Once I Obtain My Chiropractic License, How Do I Maintain It?

Chiropractic research is gaining steam, and doctors are amassing a growing body of evidence proving the success of spinal manipulation therapies.Palmer College of Chiropractic

As new chiropractic technologies and methods are developed and fine-tuned, it’s more important than ever for chiropractors to stay on top of these latest developments. That’s why many states require doctors of chiropractic to continue learning about the field if they want to continue practicing.

To renew your chiropractic license, most state licensing boards demand a certain number of hours of continuing education. But for chiropractors, continuing education is more than just a licensing hoop to jump through.

Chiropractors have “an almost intuitive recognition of the importance of continuing education,” said chiropractic researcher Jennifer E. Bolton. Nearly 86 percent express satisfaction from their ongoing training, although there is some debate about which types of learning programs actually translate into changes in practice (and a subsequent improvement in health care).

Continuing Education for Chiropractors

There are a few things to keep in mind when preparing to renew your chiropractic license:

Required hours. Each state has its own continuing education (CE) requirements, ranging from as few as 12 hours a year to as many as 150 hours every three years. Iowa chiropractors need 60 hours every two years. Florida requires 27 hours every two years. Californians must attend 24 hours a year.

Online learning: To maintain their licenses, some chiropractors attend workshops while others take accredited online classes to learn about the newest developments in chiropractic care. Nearly half of chiropractors say they prefer online learning over face-to-face workshops. Fortunately, more than 80 percent of state boards accept online or distance learning programs for at least some of the required CE hours.

Course content: Some states require chiropractors to learn about specific subjects, from patient management and anatomy to risk management and record keeping. Check with your state’s chiropractic board to determine what subjects you need to study. In addition to the required classes, many chiropractors choose to enhance their practice by exploring naturopathy, massage or alternative medicine.

Passive vs. active learning. Mounting evidence has shown that CE doesn’t necessarily propel chiropractors to change their practice. This has caused a “revolutionary shift … in which passive learning models are replaced by active and experiential learning models,” Bolton said. Overall, chiropractors find clinical updates and practical workshops most effective at improving their clinical practice.

Where to Find Continuing Education

There are many different types of accredited CE classes for chiropractors. Those who want to continue learning from leaders in the chiropractic profession can opt for one of Palmer’s continuing education programs, which include both hands-on, face-to-face workshops and online learning opportunities to meet the diverse learning needs of today’s chiropractors. We offer programs such as:

License Renewal Series. Spend a weekend on our campus in Davenport, Iowa or Port Orange, Fla., and complete 12 CE hours in a live-learning environment. Course content ranges from sports chiropractic to nutrition to integrated patient care.

PalmerOnline. Complete high-quality coursework wherever you are with online courses on subjects ranging from biomechanics and diagnostic imaging to laboratory analysis and neurological assessment.

Continuing education is a licensing necessity for chiropractors in most states—but it doesn’t have to be a chore. By choosing your CE opportunities wisely, you can enrich your practice while expanding your knowledge of the chiropractic field.

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