Chiropractic education takes a minimum of 7 academic years. Before admission to chiropractic college, a student must take two years’ worth of basic science courses, including anatomy, physiology, chemistry, physics, English, and psychology. A typical chiropractic curriculum is five academic years or ten trimesters, with a total of 4800 hours in lecture, laboratory, and clinical experience.
The first year provides a broad background in anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, and pathology. The second year focuses on clinical diagnosis, spinal analysis, diagnostic imaging, and chiropractic and therapeutic techniques for the spine and extremities. The third year includes specialty classes like nutrition, pediatrics, women’s health, and geriatrics. At Northwestern Health Sciences University in Minnesota, students complete a two-year clinical internship before graduating as a doctor of chiropractic. During this time, interns provide chiropractic care for patients of all ages under the supervision of licensed chiropractors.
In addition to receiving a D.C. degree from their chiropractic college, students must pass a series of standardized national board exams to be licensed to practice. Chiropractors can also undertake postgraduate training to specialize in sports performance, rehabilitation, orthopedics, radiology, internal diagnostics, occupational health, neurology, pediatrics, nutrition, and wellness.