Chiropractor Questions Chiropractor

Is a chiropractor a real doctor?

I am a 23 year old male. I want to know if a chiropractor is a real doctor?

25 Answers

Yes. Chiropractors are licensed Nationally, as Doctors of Chiropractic.

Yes, chiropractors are real doctors. They specialized in the spine, just like a dentist's specialty is teeth. The one thing that is different from other medical providers is that with chiropractic, we do not prescribe any medication.
Chiropractor is a real doctor. They adjust spinal misalignment and let the body heal itself. Chiropractor had success rate in many different condition.
Yes, a chiropractor is certainly a real doctor. Upon completion of their education requirements they earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, hence the initial DC following their name. As doctors there are able to diagnose a condition and render treatment to a patient based on that diagnosis.
Doctors of Chiropractic are licensed by each state with strict standards of education and licensing. Chiropractic Colleges and Universities are under the same accrediting agencies that accredit Medical School and Universities. Credits earned at an accredited Chiropractic institution are transferable to Medical institutions.
Yes, a chiropractor is a board-certified doctor that has completed a doctorate-level program. We are considered primary care providers, just as an MD is, and have the ability to make referrals to other specialists, order tests, etc., just like an MD would. The only difference is a chiropractor will not prescribe pharmaceutical medications as a course of treatment. If you want pharmaceuticals, you must consult with a medical doctor.


Dr. Brandon Buttry
Great question. No, they are not real Doctors. However, neither are MDs, Dentists, Veterinarians, Osteopathic, Naturalist Path, Christian Scientist, etc. You see the definition of Doctor is from the Greek and Latin "Teacher of Medicine". Chiropractic, dentists, and Veterinarians fell into line and made themselves doctors which belongs to PhDs in Philosophy of Science. Yes, a Chiropractor with a Ph.D. is truly a Doctor as are the others. I hope this info helped you to see the obvious.
The general public has had the misconception that if you don't have "M.D." attached to your name, you are not a real doctor. There are doctors of many professions and they all are "real doctors" in their realm of expertise, i.e., psychologist, anthropologist and so forth. Chiropractors are specialist in their field and the correct term for them is Doctor of Chiropractic. We are not doctors of medicine and do not perceive to be although we treat a lot of the same conditions but with a different approach. Our field of study is much the same as a medical student with the exception of pharmacology, which we do not study, and chiropractic, which they do not study. A chiropractor also has to pass national board exams and state board exams just like the medics to obtain a license to practice.

Yours in health,

Doc J
Yes Chiropractors are real doctors. Although chiropractors are not medical doctors, we have a doctoral degree. Like many another Doctorate professions (podiatrist, optometrist, dentist) we have an undergraduate degree and a doctoral degree.

Yes, chiropractors are real doctors. One major difference that exists between chiropractors and medical doctors is their treatment of dysfunction/disease in the body. Your nervous system and immune systems have an amazing innate ability to help your body heal itself when properly aligned to do so.


Dr. Duchon
Hello and thank you for inquiring about chiropractic.

The answer to your question: Yes! Chiropractors are REAL doctors! As a chiropractor we approach patients differently than medical doctors. We look to get to the source of the problem and correcting it, rather than prescribing medication which often times covers up the problem. As a chiropractor, I have had over 5 years of chiropractic school after my four years of undergraduate studies. I continued my studies to earn my masters of science degree, and I have additional training in acupuncture.

In the state of Illinois we are primary care physicians which means we can take blood and evaluate the results, and of course treat any abnormalities (ie elevated cholesterol, thyroid dysfunction, elevated high blood pressure, etc). In addition some chiropractors have gone onto additional schooling (such as myself) where we have learned about acupuncture and other means of helping patients with pain—naturally.

I hope this answers your question.
I suppose it depends what you mean as a "real doctor". Yes, we do exist, even if you don't believe in us. Yes, we are doctors. All chiropractors received a Doctor of Chiropractic degree upon graduation. It is a different degree than what a medical doctor has (MD), or an osteopathic doctor (DO), or even a dentist (DMD). One difference for Chiropractic Physicians is we are not able to prescribe medications; we try to help the body repair itself through natural means. I hope this helps to answer your question.
Yes. The doctoral programs in chiropractic schools are graduate schools with 4-5 years of post-baccalaureate study in medical science, with a curriculum almost identical to medical schools. Chiropractic medical schools are accredited through the same governmental agencies as all higher education. The degree granted upon graduation is D.C., or Doctor of Chiropractic.
Yes, if by real you mean a medical doctor, then the answer is no. A chiropractor is a real doctor of chiropractic.
Yes, a chiropractor is a real doctor. Their official title is Doctor of Chiropractic, D.C. Similar to how a Medical Doctor is an M.D. and a Doctor of Dental Surgery is a D.D.S. Doctors of Chiropractic and Medical Doctors actually take all the same classes their first two years of school and the last two years the classes differ as they both get further into their specialty.
Doctors of Chiropractics (DC) spend 8 years in school, with appearances at State and National Boards as well as continuing education requirements on a yearly basis. Chiropractors go to a Chiropractic College for 4,800 hours.
Most chiropractors have an undergraduate degree where they work on the prerequisites to get into chiropractic school and then go to chiropractic school where they earn a Doctor of Chiropractic and that title is recognized by the accrediting institution and institutions of authority like the Department of Education. If that defines a real doctor to you, then you have you answer. If a real doctor is a person who graduated from medical school or a doctor of osteopathic medicine, then you have your answer.
I love that term real doctors!
If you base what a real doctor is by finding and treating the cause of your health problem then Chiropractors are the only real doctors. Chiropractors get to the cause not by treating symptoms.
We need all the healing professions!
Chiropractors and Medical Doctors are different methods of treatment. Medical Doctors are the specialist in treating diseases and broken bones. Chiropractors find the cause and help with prevention of disease in the first place.
Here is our prerequisite and courses as compared with Medical Doctors.
Certification, Licensure and Education

Chiropractic is a regulated health care profession in the United States–and has been for more than 100 years. Before being granted a license to practice, doctors of chiropractic (DCs) must meet stringent educational and competency standards.1

Along with completing pre-professional college education and graduating from an accredited chiropractic college, DCs who wish to attain a license to practice in the U.S. must first pass rigorous national board exams to verify that they have the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively and safely treat patients.1 Individual state chiropractic boards, which approve and manage licensure, have additional requisites that must be met.

