What Training Do Chiropractors Have?
Becoming a chiropractor is no easy feat. The training to become a practicing
chiropractor is akin to traditional medical doctors and involves years of academic training
and hours of patient contact work. In order to work professionally, a chiropractor must
undertake a long period of academic training and a certain number of hours of internship
before they are offered a license to practice. In general, chiropractors get a first
professional degree, otherwise known as a second entry, in chiropractic treatment. Ordinarily,
the general route to become a chiropractor involves a four-year undergraduate degree as a
pre-requisite to apply for the degree in chiropractic medicine.
There are three possible ways to become a qualified chiropractor according to
the World Health Organization (WHO) . The first path involves one to four years of prior
training in basic sciences at university, then followed by a followed by a four-year
full-time program in chiropractic medicine. One can also take an academic degree, called the
Doctor in Chiropractic (DC) program, a five-year integrated bachelor degree and a first
professional degree, if one wants to follow the path of directly becoming a chiropractor
early in their academic career. There is also a more conventional route of completing a BSc
in Chiropractic medicine and followed then by a two to three year’s masters, or MSc, in
While the academic requirements above are the minimum, in countries where
chiropractic practitioners are more established, the standards to practice are quite high.
However, no matter what educational route is followed, a prospective chiropractor must meet
the requirements of 4200 student and teacher contact hours, during the four years of their
education, which includes 1000 hours of supervised clinical training .
Some health professionals with advanced clinical degrees, such as medical
doctors or those who have studied medicine, wish to transition into chiropractic practice.
They are only required to undertake 2200 hours of contact hours to meet both the educational
and clinical requirements. Like other professionals in the medical professions, a practicing
chiropractor must be licensed in the State they wish to practice in.
While the laws in different countries and various states may differ, in order to obtain a
chiropractic license, all candidates must meet the above academic requirements. In addition, they
must complete a 12-month clinical internship or a certain number of continuing education credits
. A license is granted following successful
completion of all the State and National Board exams.
 http://www.who.int/medicines/areas/traditional/Chiro-Guidelines.pdf Accessed
Accessed October 2011
 http://www.wichiro.org/Chiropractic_Examining_Board.htm Accessed October