How to Become a Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician

Certified Chiropractic Sports Physicians, or CCSPs, are chiropractors that specialize in sports medicine. Sports chiropractors help athletes heal and perform at their maximum potential. They may be the resident chiropractor for sports teams, rehabilitation or physical therapy centers. To become a sports chiropractor one must complete a 2 year post-graduate residency in Sports Medicine.

Steps

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    Complete at least 90 units of undergraduate coursework. The majority of Doctor of Chiropractic Programs require some amount of prerequisites in biology, physics and chemistry. [1]
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    Apply to Chiropractic colleges in your area. To find an accredited school near you, visit the ACA website
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    Complete the program of your choosing. Most chiropractic programs last anywhere from 4-6 years
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    Complete a 4 part board exam. The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) administers tests twice a year.
    • Part I: Written exam on six basic science concepts
    • Part II: Written exam on six clinical science areas
    • Part III: Written exam on nine areas of clinical competency
    • Part IV: A practical exam where the student will need to address issues that are common in chiropractic practice
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    Apply for a residency in Sports Medicine. Residency programs are optional for Doctors of Chiropractic. However, they are often necessary to specialize in any one area. Some colleges, such as SCUHS also already offer in-house residency programs in Sports Medicine.
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    Complete CCSP coursework. Students must complete at least 100 hours of a 120 hour postgraduate CCSP program in Sports Injuries and Physical Fitness to sit for exams.
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    Study for the exam. The exam is approximately 225 questions long in multiple choice format and is offered twice a year.
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    Take the boards and await results. Boards must be taken within 3 years of finishing coursework. Passing grades are based on a psychometric standard deviation. The first try costs $350, students who are not successful can retake the exam at a reduced rate of $300.

Tips

  • You are not required to complete your bachelors degree before applying to chiropractic school, however most students will choose to apply after attaining a 4-year degree.
  • Many chiropractic colleges also offer courses in CAM, complementary and alternative medicine. Many chiropractors combine different disciples to offer a unique chiropractic experience
  • In the past decade, more than 30% of professional sports teams had a resident chiropractor on hand[2]
  • Many schools offer complimentary tutoring and career services. Take advantage of these and any mentorship programs that come your way
  • In Canada, CCSPs are called Chiropractic Sports Specialists [3]
  • For the particularly ambitious, there is a Diplomat of the American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians (DABCSP) distinction. This is a three year post-graduate program that requires an additional 200 hours of classroom study,
  • If your undergraduate GPA isn't high enough to enter Chiropractic school, inquire about alternative entry programs. These alternative admission track plans act as "second chance" programs for students who don't meet the standard education requirements [4]
  • The average sports chiropractor makes more than $35,000 than chiropractors without the CCSP distinction [5]

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Categories: Personal Fitness | Individual Sports