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How to Become a Chiropractor in New Jersey
Chiropractors, also known as doctors of chiropractic, diagnose patients with musculoskeletal problems and treat them and their effects on the patient's nervous system. Chiropractic medicine utilizes a natural and drugless approach, by manipulating and making adjustments to the spinal column. Chiropractors may also include therapy (such as heat, massage, ultrasound or acupuncture) and/or supports (such as braces or shoe inserts) to aid in the spinal adjustments. Chiropractors must complete a rigorous educational program, pass extensive examinations and be licensed in the state of New Jersey before they are able to practice there.
Complete the required undergraduate coursework. Chiropractic programs require candidates to complete least 90 semester hours of undergraduate work before admission. The subjects in this coursework include: social sciences, English, chemistry, psychology, biology and physics.
Select a Chiropractic program accredited by the Council of Chiropractic Education. As of 2010, there are 15 Doctor of Chiropractic Programs (located in 18 locations throughout the United States), with none located in the state of New Jersey. A complete listing of programs are available on the CCE website.
Successfully complete the Chiropractic program you've chosen. Chiropractic programs require a minimum of 4,200 hours (classroom, laboratory and clinical practice). The first two years of the program focus on classroom and laboratory work in physiology, anatomy, microbiology, public health, pathology and biochemistry. The second two years focus on clinical experience. This will include spinal manipulation and adjustments, as well as diagnosis, orthopedics, geriatrics, neurology, nutrition and physiotherapy. At the end of the program, the candidate will be awarded the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic (DC).
Take and pass the four-part National Board of Chiropractic Examiners examination. The state of New Jersey recognizes the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners' four-part examination as their state examination. The examination is offered in May and November each year, and covers three main areas (X-ray interpretation and diagnosis, chiropractic technique and case management). Further information about the examination (examination brochure, examination topic details and application information) is available at the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners website.
Complete and submit your New Jersey state chiropractic license application. The application is available online from New Jersey's State Board of Chiropractic Examiners website. You will be asked to submit your completed application, application fee and all supporting documentation (see Page 2 of the application). Upon approval, you will be licensed to practice in the State of New Jersey.
Your state license must be renewed biennially.
Marie W received her Bachelor of Science in management and a Master of Business Administration from The University of Maryland, and a master's certificate in project management from Stevens Institute of Technology. The majority of her career has been spent as an IT project manager. She has enjoyed sharing her experiences helping others through freelance writing and her websites for the past 10 years.