Even with the recent rise in popularity, very little is known about chiropractic treatments.
Most people know that when you go to the chiropractor you get an adjustment, but little is known about the science behind it.
Some people don't even think there is any science behind it.
They equate it to old folk remedies like wearing wet socks to break a fever, or using coffee to cure pink eye.
Unlike the folk remedies above, there's a great deal of science behind chiropractic treatments, and it takes a professional to perform them.
Your Grandma can fix you chicken soup to make you feel better, but she can't adjust your spine to ease your headaches.
So how does someone become a chiropractor?
How much training does it take?
Read on to find out.
Chiropractors have similar educational requirements as conventional doctors.
While the focus is different, DCs (doctors of chiropractic) and MDs have very similar training.
Although it's possible to do without, most chiropractors receive their bachelor's degree.
The days of chiropractors not needing a bachelors degree are pretty much behind us.
DCs are pre-med, including courses in biology, chemistry, physics, psychology, and related lab work.
This lays a good foundation and makes transitioning to chiropractic school as smooth as possible.
Once they've earned their bachelor's degree, students can apply for chiropractic school.
Chiropractic school typically takes an additional 4 to 5 years to complete once you've obtained your bachelor's degree.
Your time will be split between the classroom and clinical training.
Your first two years are classroom and lab-based, while your final years are spent in clinics.
The bulk of your learning will be through the use of cadavers.
Along with learning how to adjust someone's spine, students also learn physiology, chemistry, and organic sciences.
They learn how the body functions at the most minute level.
They'll also learn about nutrition and how to read blood tests.
A bulk of chiropractic patients come in frustrated with the results from their regular doctor, so DCs need to be able to read test results and explain them to their patients.
During their third year in chiropractic school, DCs will work in a junior clinic learning clinician techniques.
In the final year of school, DC students will be in an outpatient clinic working with the public.
This will give them their first taste of interacting with patients of various backgrounds and getting comfortable with the operations of a medical facility.
In total, the curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience.
You start the process to become a licensed chiropractor during your second year of chiropractic school.
That's when you take part I of the national exam.
Part I includes questions about spinal anatomy, physiology, pathology, chemistry, and microbiology.
You can take part II of the exam during your third year of school.
Parts III and IV of the national exam are taken 6 to 9 months after graduation.
Once you pass the national exam, you'll have to contact your state board to see what your next steps are to get your license.
Many chiropractic schools will offer post graduation programs so DCs can add advanced skills ranging anywhere from nutrition to neurology.
Every state will also require you to take 20-40 course hours every year to keep your license to practice.
This extensive education allows DCs to treat patients within their area of expertise, diagnose healthcare problems, and refer patients to the appropriate health care practitioners.
Once you've completed the four years of chiropractic school and received your license, it's time to start practicing.
Generally, recent graduates either join an already established firm, or they start their own business.
Some of the chiropractic schools will talk about essential business administration topics, but they aren't covered in great detail.
Depending on what your ultimate goals are, you might want to join an already established practice so you can see how they run things.
If you have the entrepreneurial spirit, you might want to dive in head first and start your practice.
It's hard work
As you can see, getting licensed to be a chiropractor isn't a walk in the park
It can take up to nine years total to graduate from chiropractic school and receive your license.
That's just as much time as a conventional doctor.
You'll spend time reading textbooks, doing lab work, working on cadavers, and the remainder of your time working in clinics.
The next time you hear someone say chiropractors aren't real doctors, or it's not actual science, refer them to this article.
Now that you know what it take to become a chiropractor in Florida, are you interested in how chiropractic care can help you, click below for a free consultation!The Biggest Myths about Chiropractic Care