Chiropractic Misconceptions #2: “They’re not real doctors.”

Alternative medicine is trending pretty hard these days. New diets, alternate lifestyles, and different forms of therapy seem to be popping up almost daily.

And there are some quality, well-researched options out there. But there are also some, well, not-so-well-researched options. What’s more, the licensing process for practitioners of certain therapies is less than extensive.

Sadly, in many people’s minds, chiropractic care gets thrown into the same bucket. “Chiropractic doctors aren’t real doctors,” they say.

But in reality, chiropractors go through a rigorous, multi-step process of education and licensing to be able to practice. We want to walk you through that process so you can have peace of mind knowing that chiropractors are indeed quality medical professionals who are ready to meet your needs.


A 7-10 Year Process

In general, becoming a licensed chiropractor is a 7-10 year process. So nobody just rolls out of bed one day and becomes a chiropractor.

Candidates must first complete the 3-4 years of undergraduate pre-med courses before entering a doctoral program. Obtaining a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree takes between 3.5 and 5 years and roughly 4,500 hours of training.

Once their initial education is complete, chiropractors need to obtain their state license to practice–just like any other legitimate medical professional. Practitioners need to pass a 4-part exam from the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NCBE) before they can start treating patients.

But the education doesn’t stop once a chiropractor gets licensed. In order to keep their license, chiropractors have to complete a certain number of continuing education hours every year (the exact number varies by state).


Why so long?

Why so much time, you ask? The answer is the same as for a medical doctor: because becoming an expert in the human body is no small task. 

Your body is made up of 206 bones, over 600 muscles, and 360 joints. Chiropractors are trained extensively in different types of joint manipulation to relieve pain, restore mobility, and help them work again as they should. But joint manipulation requires a great deal of expertise to be done safely and successfully.

Oftentimes, a chiropractor also receives more training in how the subjects of anatomy, physiology and rehabilitation all work together. A chiropractor’s training naturally lends itself to a more holistic approach to treating the body.


You’ll Be In Good Hands

So the next time you’re considering chiropractic care, know that you’ll be in good hands. A licensed chiropractor didn’t complete some 6-month certification program online. They’ve spent nearly a decade of their lives becoming experts in the human body so that you can have a safe and successful experience. 

Are you considering chiropractic care and live in the Seattle area? Our team at Petett Chiropractic is trained and ready to help. Just give us a call at (425) 277-2225.