What Education Do Chiropractors Have in Canada?
Truth be told, it’s not any different from one province to another. That’s because once accredited, chiropractors can legally work anywhere within the country. Chiropractors in Calgary, for example, could move to Toronto to a new clinic and continue working. Or they could move to somewhere on the east or west coast. It doesn’t matter.
That’s because a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree is recognized across the country, although practitioners are required to obtain a provincial license with the respective college. In Alberta, that’s the Alberta College and Association of Chiropractors.
What does matter though is the fact that you can rest assured that your chiropractor has undergone extensive training and is adept at treating various musculoskeletal health conditions such as sports injuries, arthritis, and lots more!
Requirements for a Chiropractic Program in Canada
The educational requirements for a Canadian chiropractor to receive federal accreditation are extensive. Practitioners must go through a minimum of 7 years of post-secondary education, with at least 3 to 4 years spent specifically in chiro college. There’s also a required internship after graduation. But that’s the easy part.
Getting into chiropractic college in Canada, students must have extremely high grades as there are only a few schools in the country and space is limited. This healthy competition ensures only the keenest make it.
Putting things into perspective, your chiro is handling your spine, neck and several other parts of your body and there is very little room for error, so it makes perfect sense that they’re exceptionally trained at a chiro school like the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC). This school just so happens to be where Dr. John at Revelation Health Centre went to become a D.C.!
The CMCC’s program is also recognized by regulatory bodies in all Canadian provinces, all U.S. states and numerous other jurisdictions worldwide. Now that’s world-class education!
When chiros choose an undergraduate degree, they often choose to do so in one of these following subjects (although not required):
- Inorganic chemistry
- Organic chemistry
Some schools may require certain foundational subjects or associated lab work. Others may not have any prerequisites for admission. It is important to check this with the program you are applying to specifically. CMCC does not require any specific prerequisite courses. However, it does strongly recommend students consider taking the following subjects:
- Organic chemistry
- Biology with labs
- Introductory psychology
- Physical education
- Some humanities and/or social sciences
At CMCC, there is a minimum GPA requirement of 2.50 on a 4.00 scale. In recent years, the average GPA of admitted students is 3.10. You also must be proficient in English and complete an interview.
What Does a Chiropractic Program Look Like?
Once chiropractors in Calgary have been accepted into the degree program, they’ll begin a minimum of four academic years that will test their abilities.
For the first two, they learn the foundations of knowledge and how they relate to clinical cases. In year three, they progress to diagnostic sciences, laboratory diagnosis pathology and clinical nutrition classes.
Year four includes two six-month internships in teaching clinics (on campus and in communities) under the supervision of clinical faculty. Dr. Battershill at Revelation Health Centre did part of his internship on the emergency unit at a hospital in Ontario. Boy, did he learn a thing or two!
Altogether, the educational curriculum includes 4,200 hours of classroom, laboratory and clinical experience.
Before graduating, chiropractors must be able to assess a patient’s condition, provide appropriate advice and create effective treatment plans. Chiros are also required to refer patients elsewhere if they deem they cannot provide the appropriate treatment necessary to help the patient.
Chiropractors in Calgary take the CCEB (Canadian Chiropractic Examining Board) Examination at the conclusion of their studies. This tests their chiropractic knowledge, clinical decision making and clinical skills evaluation. Then, after passing, individuals can apply for licensure in a Canadian province with their own unique requirements.