What courses can be expected from chiropractic degree programs?A chiropractic school that offers doctorate programs in chiropractic medicine will begin by training students in cell and tissue biology, neuroscience, biochemistry, philosophy and history of the practice of chiropractic medicine, spinal radiology, as well as nutrition and metabolism. In the second and third years of the program, students would begin exploring clinical microbiology, environmental health, emergency procedures, bone and joint imaging, visceral pathology, musculoskeletal physiopathology, as well as chiropractic theory and principles of physiopathology. The last two years of a chiropractic doctorate program would be focused on passive and active care, patient communication, clinical psychology, concepts in pharmacology, as well as ethics and law.
To prepare students for a career practicing chiropractic medicine independently, many schools offering chiropractic programs also include classes in business practices and classes specific to the various ways to enter into practice. Classes specific to entering
A student of chiropractic school would also be trained in the various assessment and diagnostic techniques specific to chiropractic medicine including postural assessment, human developmental diagnosis, diagnosis and management of extremities, correlative image assessment, and other advanced imaging techniques.
Classes that train students in the various techniques used in performing chiropractic bodywork are spaced throughout the four or five years of schooling. These classes are introduced at appropriate stages in the academic process after related biological study and assessment techniques are mastered. Technique classes common to all chiropractic education programs would include: psychomotor skills, intro to palpation, spinal assessment, extremities technique, soft tissue techniques, and Flexion Distraction Technique.
What can be expected from the clinical component of chiropractic programs?A chiropractic school offering doctorate programs will require at least two trimesters of clinical training. This means students will be in the live setting of a school-based clinic for first-hand exposure. The first trimester of clinic is called Student Clinic during which time students are only allowed to work on fellow classmates. This portion is completed once a certain number of adjustments are performed under the observation of a clinic instructor. During the time of the Student Clinic, students also take their radiologic imaging classes, which require them to actually take x-ray images and diagnose the ailments that these images reveal.
The next portion of clinical training involves at least two trimesters of performing outpatient adjustments. This clinical training involves treating actual paying patients within the school’s clinic. During this portion of the clinical training students perform the full chiropractic exam and treatment under the observation of a clinic instructor. This would include x-raying, diagnosing, and treating patients’ subluxations with the various techniques of chiropractic adjustment. During the clinical training component of chiropractic college, students are also responsible for retaining clients, and either administering the appropriate treatment or making referrals to other medical professionals as needed.