By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
Many inquiries regarding chiropractic practice and attending chiropractic school are hitting my e-mail inbox daily. My apologies for not always getting to all of the frequently asked questions about practicing chiropractic. As I have mentioned before, I’ll post some questions received, along with chiropractic employment resource summaries, in hopes of helping you find the information you seek. I received a question recently regarding chiropractic degrees and a question regarding practicing after having a manslaughter charge. I think it’s a great question, and I am seeking to get some answers myself, as you never know who might be in a similar situation.
Here is the question: I have a friend that is looking into becoming a chiropractor. His main concerns are of the following. If you don’t mind answering, I would greatly appreciate the help. Do you need a doctrine degree? Can you practice your license with a intoxication manslaughter on your record?
Excellent questions. Depending on the chiropractic school one is planning to attend, having a before entering chiropractic college will vary. Not sure if that’s what you wanted to know but I understand that some chiropractic schools require a bachelors of science degree (four year bachelors degree) before being able to begin a postgraduate chiropractic program.
Other schools don’t require the bachelors of science degree but they require nearly the same amount of college course hours in the basic sciences (or they may require the same amount of hours that it took to get a bachelors of science degree).
Some chiropractic schools offer the ability to receive a bachelors of science degree while studying for the postgraduate Doctor of Chiropractic program, that’s an option available at select chiropractic colleges and universities across the United States. If you’re looking to go that route, I would check with each school individually, to find out what degrees they have to offer.
If your question on a doctrine degree is referring to the Doctor of Chiropractic title, then yes, in the United States all practicing chiropractors must have graduated from a national boards recognized chiropractic school. If the student went to school outside of the United States (I hear it’s far more difficult to practice in the United States as a result) they will have to pass a minimum of one national board examination and may have to take as many as three written chiropractic examinations and one clinical/practical oral examination.
Details vary from state to state but I believe most states in the US are going to be rather strict about letting chiropractors begin practice without proper chiropractic national exam transcripts and the passing of state board and or ethics examinations.
When it comes to vehicle manslaughter or drunk driving situations that resulted in death, loss of drivers license, imprisonment, or all of the aforementioned, there may be greater concerns than graduating with a chiropractic degree.
The first hurdle to get over may be simply getting into chiropractic college. While someone may have the credits available, if there’s going to be an application for student loan funding, and that funding is denied due to a state or federal manslaughter charge, getting the money to pay for ones chiropractic education could become rather difficult.
There’s also the issue of federal fingerprinting before becoming licensed to practice anywhere in the United States. A person may have graduated chiropractic school, receive their bachelors degree, have a doctor of chiropractic graduate diploma, and still get tripped up by the federal government during the fingerprinting and crimes history process.
I can’t say for sure that someone could or could not get into chiropractic school with a DUI Manslaughter on their record. I just personally think that the fingerprinting process for a particular state (mandated by the federal government) could be far more difficult. On the state level, the individual may want to consider practicing in a state that is lenient on such restrictions.
Some states are extremely tight on allowing new chiropractors to become licensed, and other states are fairly easy to get licensed in by comparison. I have no idea why (maybe too many chiropractors), just what I’ve heard from chiropractors across the USA.
If your friend is serious and really wants to be a chiropractor, I would check three things: 1) Ability to receive financial aid with a manslaughter on record; 2) ability to get into chiropractic school with that same record; 3) ability to pass a federal fingerprinting profile for eligibility to be able to practice chiropractic in a particular state.
I can’t give specific yes or no answers but if it were my situation I would pursue it and see what options I had. You never know, it’s likely a situation somebody has experienced before. If I get additional information, I’ll update this post and make a note of it.
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