Dr. Tayal and Dr. Kittleson of U.C. Chiropractic Centre reminded me of a very common question asked frequently in our clinic, "What does it take to become a chiropractor?" In the doctors blog article they start off answering this question exactly as I always do. They say "You've got to look inwards." If you truly love to be around people and listen to them, really listen not merely wait to speak, then this profession may be for you. If you are really drawn to helping people with their problems this profession may be for you. Lastly if you have a driving need to study and completely understand the human body to the best of your ability then this profession may be for you. Once you can answer these questions honestly and determine that this is something you might want to do you have accomplished the first step in becoming a chiropractor.
Next up; academics. While a four year degree is not required, it is strongly recommended before applying, in some states the four year undergraduate degree is required to practice in that state, North Carolina is one. Chiropractic schools do require you to have specific prerequisite classes of undergraduate studies completed before consideration of acceptance. Generally the first two years of any college plus core science classes such as physics, biology, anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and organic chemistry should suffice but be sure to talk with an academic adviser at the school you may be interested in before enrolling in any pre-chiropractic classes. Certain schools have programs of accelerated science classes to help students achieve their goals faster.
Graduates of chiropractic colleges earn a post graduate doctorate degree. A chiropractors doctorate is achieved after 4695 hours of study, 228 credits, and three and one third years, the equivalent of five academic years. Prior to graduating students take National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) exams. The tests consist of four parts that are a combination of written and practical and are required for licensing in all fifty states.
For more information on how you can become a part of this fantastic, rewarding profession visit these helpful websites: American Chiropractic Association, International Chiropractic Association and New York Chiropractic College. Good luck!!
Yours in health,
Dr. Ryan Giel