Doctor of Chiropractic

Doctor of Chiropractic

Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C. or DC) or Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine (D.C.M. or DCM or BChiro or MChiro) is a medical degree for chiropractic physicians. All degrees in chiropractic are considered to be first professional degree. [Universities.com, "First-Professional degree in Chiropractic (DC)". [http://www.universities.com/On-Campus/FirstProfessional_degree_Health_Professions_and_Related_Clinical_Sciences_Chiropractic_DC_DCM.html available online] ]

Background to chiropractic

Chiropractic (Care/Medicine) is a health profession concerned with the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of mechanical disorders of the musculoskeletal system and the effect of these disorders on the function of the nervous system and on general health. There is an emphasis on manual treatments including spinal manipulation or adjustment. By restoring normal function to the musculoskeletal system chiropractors can play a major part in relieving disorders, and any accompanying pain or discomfort, arising from accidents, stress, lack of exercise, poor posture, illness and everyday wear and tear. Chiropractors take a holistic approach to health and well-being: this means that they consider its physical, psychological and social aspects. [http://stats.bls.gov/oco/ocos071.htm Chiropractors] U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, October 25, 2006.]

Also known as a "chiropractor" or "chiropractic doctor/physician", a DC or DCM is a health professional who seeks to diagnose, treat, correct, and prevent neurological, skeletal, or soft tissue dysfunction by primarily employing manual and conservative therapies; the most frequent being spinal and other articular adjustments and manipulations.

History of the degree

The degree originated with Daniel David Palmer, the founder of chiropractic, when he started graduating students from his short courses of instruction. At the time he was self-taught and was never a doctor of any kind nor medically educated, having only received eight years of education. He bestowed the degree upon himself and upon his students. Since that time the profession has continued to issue the degree to graduates of chiropractic schools in the United States and Canada.

In 1966 the Office of Education of the United States Department of Health, Education, and Welfare listed the degree under the heading of "spurious." At some later date Fact|date=July 2007 the status was changed. Department of Investigation, American Medical Association. "JAMA" 197:999-1005, 1966.] It is now listed among other doctoral degrees.

The United States Department of Education currently states:

: Chiropractic--Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C. or D.C.M. or B.Chiro or M.Chiro), a curriculum divided into "straight" or "progressive" chiropractic depending upon the philosophy of the institution, generally requiring 3 academic years of full-time study after 2 years or more of study at the associate or bachelor's degree level. [http://www.ed.gov/about/offices/list/ous/international/usnei/us/edlite-professional-studies.html First-Professional Studies: Degrees awarded] ]

Although the U.S. Department of Education lists the D.C.M. (Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine) as a type of degree granted to chiropractic physicians, the degree has never actually been conferred by any academic institution. The D.C.M. degree was first proposed by Western States Chiropractic College in 1994. Western States Chiropractic College had announced at the time its intentions of developing a post graduate D.C.M. training program that would prepare chiropractic physicians to prescribe pharmaceuticals and perform minor surgery.cite web |url=http://www.worldchiropracticalliance.org/tcj/1994/sep/sep1994b.htm |title=Western States to offer 'Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine' degree |accessdate=2008-01-27 |format= |work=] The proposed degree has sparked contentious debate within the chiropractic profession between traditionalists who feel that the chiropractic profession should remain a "drugless" therapy, and progressive practitioners who feel limited by the confines of their scope of practice. Since Western States Chiropractic College initially announced its intentions to develop the D.C.M. program in 1994, no further announcements have been made, and no chiropractic physician has ever been granted a D.C.M. degree.Fact|date=January 2008

Additional notes by country

Canada

A D.C. is considered a "primary health care" provider in the United States and Canada. [The International Chiropractic Association, "Chiropractic Quick Facts". [http://www.chiropractic.org/index.php?p=chiroinfo/main available online] ] [The Canadian Chiropractic Association, "The Chiropractic Profession - Within the Health Care Framework". [http://www.ccachiro.org/Client/cca/cca.nsf/web/Health%20Care%20Framework?OpenDocument available online] ] This implies that a patient does not require a referral to seek treatment from a chiropractor. In this sense they are considered a "portal of entry" to the healthcare system.

