Chiropractors treat musculo-skeletal disorders with heavy concentrations on the spine. Based on chiropractic principles, a misaligned spine can manifest as disorders in the body. Correcting a misaligned spine helps the nerve impulses flow throughout the body freely. Their main method of treatment involves manual adjustments in order to straighten the spine.
In order to become a Doctor of Chiropractic, one must earn a minimum of 90 undergraduate credits in college or a bachelor’s degree in some states. Any major will do provided it offers pre-requisite subjects such as anatomy, physiology, biology, chemistry and physics. Other subjects that should be taken include humanities, sociology, communications, interpersonal relations and other social science subjects.
In the United States, there are about 16 accredited schools offering a chiropractic degree. This four-year program involves taking up both courses and laboratory units in chemistry and anatomy. Chiropractic related courses include chiropractic philosophy, chiropractic diagnosis, spinal biomechanics, spinal biophysics, manual techniques in spinal adjustments. Usually, chiropractic students are also required to undergo internship in a chiropractic clinic supervised by a licensed chiropractor.
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) is generally in charge of the licensure in the United States. Some states though, provide their own set of exam, in addition to the exam given by NBCE. The agency prepares four sets of exams that examinees should successfully pass. On top of that, some states also require chiropractors to have additional hours in continuing medical education (CME).
Additional Skills Required
Aside from having strong science and math skills, chiropractors should also have good interpersonal and communications skills since there will be frequent interaction with patients. Chiropractors should have strong analytical skills too. They should be able to analyze the problem based on the data collected from the patient. Chiropractors must be able to make an action plan based on the needs of the patient as well as be able to evaluate the progress in the treatment. In addition, the nature of the job of a chiropractor involves standing for longer periods and performing spinal manipulations. Therefore, it is important that a chiropractor must be in good physical condition to be able to withstand prolonged standing and be able to execute the maneuvers efficiently.
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