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What type of Education do Chiropractors receive?

After completing their undergraduate education, chiropractors receive an additional four years of post-graduate education and a one-year internship to become a Doctor of Chiropractic. Their education curriculum is similar to medical school and there is special emphasis on anatomy, physiology, neurology, biomechanics, nutrition, X-ray, and spinal adjusting techniques.

To become a licensed chiropractor, he or she must pass a demanding four-part National Board Examination and then a State Board examination for the state in which they wish to practice. A chiropractor’s education never stops, as yearly continuing education is required for license renewal.

We Are All Doctors, But Did You Know…
Doctors of Chiropractic Have Seven or More Years of College!

Basic Science/Pre-Clinical Comparison


Chiropractic Medical
(D.C) Hours+ Subjects (M.D) Hours*
366.4 Anatomy-Embryology 184.6
120.0 Biochemistry 108.4
197.0 Microbiology/Public Health 155.3
105.9 Cell Biology/Histology 130.7
312.8 Physical Diagnosis/Clinical Medicine 200.5
141.4 Neuroscience 114.0
561.2 Physiology/Pathology 542.3
66.7 Nutrition 21.5
29.4 Pharmacology 99.0
1,900.8 TOTAL HOURS 1,556.3


+An average of required pre-clinical instruction hours during the first two years at 14 chiropractic schools.

*Average number of required pre-clinical instruction hours during the first two years of the medical school curriculum as listed in the 2000 Curriculum Directory, published by the American Medical Association (AMA).

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After intense studies of these subjects, chiropractors are prepared to detect and correct vertebral subluxations, thereby correcting spinal nerve interference. In addition to the requirements listed, chiropractors must also complete courses in nutrition, palpation, chiropractic philosophy and practice, and spinal adjustments.

Chiropractors have spent more hours in the classroom, compared to a medical doctor’s hours, by the time they graduate from chiropractic school. Before they obtain their degree, they must also complete approximately 900 hours of work in clinic setting. To graduate with a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, chiropractors must pass a very intense and demanding National Board Examination.

In addition, they must also pass a practical exam and interview conducted by the State Board of Chiropractic Examiners in the state where they are seeking a license. This clearly proves that chiropractors are one of the BEST TRAINED doctors you will find.

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