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What steps does one have to take to become a Chiropractor?

I'm currently in high school and I am interested in the career of a Chiropractor. I'm aware that one must have a Bachelor's Degree before applying for Chiropractor school? What majors and classes do you recommend someone apply for if they are interested in becoming a D.C. ?

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Gabriel’s Answer

Hi Darren,

Thanks for the question. I'm happy to offer some insight.

First, you may be surprised to know that you don't necessarily need a bachelor's degree in many cases to apply for a Chiropractor program. Now, that doesn't mean you can go straight from high school to Chiropractic school however and admissions requirements may vary depending on the school.

For example's sake, I looked Palmer College of Chiropractic. This school is essentially considered THE school for Chiropractors. In reviewing their admissions requirements there are a few things you'll notice:

As mentioned above, you will see that a bachelor's degree is not required; however, they do give you a list of at least SOME courses you will need to take (and virtually all of these can be completed at a community college) such anatomy & physiology, chemistry:

Interestingly enough, they have an agreement with Scott County Community College in Davenport, Iowa whereby you can go from high school graduate to earning a Doctor of Chiropractor in 5.5 years. That's pretty great when you consider that an undergraduate degree takes 4-6 years to earn on average for first year students. More on that here: https://www.palmer.edu/admissions/save-time-and-tuition/

A few important things to know:

I am using Palmer only as an example. There are many other schools offering this degree. Having said that, you absolutely MUST attend a school that is accredited (meaning assessed and evaluated) by the American Chiropractic Association:

From this list, you will find all of the potential schools you can apply to. Go on their website and check out their admissions requirements. Don't be afraid to call or email their admissions department to ask questions.

One last thing, and this is something I almost always recommend: Think deeply about WHY you want to be a Chiropractor. What things interest you the most? Do those things apply to other career fields? It's important you ask these questions to really identify where your main interests are. I'm not trying to talk you out of becoming a chiropractor. I'm just recommending this exercise to help you find the best fit for you.

Lastly, and on the "best fit" note, I want you to think carefully about the school you choose whether it's for Chiropractic or something else. Remember that is not always about rankings and prestige. You'll need to find a school that's the best fit for you. I see that you live in San Francisco. Perhaps you love big cities. Well, finding an otherwise "good" school that's located in a rural area may not be the best for you. Think about the campus life. I used to work at the University of Illinois at Chicago. Chicago is a big city, but campus life was basically dead.

I know this is a lot information, but I hope it provides a good foundation for you to think about what's next after high school. None of it is "easy" because there is so much to consider - What? Where? Why? How much? What's next?

Take care and good luck!

Gabriel recommends the following next steps:

Visit the American Chiropractic Association to find legitimate programs: https://www.acatoday.org/About/Related-Organizations/Chiropractic-Colleges
Review the admissions requirements and connect with admissions counselors to ask questions.
Ask yourself: Is Chiropractic REALLY what I want to do or are there aspects of it that I really, but are related to a different career?

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