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A chiropractic board is a professional organization that regulates chiropractors, health care providers who perform musculoskeletal adjustments for their patients. The board usually has a multipart mission that includes maintaining basic professional standards, educating members of the public about chiropractic medicine, and providing information to people interested in careers in this field. Many nations have a national chiropractic board, and there may also be regional organizations by state or province, depending on how the profession is organized.
The law usually requires chiropractors to hold a license. This ensures that everyone offering chiropractic services meets some basic standards of training and competence. It is possible for patients to experience injuries and other problems if they work with a care provider who does not have the appropriate skills, and the government wants to protect members of the public. Having standards also allows the government to set boundaries about the scope of care chiropractors provide; they do not, for example, perform surgery, unless they are separately qualified as surgeons.
People who want to become chiropractors start by going to a training school and then pursue certification with the chiropractic board. The board may evaluate and accredit schools as well as test practicing chiropractors. It sets standards for coursework and audits schools to make sure they provide students with adequate training and professional preparation. Graduates will need to take written and oral exams to demonstrate their competency, and may need to pass a background check as well.
The chiropractic board usually requires practicing chiropractors to maintain their certifications by periodically retesting. It can also have continuing education requirements, expecting people to take classes, attend workshops, or engage in other activities to further their professional development. This ensures that people keep up with advances in the field, in addition to developing more skills they can use to serve their clients. Many chiropractors belong to professional organizations so they can take advantage of conferences, trade publications, and networking opportunities.
The membership of the chiropractic board is typically mixed. It can include chiropractic practitioners, doctors, nurses, attorneys, and members of the lay public, depending on how the organization is run. Members of the board, in addition to working on regulation within the industry, also collaborate with legislators on proposed laws pertaining to the chiropractic profession. Some chiropractic boards also regulate massage therapy, administering separate exams to massage therapy practitioners to make sure they are properly trained for their work.