There seems to be a common societal misconception that chiropractors are not actually doctors. If one takes a look at the educational requirements of a Doctor of Chiropractic program, there would be little doubt that graduates have indeed obtained a medical degree.
Post-graduation, new chiropractic doctors are subject to the testing and licensing requirements for the jurisdiction in which they wish to practice. There are usually board exams (state or national) and, possibly, ongoing education criteria in order to receive and maintain a license to practice.
If one wishes to pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree in Florida, for example, Palmer College of Chiropractic might be of interest. The D.C. Program can usually be completed in just over three years but it actually represents the equivalent of five academic years of study. The Palmer curriculum covers all 14 elements of clinical competency that are determined by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE). Palmer also defines six additional competencies that fit their vision for a qualified D.C. graduate. The Palmer competencies include nutrition, business management issues and patient education, among others.
For the prospective chiropractic doctor in Texas, Texas Chiropractic College is a recognized academic institution to consider. This college offers the D.C. program but also offers post-graduate and continuing education options. Hands-on training and internships take place in close to 30 clinics and hospitals in the Houston area, including the prestigious Texas Medical Center. The D.C. program, offered in three trimesters per year, consists of a total of ten semesters. Tuition for a full-time student in the Fall of 2012 - not including non-program costs – is $8,400, whereas a part-time student may attend for $700 per credit hour.
Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, CA accepts classes of incoming students four times per year. The college offers two programs of study which will allow for completion in either four years (with a 14-quarter curriculum) or an intensive 12-quarter curriculum which graduates its students in three years. Hands-on training begins in the very first quarter at this school through technique clubs and also adjusting labs. Fall 2012 tuition at LCCW, for a full-time student, is $6,385.
No matter which school is chosen, new Doctors of Chiropractic graduate with the science and health education needed to be part of the third largest health care profession in the nation. According to the “Job Related Almanac (6th Edition),” they can expect to earn an average salary of approximately $80,000, along with the satisfaction of bringing holistic health and wellness to their community.