Comparison: Chiropractic vs. Medical Education

Chiropractors go through an immense amount of schooling to receive a “Doctor of Chiropractic” degree (also known as a D.C.).  Their collegiate agenda is as follows:

  • Graduate from a four year college
  • Completing at least three years undergraduate study, with a focus on the sciences
  • Four years of Chiropractic Education
  • Take mandatory internships
  • At least 900 hours of work in a Chiropractic Clinic
  • After graduating, pass written and oral board exams, at national and state levels
Chiropractic Student Hours Class Description Medical Student Hours
520 Anatomy 508
420 Physiology 326
271 Pathology 335
300 Chemistry 325
114 Bacteriology 130
370 Diagnosis 374
320 Neurology 112
217 X-Ray 148
65 Psychiatry 144
65 Obstetrics & Gynecology 198
225 Orthopedics 156
2,887 Total Hours 2,756
1,598 Specialty  Courses 1,492
4,485 Entire Total Hours 4,248

Chiropractic and medical school curriculums are extremely rigorous and virtually identical. The biggest difference between chiropractors and medical doctors lies not in their level of education, it has to do with  how they treat the body. With that in mind, medical doctors rely on external chemical compounds or surgery to treat ailments, while chiropractors focus on structurally correcting the internal conditions that cause the ailments in the first place.

Chiropractic is highly effective in treating a wide range of conditions without resorting to taking drugs.  You need a physical solution to correct a physical problem. Chiropractors provide physical solutions — adjustments, exercises,stretches, muscle therapy — to help the body heal from conditions that are physical in origin, such as back pain, muscle spasms, headaches and poor posture.

Another distinction is that it is completely appropriate to receive chiropractic care even if you do not have symptoms.  Chiropractors believe in being proactive thus offer adjustments to improve spinal alignment and overall wellbeing before symptoms develop.

Just like any path to a degree, the type of college you attend can have a major impact on how well trained you are. Dr. Justin Schallmann, graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic – Davenport in 2005, which is among the top chiropractic school in the world.