In Arizona, the state’s Board of Chiropractic Examiners sets forth the requirements for becoming a chiropractor. First of all, the candidate must earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree from an accredited chiropractic college. According to the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), there aren’t any accredited chiropractic colleges in Arizona; however, the following colleges in California offer accredited chiropractic programs:
Accredited Chiropractic Colleges:
- Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward, California
- Southern California University of Health Sciences in Whittier, California
- Palmer College of Chiropractic in San Jose, California
- Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles, California
A typical chiropractic program involves a minimum of 4200 hours of classroom, laboratory, and clinical study. Assuming the student has a full schedule of classes, the programs typically take four years to complete.
The first two years will likely consist of classes in anatomy, physiology, pathology, rehabilitation, nutrition, public health, and chiropractic research. The last one to two years of a typical program will be clinical training, allowing the student to gain hands-on experience evaluating and diagnosing patients, as well as performing spinal adjustments.
Once the Doctor of Chiropractic credential is earned, the candidate must pay an application fee of $250, with an additional fee of $22 for fingerprinting. Along with the application, the following requirements must be met in order to sit for the licensure exam:
- Be a graduate of a chiropractic college that both: a) is accredited by or has status with the Council on Chiropractic Education or is accredited by an accrediting agency recognized by the United States Department of Education or the Council on Postsecondary Accreditation; and b) teaches a resident course of four years of not less than nine months each year, or the equivalent of thirty-six months of continuous study, and that comprises not less than four thousand credit hours of resident study required to receive a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree
- Earn a certificate of attainment for Parts I and II and a minimum score of 375 on Parts III and IV of the examination given by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners.
- Demonstration of understanding of state law by passing the Arizona jurisprudence exam with a score of 75 percent or better
- Pass a criminal background check
- Be a person of good character and reputation; disciplinary action or convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude may either delay the licensing process or result in license denial
- Be physically and mentally able to practice as a chiropractor skillfully and safely
Assuming the applicant meets all of the above requirements, he or she may sit for the Board’s licensure exam. This exam contains material related to the practice of chiropractic medicine as well as material on Arizona jurisprudence. The applicant must correctly answer at least 75 percent of all questions related to chiropractic practice and at least 75 percent of the questions on Arizona jurisprudence.
Once the applicant achieves a passing score on the exam, the Board will grant a license to practice as a chiropractor in Arizona. The license’s period of validity is one year, with a renewal fee of $170 to be due prior to January 1 of each year. As a condition of license renewal, the chiropractor must demonstrate completion of at least 12 hours of continuing education throughout the previous year.
The road to practicing chiropractic medicine is a long and bumpy one, but considering the ways in which a chiropractor must manipulate the patient’s body during the course of treatment, this is no surprise.
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