Seekonk Massachusetts Family Chiropractic Practice

Doctor or Chiropractor?

Chiropractic Care

What’s the difference between a Chiropractor and a Medical Doctor?

As you might imagine, to be a Chiropractor it requires specialized training. Doctors of Chiropractic (DC) must take a four year, doctoral graduate school program including a curriculum with a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical internship. This further includes an average DC program equivalent in class hours for allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools.

The vast majority of states and the Medicare program classifies properly trained chiropractors as physician-level providers. DC services are included in federal health delivery systems like Medicaid, the US Department of Veterans Affairs and the Defense, Federal Employees Health Benefit Program as well as Federal Workers Compensation Programs and all state workers comp programs as well.


chiropractor-screen-seekonk-massTypically, a chiropractic college looks for nearly four years of pre-med. Undergrad. College education including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and the appropriate lab work associated with these fields.

Not unlike medical doctors, chiropractic students undergo thorough and demanding education in “healing sciences”. This means training in anatomy, physiology, rehabilitation, PHD level nutrition training, and public health. In these last few areas the requirements are more intensive then their medical doctor counterparts.

Some chiropractic colleges offer classes in genetics and Ethics in addition to the above requirements. There are even specialized chiropractic sub-practices. For example, under some doctoral degree programs, students may treat members of underserved communities or apply for courses that would help future DC’s to pass the diplomate exam of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians.

Specialized Chiropractic Training

Most programs that a student may apply for will offer specialized tracks for specific kinds of care.

Just as other medical professionals in training, students of chiropractic spend a significant amount of time in actual clinical situations evaluating and caring for real patients. Usually they must complete a minimum one-year clinical-based program in patient care. In total it all adds up to 4,200 hours (or more) of classroom, laboratory and hands-on clinical experience.

Chiropractors are doctors similar to health care professions like optometry, podiatry, dentistry and psychology. Chiropractors usually have the academic degree of “Doctor of Chiropractic”, which is awarded after an average of 8 years of university training.  The scope of what medical treatment and procedures chiropractors are allowed to perform varies by state.”


The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) governs the licensing and certification of chiropractic professionals. Just like other health care professionals we must pass a board exam, and then obtain a license to practice in whatever state we choose to practice. We must also meet yearly continuing education requirements to keep licenses current and valid.

For over 25 years this curriculum has been approved by an accredited agency, recognized by the US department of Education.

All of this not only prepares DC’s with the knowledge and training to be effective professional health aides, but also empowers them to make appropriate and professional references to other health professionals in other fields of practice.


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Merolla Chiropractic

Serving Seekonk Massachusetts and East Providence, Merolla Chiropractic has been helping the community for over 30 years.

May 2024
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