Becoming a Chiropractor
A chiropractor is a medical professional who specializes in the diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal disorders of the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors are licensed doctors and thus are authorized to practice their craft in hospitals, outpatient clinics, hospitals, mental hospitals, nursing homes, rehabilitation facilities, and other health-related facilities. They are also authorized to conduct spinal diagnostic and therapeutic procedures to aid patients with back or neck pain, head injuries, spinal cord injuries, nerve diseases, and other related ailments.
There are several schools and institutions that offer chiropractic physicians to train to become chiropractic physicians. However, it is important for a prospective chiropractor to attend to a chiropractic college that specializes in chiropractic. It is also important that the chiropractic school he chooses to attend has the necessary accreditation and has had its courses approved by the American College of Chiropractic. The American Board of Chiropractic recommends that its members seek pre-academic and post-academic training, as well as continuing education, from a chiropractic college that meets the requirements of the organization.
A chiropractic physician must have a degree in either anatomy medical science, physiology, or allied health to obtain the license to practice. To complete their chiropractic college education, he/she must be prepared to take at least two years of general chemistry, mathematics, and physics course work, in addition to courses in physiology, anatomy, and psychology. After completing his/her training, he/she must then pass a test given by the American Chiropractic Medical Association (ACA) to prove that he/she has completed the training required to become a chiropractic physician.
A chiropractic physician can choose to pursue an osteopathic doctorate to specialize in the field of osteopathy, or a master’s degree in chiropractic. In some states, there is a national certification exam for chiropractic physicians and chiropractic students who want to specialize in osteopathy. However, it is not necessary to get an osteopathic doctorate in chiropractic before one can obtain a chiropractic doctorate because chiropractic is an accepted specialization for chiropractors, so those who already have a doctorate in another field of medicine can pursue a chiropractic doctorate as well.
An osteopathic doctorate will train a chiropractic physician to provide basic chiropractic procedures such as spinal manipulation, exercise techniques, physiotherapy, diagnostic imaging, and physiotherapists, and much more. An osteopathic doctorate program will also allow an osteopath to specialize in a specific field, such as geriatric or pediatric chiropractic. This will allow the osteopath to focus on specific areas of chiropractic care such as physical therapy, rehabilitation, sports medicine, or pediatric chiropractic.
A chiropractic physician can specialize in treating children with autism, cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy, epilepsy, asthma, or traumatic brain injury, stroke, and cancer. He/she can also specialize in treating athletes’ foot, back pain, whiplash, muscle cramps, leg cramps, or muscle spasms. A chiropractic physician can also become a certified pediatrician if one desires.