|Founder||Daniel David Palmer|
|Foundation||Invented in 1895 in Davenport, USA|
A chiropractor is a person who practices chiropractic, a health care profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of disorders of the neuromusculoskeletal system and the effects of these disorders on general health. Chiropractors emphasize manual and manipulative therapy for the treatment of joint dysfunctions. Chiropractic is generally classified as complementary/alternative medicine.
The chiropractic degree is suggested to be obtained via three major full-time educational paths culminating in either a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.), DCM, BSc, or MSc degree. D.C. is a degree for chiropractors in North America.
In some countries chiropractors earn a professional doctorate where training is entered after obtaining between 90 and 120 credit hours of university level work (see second entry degree) and in most cases after obtaining a bachelors degree. The World Health Organization lists three potential educational paths involving full‐time chiropractic education around the globe. This includes: 1 – 4 years of pre-requisite training in basic sciences at university level followed by a 4 year full‐time doctorate program; DC. A 5 year integrated bachelor degree; BSc (Chiro). A 2 - 3 year Masters degree following the completion of a bachelor degree leads to the MSc (Chiro). In South Africa the Masters of Technology in Chiropractic (M.Tech Chiro) is granted following 6 years of university. No less than 4200 student/teacher contact hours (or the equivalent) in four years of full‐time education. This includes a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised clinical training. Health professionals with advanced clinical degrees, such as medical doctors, can meet the educational and clinical requirements to practice as a chiropractor in 2200 hours, which is most commonly done in countries where the profession is in its infancy.
Upon meeting all clinical and didactic requirements of chiropractic school, a degree in chiropractic is granted. However, in order to practice, chiropractors must be licensed. The regulatory boards are responsible for protecting the public, standards of practice, disciplinary issues, quality assurance and maintenance of competency. Currently, chiropractors practice in over 100 countries in all regions of the world, however chiropractors are most prevalent in North America, Australia and parts of Europe.
Regardless of the model of education utilized, prospective chiropractors without prior health care education or experience must spend no less than 4200 student/teacher contact hours (or the equivalent) in four years of full‐time education. This includes a minimum of 1000 hours of supervised clinical training. Health professionals with advanced clinical degrees, such as medical doctors, can meet the educational and clinical requirements to practice as a chiropractor in 2200 hours, which is most commonly done in countries where the profession is in its infancy. Upon meeting all clinical and didactic requirements of chiropractic school, a degree in chiropractic is granted. However, in order to legally practice, chiropractors, like all self regulated health care professionals, must be licensed. All Chiropractic Examining Boards require candidates to complete a 12 month clinical internship to obtain licensure. Licensure is granted following successful completion of all state/provincial and national board exams so long as the chiropractor maintains malpractice insurance. Nonetheless, there are still some variations in educational standards internationally, depending on admission and graduation requirements. Chiropractic is regulated in North America by state/provincial statute. The regulatory boards are responsible for protecting the public, standards of practice, disciplinary issues, quality assurance and maintenance of competency.
Chiropractic scientists (DC/PhD)
Chiropractors can conduct clinical and basic scientific research and publish in peer-reviewed journals during training and after graduation. Chiropractors can also pursue a Ph.D degree in various health care disciplines including epidemiology, biomechanics, neurophysiology and kinesiology.
Fellowships and other credentials
Chiropractors, like other health care professionals, can pursue post-graduate education in various chiropractic specialties. Most are two-year post-graduates degrees in chiropractic specialities such as clinical sciences, sports chiropractic, radiology, animal chiropractic and others. There are other chiropractic credentials that may or may not be recognized by the major health care organizations, medical or chiropractic communities.
Realistic median annual wage of chiropractors in the United States was $66,160 in May 2012. According to Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), Chiropractic Student Loan Default Rates for October 1999, May 2010, and January 2012 are 54%, 53.8%, and 52.8% respectively.
- World Health Organization (2005). "WHO guidelines on basic training and safety in chiropractic" (PDF). Retrieved 2008-03-03.
- Chapman-Smith DA, Cleveland CS III (2005). "International status, standards, and education of the chiropractic profession". In Haldeman S, Dagenais S, Budgell B et al. (eds.). Principles and Practice of Chiropractic (3rd ed.). McGraw-Hill. pp. 111–34. ISBN 0-07-137534-1.
- Facts & FAQs
- "The current status of the chiropractic profession". World Federation of Chiropractic. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- Facts & FAQs
- "Research chairs and professorships". Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
- Occupational Outlook Handbook, Bureau of Labor Statistics, 8 January 2014: http://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/chiropractors.htm
- Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA), January 2012: http://www.chirobase.org/03Edu/