I am in currently deep in the midst of completing a very interesting and intense course via the Internet. It is created and hosted by a very respected doctor named Christopher Kent. I love it! I love learning more and more about scientific research that supports what chiropractors do. I truly enjoy attending seminars and working with other doctors to improve our techniques and learn from each others experiences while also being presented with new information from the course.
This topic came up with a friend at a neighborhood 4th of July party this week. My friend was discussing how much he appreciated that his company would send him to Puerto Rico to help hone his financial interpretation skills at a 'seminar.' Of course, I related back to him how much I appreciated the fact that in my profession there are ample opportunities for a doctor of chiropractic to continue growth in his professional career. He wondered aloud how much actual training it could take to crack backs.
I have to admit that the hair on the back of neck rose, but I stayed calm in spite. In my years as a chiropractor I have realized that people do not know how much education we doctors of chiropractic actually have under our hood. After all, phrases like 'chiropractors are all quacks' or 'chiropractors are glorified massage therapists' have circled around since I was a kid. I am not going to say how long ago that is, but by just looking at my hairline you can see it's been a while!
So...needless to say, this week of Independence celebration and education is dedicated to my neighbor, who has no idea how much I really wanted to say...
The fact is, educational requirements for today's chiropractors are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions.
Several decades ago the education that chiropractors received was purposely narrow. Without the interest in prescribing medicines or performing surgery, chiropractic education focused on anatomy, the philosophy of natural healing, the wisdom of the body and adjusting techniques.
Today's chiropractor receives a much broader education. In fact, it's quite comparable to that received by medical practitioners.
Before acceptance to a five-year chiropractic college, prospective chiropractors must complete their undergraduate work with a heavy emphasis on the basic sciences.
This focus on science continues during the first two years of study, emphasizing classroom and laboratory work in anatomy, physiology, public health, microbiology, pathology and biochemistry. Later, the focus is on specialized subjects, including chiropractic philosophy and practice, along with chiropractic diagnosis and adjusting methods.
Since chiropractors don't prescribe drugs, instead of studying pharmacology and surgery, they receive an even deeper training in anatomy, physiology, rehabilitation, nutrition, diagnosis, X-ray and a variety of adjusting techniques that aren't taught in any other health care field.
To qualify for Licensure, graduates must pass at least four (NBCE parts I - IV) and in some jurisdictions five (NBCE Physiotherapy) examinations from the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and complete State specific requirements.
Once licensed, most states require chiropractors to attend 12 to 50 hours of continuing education annually.
Chiropractic colleges also offer postdoctoral training in Chiropractic Neurology, orthopedics, industrial consulting, rehabilitation, radiology, family practice and pediatrics,
After such training, chiropractors may take exams leading to 'Diplomate' status in a given specialty including orthopedics, neurology, radiology and pediatrics.
This chart, taken from 'The Grisanti Report,' (which can easily be googled for more information) shows that a doctor of chiropractic actually earns more hours of education than that of a medical doctor.
Criticizing the educational achievements of today's chiropractor is an outdated belief from another era.
So please, enjoy the summer holiday...but raise and American Flag...not your neighbor's neck hairs!
Dr. Jim. Dr. Jim Schaffer of Kimberton Chiropractic Center, Phoenixville, is a weekly contributor to The Phoenix.
Dr Jim Schaffer Kimberton Chiropractic