The simple answer to this question is yes. Felons are legally allowed to gain all of the qualifications that it would take to become a chiropractor. However, it is not an easy path for a non-felon and your felony will cause certain issues along the way.
What is a chiropractor?
A chiropractor is a medical specialist who works mainly with joint pain. A more elaborate description of the work a chiropractor would do is treating problems with the musculoskeletal system as well as how it interacts with the nervous system. A combination of massage therapy and other therapies relating to the backbone and other joints can be used to treat various aches and pains, such as headaches, lumbar pain, neck pain, and pains in the muscles and joints of the body.
A chiropractor is also a qualified doctor – in order to be recognized as a chiropractor in any state, an individual must obtain a Doctor of Chiropractic Medicine (D. C.) degree from an accredited school after having obtained a Bachelor’s degree in a related field. As chiropractors may be working with soft-tissue therapy, adjustments, exercises, and possibly referring others to other medical professionals, it is important that they have a wide range of medical knowledge which they can apply.
How can I become a chiropractor?
If you have not obtained a Bachelor’s previously, you will have a lot of studying ahead of you in order to become a Chiropractor.
The necessary first step in becoming a chiropractor is obtaining a 4 years Bachelor’s degree, including a study into programs such as anatomy, chemistry, biology, and physiology if you can. These are all key skills for a chiropractor.
In undertaking a Doctor of Chiropractic degree, you will need to cover the areas listed above as well as orthopedics, pediatrics, spinal assessment, and adjustment techniques. As you move towards becoming a licensed chiropractor, you will need these skills to treat your patients and help with their aches and pains.
Before ending your D. C. studies, you will also need to complete an internship (or possibly multiple internships, depending on the school) so a qualified, experienced chiropractic professional can assess your abilities.
After you obtain your D. C., you will need to get a chiropractor’s license. This is true regardless of which state you live in. The licensing exams can vary from state to state, but they all give the same qualification and should come from the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. You will not be able to sit the licensing exam if you do not have a D. C. award.
Can a Felon Become a Chiropractor?
Felons can sit whatever degree they like as long as they can find a school that will accept their application to study. Although there are some universities that will accept felons, around 60% of universities consider criminal backgrounds when assessing new students.
After you have studied for your bachelor’s degree and D. C., you will be a fully qualified Chiropractic doctor. This step is only held back by your ability to commit time to the course and the ability to pay for it – the overall cost of becoming a chiropractor is $67,520. This is obviously a huge sum of money, so holding down a part-time job (especially if it is in a related field) would be an excellent idea.
Although there is a criminal background check for the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners exam, the Board tends to allow felons to sit the test. This led to outrage in 2014 when a sex offender became a qualified chiropractor. Additionally, when applying for jobs, you have to remember that you may have difficulty finding employment as a felony, regardless of the crime you committed.
Will my criminal past stop me from being a chiropractor?
There will be challenges ahead, yes. If you have committed a sexual felony or a crime that has otherwise shown that you cannot be trusted with another person, you may struggle to find employment.
If you have committed murder in the past, you are unlikely to be a desirable candidate for a position that requires you to manipulate and perform potentially harmful therapies to a person’s neck or back. Additionally, a history as a sex offender will mean that society will not see you as a trustworthy individual for tending to people’s needs. All hope is not lost, however.
Improving your chances of finding employment
After finishing your prison stay and then obtaining your qualifications, you can look into having your felony charge expunged, sealed, or pardoned.
Pardoning is asking the state governor in which your crime was committed to forgiving the crime. This generally can only be applied for a number of years after the crime was committed and does not remove the crime from your record – although you are forgiven, employers will still be able to see the crime on a background check.
Sealing a record is generally referring to crimes committed as a minor and means that these crimes can no longer be held against you. Except in situations where there are in-depth background checks, this will not appear on your criminal record.
Expungement is the removal of a crime from your criminal record. The offense can still be seen in an in-depth background check, but for the sake of day to day applications checks you will no longer show up as a felon. You will also no longer have to declare that you are a felon on application forms. Seek legal aid to support your journey to gaining expungement.
In order to increase your chances of gaining this forgiveness, show that you have reformed – do not re-offend, get a job, and work on your education. These are signs that an individual has turned their life around and will aid your case in gaining your life back. If you can, request character references and letters of recommendation from respected members of the community too to show that you fit in with day to day society.
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