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How to become a Chiropractor
Chiropractors in the United States must graduate from an accredited chiropractic program, completing a total of at least 4,200 hours of clinical and classroom hours. In order to be accepted to a chiropractic program in the United States, applicants must have 90 semester units toward a bachelor's degree, and many in the field predict that a bachelor's degree will soon become the new minimum standard for applicants. Chiropractic students study anatomy, biochemistry, public health, physiology, microbiology, and many other related subjects. Upon graduating, a student is awarded the title of Doctor of Chiropractic, or DC.
Licensing is regulated by state, and chiropractors may only practice in the particular state or states in which they are licensed, unless that state has an agreement with the state where the chiropractor is licensed. Some state licensing boards require a bachelor's degree in addition to a chiropractic degree and most require a minimum number of hours of continuing education before licenses can be renewed. Continuing education classes and seminars are offered by many different chiropractic programs and associations.
What does a Chiropractor do?
Chiropractors are responsible for diagnosing and treating problems in the musculoskeletal system, especially as they are related to the spine. Chiropractors, or doctors of chiropractic, believe that problems in the musculoskeletal system can affect other aspects of a patient's health, especially as regards the nervous system. Chiropractic medicine works on the premise that vertebral subluxations, or vertebrae that are out of alignment, negatively affect the nervous system as well as a person's resistance to disease.
Before diagnosing or treating a patient, chiropractors take a detailed medical history and perform an examination. X-rays may be ordered, and posture analyzed. When the chiropractor has finished diagnosing the patient, he or she begins treatment. Chiropractic treatment traditionally consists of manual manipulation of the spine, although other tools can be used. Working with the idea that the body has the power to heal itself, chiropractors use a variety of alternative medicine techniques to help the body attain its natural equilibrium. Many chiropractors specialize in one area such as sports injuries, pediatrics, nutrition, or neurology.
In addition to their medical job duties, chiropractors are often responsible for running an office, with all the tasks that go along with that. Keeping patient records, hiring and overseeing employees, scheduling appointments and returning phone calls, and developing a client base are all responsibilities that a chiropractor may have.
There is now a group of chiropractors, involved in what is called the Reform school of chiropractic, who do not accept the premise of vertebral subluxations, and only use chiropractic for the treatment of muscular and skeletal problems.
What skills or qualit...