What You Should Look for in a Chiropractor
When choosing any medical professional, the key is to find one that you are comfortable with and who meets your specific health care needs. Such things as education and training, treatment philosophy, communication skills, and personality are important but so are other, more practical things, such as office hours, location, insurance coverage, and cost.
The following are a few areas you may want to look into when choosing a Doctor of Chiropractic. Once you have found a chiropractor you like, ask yourself the questions listed at the end of the article to make sure you made the right choice.
Education and Credentials
A chiropractor has the initials DC after his or her name. This stands for Doctor of Chiropractic. The educational requirements for Doctors of Chiropractic are similar to that of Medical Doctors (MDs) and generally include 4 years of undergraduate study, (usually pre-med) and 4-5 additional years of advanced study in the following areas:
- Basic sciences
- Gross anatomy
- Internal medicine
- Chiropractic techniques
The first 2 years of chiropractic and medical school study are very similar. In fact, many chiropractic colleges rotate interns through hospital rounds with medical students. The main differences occur in the third or fourth years of study when medical schools emphasize drugs and surgery while chiropractic study emphasizes biomechanics, radiology, adjustments, and natural medicine.
Doctors of Chiropractic are licensed in all 50 states. State licensing boards regulate the practice of chiropractic and grants licenses to chiropractors who meet certain educational and examination requirements including:
- Completion of a 4- or 5-year chiropractic college course of study at an accredited program leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
- Satisfactory completion of the clinical competency examination of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) as well as separate state board exams.
- Yearly completion of continuing education courses or programs offered by chiropractic associations.