Are Chiropractors Doctors?

There has been a controversy connected to the chiropractor being doctors or not. Many believe them to be a professional doctor, since, they go through a four-year rigorous program and supervised training before tending to patients. While some consider them a physiotherapist or a Massasoit, who take of body pain through manual therapy, this article will discuss whether chiropractors are doctors or not.

Chiropractors do not practice medicine. They deliver treatment based on archaic beliefs in a life force flowing from the brain down the spinal cord. They believe that misalignment’s in the vertebrae impede the flow of that life force, and by doing adjustments, they can restore health. They believe that all medical conditions, from diabetes to cancer, can be treated by adjustments. Chiropractors tackle several musculoskeletal disorders. Many chiropractors consider themselves physicians, so a question we’re asked quite often is, “Are chiropractors, real doctors?”

In essence, legally, “No.” They are not entitled to use this term because only those who have received a Ph.D. have. However, if you apply this rule, you are in the same category as dentists, psychologists, medical GPs, traditional Chinese medicine practitioners, or any medical practitioner who has not studied a Ph.D. Chiropractors are university qualified health practitioners who take a four years graduate program. Divided by year, a chiropractic graduate program usually involves:
  • First-year: Courses in general anatomy, chiropractic principles, biochemistry, and spinal anatomy.
  • Second-year: Courses in chiropractic procedures, pathology, clinical orthopedics, imaging interpretation, and research methods.
  • Third-year: Courses in clinical internships, integrated chiropractic, pediatrics, dermatology, practice management, ethics, and jurisprudence.
  • Fourth-year: A clinical internship, in which a student studies under a chiropractor and completes rotations in a hospital or veterans’ clinic.


After completing the educational and training requirements, an aspiring chiropractor in the United States will sit for their state licensing board. Once they have obtained license and certification from the board, they will become a doctor of chiropractic. Chiropractors often receive additional training and certification in a wide variety of specialties, including nutrition, sports medicine, acupuncture, and rehabilitation.
The bottom line of the nomenclature is that there are lots of doctors of different types, medical and other. There are more subcategories of doctors within the field of medicine, not all of whom treat human beings! Then there are half-dozen other varieties of degrees and vocations of many doctors who do treat people, as opposed to animals.
Chiropractic medicine is one of the few that can be considered as holistic, if not the only medical specialty. In other words, chiropractors are handling the “whole” person with a particular focus on conditions rather than symptoms. Just as you are properly called a surgeon, an optometrist, an osteopath, and a veterinarian, so is every certified chiropractor.

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