How to Become a Chiropractor in Canada:8 Best Steps

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The idea that one’s health could actually be improved by the manipulation of the spine (spinal adjustment), muscles and joints that caused disorders, thereby affecting the general health of a patient was earlier proposed by Chiropractors.  

The treatment technique used mainly involves musculoskeletal diagnosis, assessments and treatment, manual therapy, adjustment of the muscles, joints, and soft tissues, and sometimes may also include exercise and health and lifestyle counseling. 

A chiropractor is certified, with a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree and given the legislative standing to bear the title of “doctor” even if he/she is not a Doctor of Medicine (M.D.). 

There are many arguments as to whether chiropractors should be termed as health care professionals or doctors, even with their certification, as it is seen as chiropractic clinical training does not meet the requirements for that designation. 

Chiropractic is famous in the United States, Canada, and Australia. It intersects with other professions that involve manual therapy such as osteopathy and physical therapy.  

Chiropractic is a practice that involves the treatment of people with nervous and musculoskeletal issues. 

They are licensed, medical specialists. They are mostly for cases of low back pain. 

This is considered the specialty of the chiropractor, including back and neck pains. Although many chiropractors treat ailments other than musculoskeletal. 

They improve the workings of the nervous system and take care of the cause of nerve damage or interference. 

This however promotes how the body functions in a proper way. They diagnose, treat and offer preventive measures for this dysfunction.

Chiropractic was founded in the 1890s by D. D. Palmer. He had claimed to receive its inspiration from “the other world”. 

He said it had been passed along to him by a doctor who died fifty years prior, and he had maintained the tenets of the practice. 

In the early 20th century B. J. Palmer, his son helped to expand chiropractic. 

It had been said to be quite controversial as its origins seemed vague and the treatment was not the medical stream of practice. 

There was the use of evidence-based medicine, which was held up and sustained by pseudoscientific ideas such as vertebral subluxation and innate Intelligence. 

It gained more legitimacy and greater acceptance among conventional physicians and health plans in the USA, in the last decade of the twentieth century.

In Canada, though the labor force chiropractic is small, The Federation of Canadian Chiropractic (FCC) is the national organization that governs the practice.

The profession has made tremendous progress in Canada and has a positive outlook for chiropractic. 

It had been projected by the Canadian Occupational Projections System, that there will be a labor shortage for chiropractors just until 2028. 

More jobs for chiropractors are expected to open up, over the next few years. This is a result of Canada’s increased public awareness of health issues and the aging population. 

Even as more chiropractors retire, there will be more job opportunities. Many more persons these days are looking for ways how to become a chiropractor in Canada. 

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I’ve compiled a guide to go about becoming one.

The Steps on How to Become a Chiropractor in Canada

There are some thoughts that say you don’t need an academic qualification to become a chiropractor, but in Canada, this is a required bit. 

In Canada, there are various qualifications and certifications, both academic and practical that is needed to become a professional chiropractor. 

EARN A BACHELOR’S DEGREE:

The first step to becoming a Chiropractor in Canada is to actually get a degree. 

This is essential as schools would require you have a degree to pursue your dream profession. 

It is advisable to get a degree that is related to exercise science or kinesiology. 

You should have a solid scientific foundation that will help you become a successful chiropractor. 

Most schools require a minimum of 3.0 GPA, though admission requirements may differ depending on the institution. 

So it is important you have good grades to get into your degree program. A bachelor’s degree program should take three to four years.

EARN A DC DEGREE:

You can’t think of becoming a chiropractor if you’ve not earned a DC— Doctorate of Chiropractic degree. 

It is very well recognized in Canada. It’s an accredited 4-year program in some institutions in Canada.

As a student, you can still get a license, provided you can prove that their program meets Canada’s licensing standards, having graduated from an unaccredited chiropractic program.

In the first two years of a chiropractic program, anatomy, microbiology, physiology, biochemistry and public health are the main courses of the curriculum. 

The next two years, more time is given to lab work and experiments.

The bases of these courses include clinical supervision, teaching manipulation and adjustment techniques, spike assessments, and musculoskeletal therapy.

FINISH CHIROPRACTIC PROGRAM:

To complete the program, 4200 hours will be used to focus especially on physiology, anatomy, biomechanics, and chiropractic manual therapy. 

It is important to finish this very extensive and in-depth chiropractic program and must have spent over 1000 of the 4200 hours on an internship in clinical settings, giving diagnoses, treatment and referral protocols under the direct guidance of qualified professionals.

BOARD ASSIGNMENTS:

It’s not nearly over for the Chiropractor to go about his practice yet, as this is just as important as had been noted. 

There are a set of standardized board exams that must be taken to test knowledge in science, diagnosis, and treatment. It is a practical and written exam.

This is a part of the internship and lasts for twelve months It is also required to pass the Canadian National examination for Chiropractic licensure. 

The Canadian Chiropractic Examining Board (CCEB) conducts this exam. 