National Testing
The national board exam system for the chiropractic profession is managed by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). NBCE develops, administers and scores standardized exams that assess chiropractic college graduates’ knowledge, higher-level cognitive abilities and problem-solving in various basic science and clinical science subjects. NBCE’s exam is divided into four parts: basic sciences (Part I), clinical sciences (Part II), clinical competency (Part III), and practical skills (Part IV).

State Licensure
Each state has its own requirements for chiropractic licenses, based in part on the scope of practice determined by the state for DCs within its borders. In some states, chiropractors may provide a wide variety of treatments; in others, their services are more focused. In addition to meeting established educational requirements and passing national board exams, licensure in a state might include testing to verify a doctor’s knowledge of the state scope of practice, a background check, providing personal references, and proof of malpractice insurance.

Most states have their own chiropractic regulatory board that not only administers licensing for chiropractors but also takes action in cases where consumer complaints are reported. In some states where there is no chiropractic-specific board, this role is administered through a state medical board or a board that represents multiple healthcare professions.

Like their medical colleagues, chiropractors must renew their licenses on a regular basis. As a requirement for renewal, most states mandate that chiropractors take continuing education (CE) courses and earn a specific number of CE credits each year.

The Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB) provides a forum in which state chiropractic licensing board members meet to address common areas of interest and concern with respect to chiropractic regulatory law. Among its activities, FCLB compiles and publishes regulatory board contact information (see list here) and summaries of the requirements to obtain and maintain licensed status in the United States and its territories, Canada, and Australia. FCLB also maintains a database of public actions taken with regard to individual chiropractic licenses, provides certification of chiropractic continuing education courses through its PACE program and provides a certification course for chiropractic assistants.

DCs are educated in nationally accredited, four-year doctoral graduate school programs through a curriculum that includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical internship, with the average DC program equivalent in classroom hours to allopathic (MD) and osteopathic (DO) medical schools.

Chiropractors are designated as physician-level providers in the vast majority of states and the federal Medicare program. The essential services provided by DCs are also available in federal health delivery systems, including those administered by Medicaid, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the U.S. Department of Defense, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Federal Workers’ Compensation, and all state workers’ compensation programs.

The typical applicant at a chiropractic college has already acquired nearly a pre-medical undergraduate college education, including courses in biology, inorganic and organic chemistry, physics, psychology and related lab work. Once accepted into an accredited chiropractic college, the requirements become even more demanding — four to five academic years of professional study are the standard. Because of the hands-on nature of chiropractic, and the intricate adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical training.

In some areas, such as anatomy, physiology, rehabilitation, nutrition and public health, they receive more intensive education than their MD counterparts. Like other primary health care doctors, chiropractic students spend a significant portion of their curriculum studying clinical subjects related to evaluating and caring for patients. Typically, as part of their professional training, they must complete a minimum of a one-year clinical-based program dealing with actual patient care.

This extensive education prepares doctors of chiropractic to diagnose health care conditions, treat those that are within their scope of practice and refer patients to other healthcare practitioners when appropriate.

This course of study is approved by an accrediting agency, the Council on Chiropractic Education, that is recognized by the U.S. Department of Education.


Practice Analysis of Chiropractic 2015, National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, Accessed 2019.
I hope this was helpful to you. Yes we are real doctors.

Chiropractors go to chiropractic school for 4 years after completing college. They have to pass 4 sets of national board exams to get licensed to practice. They get a DC or (Doctorate of Chiropractic) after their name. A dentist is a DMD (Doctor of Dental Medicine). a Podiatrist is DPM (Dr. of Podiatric Medicine). They are all real doctors, but they are not MD's (Medical Doctors).

Dr. Jonathan Donath, DC, MS
Yes. Chiropractors are doctors.
Yes, we receive our doctorate. We heal by using hands only and allowing the body to heal from within instead of the use of drugs or medication.
Hello! Yes we are! Doctors of chiropractic—who are licensed to practice in all 50 states, the District of Columbia, and in many nations around the world—undergo a rigorous education in the healing sciences, similar to that of medical doctors. Because of the hands-on nature of chiropractic, and the intricate adjusting techniques, a significant portion of time is spent in clinical training. The course of study is approved by an accrediting agency which is fully recognized by the U.S. Department of Education. Before they are allowed to practice, doctors of chiropractic must also pass national board examinations and become state-licensed.
Yes, their training is as long and in some cases longer than your M.D
Chiropractors are real doctors of natural healing. They help the body to function better. That's why athletes love chiropractic. They are not medical doctors who often prescribe medications to suppress symptoms and often don't address the cause of your symptoms.
Yes, Chiropractors are primary care physicians, licensed to diagnose and treat/refer all diseases and conditions. Chiropractors mainly treat conditions of the spine and extremities, but they are trained to diagnose all disease and refer to the appropriate doctor.