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Are Chiropractors “Real” Doctors?

YES! Chiropractors are Doctors of Chiropractic.

Did you know that chiropractors are highly skilled, trained experts? Below is a side-by-side comparison of the number of hours required to earn a standard medical doctoral degree (MD) vs. a chiropractic doctoral degree (DC).

Chiropractic School and Medical School

Chiropractic Education

Chiropractors do not hold a doctorate in medicine, but instead, hold a doctorate in chiropractic. Doctors of chiropractic are licensed and accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) and by the state in which they practice.  The CCE is recognized by both the World Federation of Chiropractic and the World Health Organization. All 50 of the United States require a DC degree from a college that is accredited by the CCE. Chiropractors are required to pass 5  examinations, administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners:

  1. Part I: Written examination on six basic science subjects: Basic Anatomy, Spinal Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, Pathology & Microbiology
  2. Part II:  Written examination assessing six clinical science areas: General Diagnosis, Neuromusculoskeletal diagnosis, Diagnostic Imaging, Principles of chiropractic & Associated Clinical Sciences
  3. Part III: Written examination on nine clinical areas: Patient Case History, Physical Examination, Neuromusculoskeletal Examination, Diagnostic Imaging, Clinical Laboratory, and Clinical Studies, Diagnosis or Clinical Impression, Chiropractic Techniques, Supportive Interventions, & Case Management
  4. Part IV: All day, live Practical Exam with 20 stations at each subject where the doctors are timed. The subjects include Diagnostic Imaging (X-Rays, MRI’s, CT, CAT scans), Chiropractic Technique and Case Management.
  5. Physical Therapy: required by most states, this is a written examination for doctors of chiropractic to have a basic knowledge of how to recommend exercises or treatments complementary to chiropractic care.

Education for a chiropractic degree begins with a four-year undergraduate degree, with a focus on science. Any of these subjects to major in, are great foundations for a doctor of chiropractic degree: human anatomy and physiology, cellular biology, exercise physiology, embryology, genetics, microbiology, immunology, kinesiology, general chemistry, organic chemistry, analytical chemistry, biochemistry, toxicology/pharmacology, nutrition, nuclear medicine, physics, and biomechanics.

After graduating with a Bachelor of Science or Bachelor of Arts degree, chiropractors-to-be will complete a four-year chiropractic program at a designated Chiropractic College that features both classroom training, as well as hands-on experience.

After graduating, doctors of chiropractic are required to continue their education and stay current with laws, chiropractic techniques, nutrition, and sciences by taking yearly continuing education units, or CEU’s.

Chiropractic Specialization

Many chiropractors specialize in a specific chiropractic technique and/or population of people. There are over 100 chiropractic techniques! Regardless of which area of specialty a chiropractic student chooses, chiropractors (as demonstrated in the chart above), must spend no less than 4200 teacher/student contact hours during their four years in chiropractic school, including a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised clinical training. Certain chiropractic techniques are not part of the basic curriculum and require attending additional training or seminars at the expense of the doctor to be.

Dr. Pam Jarboe  Chiropractic of Acton, specializes in several different techniques. She studied intensively to receive her chiropractic degree and spent much time outside of the classroom to hone her adjusting skills.  She is highly trained in effective, low-force, gentle chiropractic care methods that are appropriate for pediatric patients, pregnant women, 100 year-old grandmothers and everyone in between. Each adjustment at Community Chiropractic is customized to the individual and can often vary from appointment to appointment depending on your: X-rays, biochemistry, range of motion, soreness, pain, stress level, etc.

Some of the techniques that Dr. Pam and Dr. Lauren use at Community Chiropractic of Acton are:

  • Network Spinal
  • Bio-geometric Integration (BGI)
  • Activator
  • Sacral Occipital Technique (SOT)
  • Thompson/Drop Table
  • Diversified
  • Toggle

The Human Factor

In addition to the education, examination, continuing education credits and all the years of study, successful chiropractors possess several qualities that cannot be taught, like interpersonal skills. Chiropractors focus on helping the body heal, by removing tension off the spinal cord. They make sure patients are comfortable, relaxed and getting what they need clinically, during an adjustment session. Excellent listening skills, empathy, and kindness are required.

Whether you are a new patient or have been receiving chiropractic care for years (in any office,) Dr. Pam LOVES to make your experience with chiropractic care at Community Chiropractic Acton as easy and as wonderful as it can be!