The examination consists of three parts:

  • Chiropractic Knowledge

  • Clinical Decisions

  • Demonstration of skills

Those who successfully pass, are issued a certificate of registration. 

It may differ from each province, as they may have their own separate licensing requirements. 

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Just ensure to contact the licensing board for your province of practice.

REGISTRATION:

Registering with an appropriate governing provincial body, that regulates chiropractic is important. It is regulated in these provinces or Canadian territories:

Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, New Brunswick, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Yukon.

Some provinces request a letter of reference, criminal background checks, and an interview.

Ethics and legislation examinations are also required. Make sure you have received the requirements of the province where you plan to practice, before applying for a license.

CONTINUING EDUCATION COURSES:

There’s always new information in every field and more to learn, even as the age progresses. 

That is why it is important to maintain active standing with courses that will keep you up to date with the latest research and treatments. 

That’s why some provinces recommend Chiropractors to enroll in postgraduate studies and continuing education courses to renew their licenses.

Take time to follow policies that help Chiropractors work and learn new methods. 

There are continuing education courses on acupuncture, car accidents, recovery, and nutrition.

RESIDENCY:

Residents of Chiropractic care benefit from postgraduate clinical experience through a residency program, in a healthcare setting. 

This program is completed at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto. 

Chiropractors and specialist doctors work hand in hand in residency and gain the know-how practicing in hospitals.

BECOME A SPECIALIST:

You can become a specialist by enrolling for various specialties, that can help you gain more knowledge, such as physical fitness, pediatrics, clinical nutrition, and sports medicine. 

These are programs that have a running span of about two years. Your province will need to be reached to know the guidelines and timeline for the program. Do well to check in with them.

This specialization program brings the chiropractor to an advanced level. There are about five postgraduate specialty colleges in Canada. 

They focus mostly on orthopedics, rehabilitation, clinical sciences and radiology.

The average salary Chiropractor based in Canada is $87,750 per year, which is $45 per hour. 

The newly certified chiropractors earn at $75,000 in a year, while most experienced workers make up to $102,375 per year.

How To Become A Chiropractor In Canada As A Foreigner

For Chiropractors who have been trained outside of Canada, here’s how to become a chiropractor in Canada.

There are relevant provincial and assessment procedures you must first be aware of, even before moving to Canada.

To improve your chances, you must be aware of the stakes and requirements so as not to be disappointed when you arrive. 

Here’s a step-by-step guide, on how to become a chiropractor in Canada as a foreigner, to help you save effort, time, and money.

  • Canada has a webinar to learn about the labor market and job trends. Job search techniques are shown are explored in teaching. Attend such meetings to understand better.

  • Reach out to the chiropractic regulatory body in the province where you will be based in Canada and find out what procedures to follow, how to go about the licensing process before and after you move to Canada, what documents you need to come along with you to Canada and verify if you will need to have them translated.
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Also, ask about the timeline and estimated costs required to obtain a license.

  • Take an online self-assessment test on the Canadian Language Benchmarks website, to test your language skills. If your language skills need work, enroll in a language class while you’re in your home country. This is needed as you will be tested to prove your English or French (depending on your destination province) language competency. Continue them even after you moved to Canada.

  • Organize all important documents that contain work, education, and identity, while still in your home country. It will be harder if you get to Canada and try to sort them out.

  • Get an understanding of how chiropractic in Canada is practiced, and get to know the laws and legislation that govern your profession in the province where you will settle.

  • The name of your job may be called differently in your home country, so know the name of your job in Canada. You can also sort of employers in that field.

  • Also, learn all about how to find a job in Canada

  • Understanding Chiropractic Job Requirement. It is important to do your research on your profession before your big move to Canada. Chiropractors in Canada is a regulated profession, and they must be registered members of a provincial College of Chiropractors in the province where they intend on settling. Foreign-trained chiropractors must familiarise themselves with accreditation policies and requirements set by the FCC.

  • Researching Job Requirements.

You can start by reviewing the National Occupational Classification (NOC) for chiropractors, NOC 31201. 

It contains an overview of the job requirements, example titles and main duties. 

You should have an awareness of what Canadian employers seek. 

Once you’ve settled all that’s needed for migration and finally move to Canada, you may want to upgrade your chiropractic education. 

There are two programs that offer Chiropractic education in Canada, that have been accredited by the FCC as at writing this article.

  • Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) in Toronto (English).

  • Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) in Trois-Rivières (French).

As an immigrant, finding a Chiropractic job may not be the same as if you were in your home country, so you may want to update your resume, as the Canadian job market is very competitive. 

You may have to draw up new cover letters, for interviews. 

There are immigrant settlement agencies that offer job services to job-seeking foreigners in Canada. 

You can seek out a mentor in the chiropractic field and get insight on how to go about getting a network of professional chiropractors. 

Network clubs are also available for immigrant serving agencies and they help with job finding too.

Also, you can inquire about hospitals and health institutions by checking their websites for vacancies. 

It is also best to search for jobs in the province where you intend to register as a chiropractor.

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