Chiropractic education teaches students the skills required to become chiropractors. A chiropractor is a medical practitioner who practices chiropractic, a form of alternative medicine that primarily revolves around the treatment of mechanical musculoskeletal disorders. One of the common methods applied in chiropractic treatment is spinal manipulation or adjustment, as a result of which chiropractors often focus on back related and spinal disorders. Chiropractic is usually considered the most widespread form alternative medicine.
A number of organizations exist that regulate the practice of chiropractic and the associated standards and accreditations. Among these are the Councils on Chiropractic Education International (CCEI), which is an international organization formed from a group of national chiropractic education councils, and the World Federation of Chiropractic (WFC), a accrediting body and general consulting firm that focuses on the chiropractic field beyond just education. The CCEI sets forth standards that help to unify different accreditations available around the world; these standards are recognized by the WFC, as well as the World Health Organization (WHO).
A number of different degrees and degree designations exist across the world in the chiropractic field. Some of the more common ones are the following:
• D.C. – Doctor of Chiropractic: available in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, France, Spain, Sweden, Japan and South Korea. This is one of the most commonly available and recognized types of chiropractic degrees in the world.
• M.C. or M. Chiro – Master of/in Chiropractic: available in the UK, Australia, and Switzerland, areas in which the chiropractic profession is very popular.
• B.C. or B. Chiro – Bachelor of Chiropractic: available in Australia and New Zealand.
Other countries offer applied science or similar degrees with a clinical or chiropractic specialization.
The CCEI generally recommends that a student take a minimum of 90 semester hours of preparatory study before enrolling in a higher level chiropractic degree program. Often prerequisite work includes biology, microbiology, cellular biology, genetics, physiology, kinesiology, organic chemistry, biochemistry, or even other science and math such as physics, general chemistry, or statistics. Most chiropractic programs require approximately a 3.0 GPA on a 4.0 scale for admission, and around 4,200 hours of study total, including both classroom time and clinical experience.
“Chiropractic: Origins, Controversies, and Contributions.” Complementary Therapies in Medicine 7.4 (1999): 260. Web.
“World Federation of Chiropractic.” WFC History. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2016. <https://www.wfc.org/website/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=89&Itemid=87&lang=en>.
“World Health Organization.” World Health Organization. N.p., n.d. Web. 01 May 2016. <http://www.who.int/en/>.