Canadian chiropractic schools teach an evidence-based medicine paradigm as opposed to the traditional vertebral subluxation model. The chiropractic schools state that the role of the doctor of chiropractic is primary care for neuromusculoskeletal conditions. The doctor of chiropractic assess, diagnose and treat biomechanical dysfunctions of the neuromusculoskeletal system. In addition to manual therapy which may include spinal manipulation and soft tissue mobilization, DC's may prescribe corrective exercises, make nutritional recommendations, emphasize healthy lifestyle practices and other natural, holistic means. Doctors of chiropractic can, depending on the province, order x-rays, MRI, CT-Scan, diagnostic ultrasound, bone scans and other imaging that would facilitate a diagnosis and plan of management. Furthermore, there is increasing multi-disciplinary collaboration between DC's and other health professionals for co-managing patient care.Fact|date=September 2008

Canadian Chiropractic students undergo a highly rigorous course of study similar to that of other doctoral-level health care professionals, including medicine, optometry and dentistry and have similar entrance requirements. Students are required to complete a minimum of three years of university before they are eligible for admission to the CMCC Doctorate of Chiropractic Degree program. Approximately 90 per cent of students entering the CMCC program have completed a baccalaureate or graduate university degree. The CMCC program is a privately funded institution and requires four years of full-time study, including a 12-month clinical internship. Both the CMCC and the UQTR programs include courses in anatomy, neuroanatomy, neurodiagnosis, neuroscience, biochemistry, physiology, orthopedics, diagnosis and symptomatology, laboratory diagnosis, embryology, principles of chiropractic, radiology, immunology, microbiology, pathology, clinical nutrition and other basic and clinical medical sciences.Fact|date=September 2008

Canadian Chiropractic Examining Board requires all candidates to complete a 12 month clinical internship to obtain licensure, as well as write a total of 3 exams in their 4th year of study. Candidates must successfully pass Components A and B (Written Cognitive Skills Examination) to be eligible for the Clinical Skills Examination. [ http://cceb.ca/english/exam/index.htm] ] Canadian accrediting standards are higher than the United States, and admission requirements into the Doctorate of Chiropractic Degree program are the strictest in North America. [ [http://72.14.205.104/search?q=cache:T3ZpTWx44MYJ:www.ontla.on.ca/hansard/37_parl/session1/Committees/gengov/g037.htm+jean+moss+meet+and+exceed+standards+chiropractic&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=2&gl=ca 403 Forbidden ] ]

Chiropractic is regulated by provincial statute in all 10 Canadian provinces. Chiropractors along with medical doctors, dentists, psychologists, and optometrists have the legislated right and obligation to communicate a diagnosis and to use the title doctor. Each province has a regulatory college established by legislation in the same manner, and with the same structure and similar regulations, as the regulatory bodies for other health care professions. The regulatory colleges are responsible for protecting the public, standards of practice, disciplinary issues, quality assurance and maintenance of competency. [ [http://www.ccachiro.org/Client/cca/cca.nsf/web/Facts%20%26%20FAQs?OpenDocument Facts & FAQs ] ]

USA

In the United States, chiropractors are trained in accredited schools of chiropractic which are overseen by the Council on Chiropractic Education. To qualify for licensure, graduates must pass 4 examinations from the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and complete State specific requirements; most State boards require at least 2 years of undergraduate education, and an increasing number require a 4-year bachelor’s degree. All licensing boards in the US require the completion of a 4-year program at an accredited college leading to the DC degree. Once licensed, chiropractors are required to attend 12-50 hours of continuing education annually. Chiropractic colleges also offer postdoctoral training in neurology, orthopedics, sports injuries, nutrition, rehabilitation, industrial consulting, radiology, family practice, pediatrics, and applied chiropractic sciences. After such training, chiropractors may take exams leading to "diplomate" status in a given specialty including sports medicine, orthopedics, neurology and radiology.cite web|url=http://www.planetc1.com/chiropractic-articles/Chiropractic_Schools_Labor_Statistics.html|title= Chiropractic: Bureau of Labor Statistics|last=Dorausch, D.C.|first=Michael|publisher=PlanetChiropractic.com|pages=3|accessdate=2008-05-10] Verify credibility|date=September 2008

Graduates of chiropractic schools receive the degree Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), are referred to as "doctor", and are eligible to seek licensure in all jurisdictions. The Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) sets minimum guidelines for chiropractic colleges, but additional requirements may be needed for a license depending on the jurisdiction where a chiropractor chooses to practice. All 19 chiropractic institutions are accredited by the CCE. In 1991, the University of Bridgeport established its College of Chiropractic, becoming the first chiropractic school in the USA to be affiliated with a university.Fact|date=July 2007

Students often enter chiropractic school with a Bachelor's degree, but, in 2005, only one chiropractic college required this as an admission requirement. The minimum prerequisite for enrollment in a chiropractic college set forth by the CCE is 90 semester hours, and the minimum cumulative GPA for a student entering is 2.50. Commonly required classes include: psychology, biology, organic and inorganic chemistry, and physics. Other common medical classes are: anatomy or embryology, physiology, microbiology, diagnosis, neurology, x-ray, orthopedics, obstetrics/gynecology, histology, and pathology. Chiropractic programs require at least 4,200 hours of combined classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience. The last 2 years stress courses in manipulation and spinal adjustment and provide clinical experience in physical and laboratory diagnosis, orthopedics, neurology, geriatrics, physiotherapy, and nutrition.Fact|date=July 2007

See also

* Chiropractic education

References


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