Part 3: Ongoing Requirements To Maintain Chiropractic Licensure
Did you know? Your Chiropractor Houston has completed many classes and has successfully passed four different National Board Exams before finally becoming a licensed Doctor of Chiropractic. Chiropractic education requires at least four years of post-graduate study and many states also require a 4-year undergraduate degree before starting chiropractic school.
The first two years of chiropractic college are filled with basic science requirements. These courses include Biochemistry, Anatomy, Cell Biology, and Neurology (among many others). After the initial two years of study, chiropractic students then must complete the first part of their National Board Examinations.
The next two years of training changes focus to the clinical sciences. Chiropractic students learn spinal adjusting, extremity adjusting, diagnosis, examination, and radiology (x-rays) . Parts 2 and 3 of the National Boards must be completed following this area of study.
Following their four years of courswork and clinic training, hopeful chiropractors must successfully complete Part 4 of the National Board exams. Part 4 tests three major skill areas; Diagnostic imaging (reading and interpreting x-rays), chiropractic adjustments & technique, and patient case management.
During chiropractic school, student interns first begin practice by working on fellow students. Interns perform physical examinations, radiographic examinations, and spinal adjustments on students in the early phases of their training.
Following successful completion of their student practice, the intern moves on to the outpatient clinic run by the school. During this 1-year internship, the chiropractic intern is required to perform hundreds of adjustments, along with examination, physiotherapy, lab work, and x-ray requirements.
Once their clinical requirements are met, some interns move on to preceptorship programs. During a preceptorship, the preceptor will work in a private practice, gaining "real world" experience from a practicing chiropractor.
Internship and preceptor programs allow chiropractic students to put their skills to the test. In all healthcare professions, there's really no substitute for gaining experience by working with real patients. All that you've read comes to life when you see it with your own two eyes.
There are some post-chiropractic school degrees that some chiropractors choose to pursue. These additional degrees may be in one of the following disciplines; Orthopedics, Neurology, Radiology, Sports Medicine, Rehabilitation, Nutrition, Family Practice, or Pediatrics.
In addition, chiropractors in Texas are required to complete 16 continuing education requirements every year. Most of these credits are gained in the seminar setting, with more and more programs beginning to offer online webinars and classes.
This allows the busy doctor to meet their required continuing education requirements while still maintaining their practices. Chiropractors must complete educational topics in risk management and ethics every year, while the rest of their hours may be on topics of their own interest that are approved by the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners.
This educational requirement is in place to help make sure your Doctor of Chiropractic keeps up to date with changes in research and standards of patient care. While much of the information can become repetitive over time, this helps to keep all chiropractic doctors operating at a high level of care for all of their patients.
Your Doctor of Chiropractic retains is considered a primary care physician, meaning that no referral is required to visit a chiropractor. While your health insurance may insist on a referral to any specialist, the chiropractor is trained to evaluate and diagnose conditions to determine if your problem should be treated by a chiropractor or another type of healthcare provider.
Most chiropractors focus on conditions related to the spine, but many chiropractors do treat the extremities or offer holistic or nutritional means of care for a variety of non-spine related issues.