Becoming a Chiropractor

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The chiropractic physician treats and prevents disease as well as promotes public health and welfare. Such critical work demands thorough training and uncompromising testing.

How to Become a Chiropractor

To become a chiropractor, a candidate must complete four major steps:

  1. Earn college credit in general studies (bachelor’s degree required in some states).
  2. Graduate from an accredited chiropractic college.
  3. Pass the NBCE or other examinations required by the state in which he or she intends to practice.
  4. Meet any additional state-level chiropractic licensing requirements.

While there is still considerable variation among countries, licensure procedures are standardized within many countries, including the United States, Canada, England, Australia and New Zealand. By law, licensed chiropractors may use the titles “Doctor of Chiropractic,” “D.C.,” or “Chiropractic Physician.”

What Does the NBCE Do?

The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, including its International Board of Chiropractic Examiners, is the international testing agency for the chiropractic profession. The NBCE develops, administers and scores standardized exams that assess knowledge, higher-level cognitive abilities and problem-solving in various basic science and clinical science subjects.

NBCE exams offer assurance to the general public that, regardless of where a chiropractor went to school or was licensed, he or she has demonstrated a baseline of knowledge as well as ability in diagnosis, diagnostic imaging, principles of chiropractic, associated clinical sciences and chiropractic practice.

Candidates typically take NBCE exams before graduating from chiropractic college. Exam scores are made available to licensing authorities within and outside the United States. In the U.S., all 50 states either accept or require candidates to pass NBCE exams Parts I, II, III, and IV for licensure.