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Comparisons of Overall Curriculum Structure


for ChiropracticSchools and MedicalSchools

Chiropractic Schools



Medical Schools
Mean / Percentage

Basic Science Hours
Clinical Science Hours
Total Contact Hours


1416 / 29%
3406 / 71%
4822 / 100%

1200 / 26%
3467 / 74%
4667 / 100%

Subdivision of Clinical Science Hours

Chiropractic Science Hours
Clerkship Hours

1975 / 41%
1431 / 30%

0 / 0
3467 / 74%


3406 / 71%

3467 / 74%

Adapted from Coulter I, Adams A, et al. 1998. *
"The Chiropractic Profession".  By: David Chapman-Smith. 2000
Foundation for Chiropractic Education and Research, Corporate Health Policies Group, 1991; 75-99.


·        All aspects of education must meet official accreditation standards and a graduate must also complete state and national licensing board examinations before gaining the right to practice. The accrediting agency for the chiropractic profession is the Council on Chiropractic Education, which has been recognized by the U.S. Office of Education since 1974.

·        Independent government and medical studies in the U.S., Sweden and New Zealand have concluded that chiropractic education is the equivalent of medical education in all the basic sciences (Dvorak J. Manual Medicine 1983; 3-9/Curtis P, Bove G. Journal of Family Practice, 1992; 35(5): 551-5/Commission on Alternative Medicine, Social Departmente, Stockholm, English Summary, 1987: 12-13-16/ Hasselberg PD, Report of Commission of Inquiry, Wellington New Zealand, 1979; 130-1, 198). 

·        Dr. Peter Curtis, M.D., from the Department of Family Practice and University of North Carolina states that doctors of chiropractic are highly qualified to diagnose disease and refer patients when the treatment is outside their scope of practice (Curtis, Bove; Journal of Family Practice, 1992; 35(5): 551-5).



During formal chiropractic education, extensive emphasis is placed on thorough physical examination and differential diagnosis as well as the function of the musculoskeletal system and the resultant effects on the nervous system and health.