Have you ever been curious as to how long your Maple Grove chiropractor went to school or how similar their route is to other healthcare fields? Knowing and understanding the background and various certificates that a chiropractor has obtained will help you significantly in the search for the right fit. Whenever you hear “doctor” you know that a lot of work and schooling has been put into getting that title. Despite the same title, each professional has a different path and unique journey through school to be able to practice in the field they are in.
Here at Total Spine Health & Injury Center, our doctors have created this article to help you understand the educational path of a chiropractor which can help you understand your care.
WHAT ARE YOUR CHIROPRACTOR’S EDUCATIONAL REQUIREMENTS?
Similar to other professions the exact path to a degree can be different for each state. In most cases, a chiropractor must complete their undergraduate pre-medical education and receive a bachelor's degree before applying to a graduate chiropractic school. Each of these graduate programs and colleges have been examined carefully in order to be approved by the Department of Education as valid and credible educational institutions.
Your chiropractor has spent more time than you can imagine at their particular academic university. It is demanded that a chiropractor spends a minimum of 4,200 hours in college before obtaining a diploma. Of these 4,200 hours, there is time allotted for the laboratory, classroom and clinic in order to learn every aspect of chiropractic care along with the general healthcare profession.
In class, a chiropractor will specialize and spend time on subjects related to anatomy, physiology, diagnosis, biochemistry, pathology, orthopedic and neuromuscular evaluation, geriatric and pediatric care, microbiology, immunology, nutrition, radiology, philosophy and research. This might sound like a lot, but each chiropractor must go through these topics and pass all the tests before being allowed to go into any clinical work. Upon completion of the schoolwork, a chiropractor-to-be will spend time in the clinic on campus. It is required the student be in the clinic with a clinic doctor for a minimum of 1,000 hours. This time is used for hands on learning so that students can learn how to analyze, diagnose, and treat real life patients in real life scenarios.
During a chiropractor’s journey they will be tested many different times with many different evaluation methods. Aside from tests within the college they attend, there are also exams from the national board that must be passed before practicing. In the United States there are 4 national board exams that must be passed. They cover topics such as basic sciences, clinical sciences, diagnostic imaging, clinical competency, case management, and physiological therapeutics. Following the series of tests, each aspiring chiropractor must become certified and approved by the state’s licensing agency.
This is not the end of the road for the educational path of a chiropractor. Some states require a chiropractor to complete additional coursework as has been set by their states’ license. In Wisconsin for example, a chiropractor is required to complete a minimum of 40 hours of further education every two years after graduation.
HOW DOES YOUR CHIROPRACTOR’S EDUCATION COMPARE?
It can be helpful to compare the journey of a chiropractor to that of other healthcare professionals in the community. Most people know of a medical doctor therefore we will start the comparison there. Chiropractors will have finished about 2,419 hours of academic coursework in their schooling time whereas a medical doctor puts in about 2,047 hours of work. Each field has its own specialty but chiropractors generally have more knowledge in embryology, anatomy, diagnosis, orthopedics, x-ray and biochemistry. This can be compared to medical doctors who have more hours in the classroom for subjects such as pathology, obstetrics and psychology.
When looking through these information it is essential to know that even though there are many differences, that each doctor still completed the same core education. Remember that each doctor, even ones that are in the same profession, has strengths and weaknesses along with different methods and techniques to help the body heal. In conclusion, it is most important to realize that you must find the doctor for you and the doctor that has the tools and knowledge to fit your personal needs.
At Total Spine Health & Injury Center in Maple Grove, our team is here for you. Please feel free to call us at your convenience.