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Are Chiropractors Doctors?

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Are Chiropractors Doctors?

Chiropractic Education/Qualifications

People often ask “Are chiropractors doctors?”. Becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic requires a minimum of 7 to 9 years of post high school study. This includes 2 to 4 years of undergraduate education. After that, 5 years of study to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree. This can only be done at one of 15 colleges or universities accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE). The CCE is recognized by the US Secretary of Education. The CCE is responsible for accrediting programs and institutions offering a doctor of chiropractic degree.

Chiropractic College vs Medical School

HoursArea of StudyHours
66Obstetrics & Gynecology284
2,419Total Hours for Degree2,047
Doctor of Chiropractic Education vs. Medical Doctor Education


Doctors of Chiropractic need to be licensed in the state (or states) in they practice in. All 50 states require passing either a state-specific exam or national board exam. The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, based in Greeley, Colorado is responsible for creating and administering this test. In fact, some require passing both. In addition, they complete extensive applications for review by state licensing boards.

For instance, Colorado, Doctors of Chiropractic are required to attend a CCE accredited college or university, pass a national exam, and be approved through a rigorous evaluation process.

Licensed Colorado Doctors of Chiropractic must also complete at least 30 hours of continuing education every 2 years. Many chiropractors choose to complete many more hours voluntarily. Higher level doctorate degrees can also be earned. These areas of study include nutrition, orthopedics, sports rehabilitation, neurology, pediatrics and many others.

Primary Care

One of the many strengths of a chiropractic education is the ability to diagnose many different types of conditions. Doctors of Chiropractic are also qualified and licensed to perform blood draws to help diagnose preventable health issues as well as disease processes. Chiropractors can also be Board Certified in Orthopedics (non surgical), Internal Diseases, Sports Medicine, Neurology, Radiology, Acupuncture, Dry Needling, and Pediatrics. They are trained to prescribe and administer homeopathic medicines, vitamins, phytonutrients, and glandulars. These help heal injuries and chronic conditions as well as helping prevent health issues.

Doctors of Chiropractic also play a major role in primary care by helping patients reach the right provider for their condition. Chiropractors are often the first stop for a patient because they can refer patients to the right doctor if their problem is not a chiropractic one. Verification of diagnoses and recommendations for treatment assure that patients receive the most appropriate care.

Doctors of Chiropractic (DCs) are considered Chiropractic Physicians by the United States Government and in 32 states. Chiropractors are also on the staff of nearly every professional sports team, not to mention the Veterans Administration (VA), Medicare, Medicaid, Worker’s Compensation board, and virtually ALL commercial insurance carrier’s policies.

Are chiropractors doctors? “The DC can provide all three levels of primary care interventions and therefore is a primary care provider. The DC’s office, as are MD/’s and DO’s, serve as portals of entry into the health care system; assessment, diagnosis, treatment, management, reassessment, and referral.””

-Gonyea MA. The Role of the DC in the Health Care System in Comparison with Doctors of Allopathic Medicine and Doctors of Osteopathic Medicine. The Center for Studies in Health Policy, Inc/. Washington, D.C., September 1993.

If you would like to see if chiropractic can help your problem, schedule an appointment today!


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