Are Chiropractors Real Doctors?

This question is one that we have heard many times at Wellspring Health in Orange City, Daytona Beach, and Altamonte Springs. In today’s post, we’ll take a look at the education, training, and requirements that everyone has to complete in order to be a licensed chiropractic physician in Florida. Continue reading to learn some of the specific aspects of our training, and contact Wellspring Health today to schedule your adjustment in Orange City, Daytona Beach, or Altamonte Springs.

Are Chiropractors Doctors?

To put it simply — yes chiropractic physicians are doctors! Modern educational and licensing requirements for the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic (DCs) are among the most stringent of any of the health care professions. Prior to being accepted to an accredited chiropractic medical school, potential students must complete a four-year bachelor’s degree in pre-medical, undergraduate college education. This course of study includes classes in biology, inorganic chemistry, organic chemistry, physics, psychology, and other related lab work.

Educational Requirements

These are the same and general prerequisites that are required for students applying to conventional allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools. All schools of medicine have slightly different standards for admission based on the volume of applicants and other individual factors.

Student’s must meet high academic standards and demonstrate both the intelligence and character traits necessary to complete the program and become a successful doctor. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding, with four to five academic years of professional study as the standard.

Accreditation & Licensing

“Chiropractors undergo a rigorous education in the healing sciences, similar to that of medical doctors. In some areas, such as anatomy, physiology, rehabilitation, nutrition and public health, they receive more intensive education than their MD counterparts. Like other primary health care doctors, chiropractic students spend a significant portion of their curriculum studying clinical subjects related to evaluating and caring for patients. Typically, as part of their professional training, they must complete a minimum of a one-year clinical-based program dealing with actual patient care. In total, the curriculum includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. This has been the case for more than 25 years.” (1)

Certification and licensure of chiropractors is governed by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). Chiropractors must pass a 4-part national board exam, consisting of 3 written examinations and 1 practical examination to demonstrate the clinical knowledge of a primary care provider and practical skillset in Chiropractic adjusting techniques. In addition, Chiropractors must pass a national board exam in Physiotherapy and a Florida laws and rules exam. These requirements must be met in order to obtain a license to practice Chiropractic Medicine in Florida. Continuing education requirements are also required in order to maintain a valid license. (2)

Florida, and the majority of other states, recognize DCs (Doctor of Chiropractic) as Physician level primary care (portal of entry) healthcare providers. Florida law dictates “Any chiropractic physician who has complied with the provisions of this chapter may examine, analyze, and diagnose the human living body and its diseases by the use of any physical, chemical, electrical, or thermal method; use the X-ray for diagnosing; phlebotomize; and use any other general method of examination for diagnosis and analysis taught in any school of chiropractic”. (3)

Chiropractic physicians truly deserve the respect and recognition that are usually attributed only to other practicing physicians. From the number of classes that they complete to the testing and licensing requirements, they have the knowledge necessary to provide the highest quality of care for their patients. You can trust that when you schedule a chiropractic adjustment with one of the doctors at Wellspring Health in Orange City, Daytona Beach, or Altamonte Springs you are getting the highest level of care from a qualified chiropractic physician. Call today to schedule your appointment!

Sources and References

  1. Florida Chiropractic Association –
  2. Florida Board of Chiropractic Medicine –
  3. Florida Statutes, Regulation of Professions and Occupations, Chapter 460 Chiropractic Medicine –

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