Comparing Education

I’ve addressed this topic in the past using other peoples research.  For this post I was able to sit down and discuss education with a DPT a DO and some MDs.  With that and a little bit of research of 8-10 school course catalogs I’ve come up with the following comparison chart.  Please leave your comments and corrections if you have any.  It was difficult to compare the schools because the clinical education is so varied and can’t truly be put into a catalog.  I have taken the liberty of approximating the hours because some schools even of the same type varied so much.  This table is just to give you an idea of how the education compares between these particular health professions.   I threw in the Bachelors of Science degree just for comparison.  In most cases the BS is required prior to these doctoral degrees.

Clock Hours

Each degree has its different focus.  Even without the obvious clinical courses here are some example courses and their approximate semester credits by degree, to show the different emphasis.Course Comparison

I was at first shocked that the Doctor of Physical Therapy program was about the same as a BS because speaking with the students they said that they spent much more time than in undergraduate studying, but then I realized that it is only a 3 year program.  While they do cram a lot into their program it is still significantly less than all of the other Doctoral programs, and that is reflected in their scope of practice.

I gathered much of my information for the DPT from the University of North Florida website and discussions with their admissions dept.  Much of the DO data was from A.T. Still University’s curriculum here.  DC info was f rom Palmer and UWS.  MD Info was the most difficult to locate as many of their programs cannot easily compare line by line or even school by school.  I tried to rely on interview information with MDs as well as admissions staff.  One site I did use was for the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.  This information was gathered in 2012.  Since that time DC programs have added over 500 clock hours and DPT programs have removed more than 250 clock hours.

4 thoughts on “Comparing Education

    1. cmnacnud

      That’s correct. MD’s spend more time in rotations and rounds and other such clinical hours, and DCs have more time in the class. It’s a difference based on the need of each profession.

  1. Olympia Chiropractor

    Cool article. I think a lot of DC students underestimate the wide variety of things their education qualifies them to do outside of practice for example teach anatomy at the college level, or work in a public health department.

  2. S.T.

    This always makes me smile to remember those long days in the anatomy lab, but all those courses truly prepared me for the academic portions of our board exams and knowledge for patient treatment. The additional hours not mentioned here are the many, many hours that chiropractic students spend nights and weekends learning the philosophy and art of chiropractic in addition to the clinical education and science!


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