The question “do chiropractors have to be licensed?” often comes from a place of caution. Some people don’t know enough about chiropractic treatment, and are wary about trying it for the first time. This is quite common for people who are encountering alternative treatment methods for the first time.
Chiropractors are entrusted with delivering very precise adjustments to our spine. It’s easy to see why people would be cautious. But we’re here to assure you that chiropractors do need a license. In fact, all states do require them to have one before they can provide spinal adjustments.
On this article, we will discuss how chiropractors get their license.
Keep in mind that each state has its own licensing requirements. Obtaining a license in one state means you can only practice within that jurisdiction. Chiropractors need to obtain a license from the state they want to practice in. The process of obtaining the license may vary from one state to another.
Chiropractors need to be familiar with these laws, as some states are stricter than others. This way, they can pursue this path properly.
Earning a Chiropractic Degree
Chiropractors first have to get a chiropractic degree from an accredited college. Some of these colleges require a bachelor’s degree before someone can pursue chiropractic. Earning this is the first step in becoming a licensed chiropractor. Without it, they cannot legally perform spinal adjustments in the US.
Before earning a chiropractic degree, they are usually required to have at least 90 undergraduate credit hours, an official transcript, and favorable background check review, among other requirements.
Passing the NBCE Exam
This may be the biggest hurdle that most chiropractors have to face before receiving their license. They need to pass the primary licensing exam, which is administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners or NBCE.
It is a four-section exam, and most states require chiropractors to pass it before obtaining their license officially.
The first part of the exam covers basic science subjects like general anatomy, spinal anatomy, chemistry, physiology, microbiology, etc. The second part covers six clinical subjects including general diagnosis, principles of chiropractic, and associated clinical sciences, among others.
The third part covers case history, physical examination, diagnostic imaging examination, and chiropractic techniques, among others.
The final part covers x-ray interpretation and diagnosis, other chiropractic techniques, and case management skills.
Some states may require chiropractors to pass all four parts of the exam. At least 21 states require chiropractors to pass the fourth and final part of the exam.
Meeting the State Requirements
Every state regulates chiropractors a bit differently. For example, chiropractors in Oregon are allowed to perform proctology and obstetrical procedures. Michigan chiropractors, on the other hand, are limited to detecting and adjusting spinal subluxations.
There may be additional state licensing requirements. But the point has been made: not everyone can simply decide to become a chiropractor and easily obtain a license. These people are professionally trained to deliver proper spinal adjustments that can benefit your entire body and improve your health.
There’s no need to be super cautious now. Just check to see if your chiropractor has a license. If you want, you can learn more about your state’s specific licensing laws yourself. But don’t miss out on the benefits of this wonderful alternative treatment method.
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