Chiropractic radiologists (Diplomate, American Chiropractic Board of Radiology - D.A.C.B.R.) interpret x-rays and advanced imaging modalities such as CT, MRI, for chiropractic physicians and other health care professionals, with emphasis on musculoskeletal imaging. The chiropractic radiologist also advises the referring physician on the necessity and appropriateness of radiologic services and whether to select or to avoid certain diagnostic or clinical procedures.
Chiropractic radiology was the first sub-specialty within the chiropractic profession and there are approximately 200 chiropractic radiologists (out of approximately 65,000 - 70,000 chiropractic physicians worldwide). Education of the chiropractic radiologist begins with pre-chiropractic courses at an undergraduate college followed by 4 years of professional education at a chiropractic college. Following graduation, the chiropractic doctor must compete for a very limited number of 3 year residency opening across the country.
Upon successful completion of the residency program, residents are eligible to sit for the board examination, which tests candidates in all facets of diagnostic imaging. Passing the set of examinations leads to diplomate status with the American Chiropractic Board of Radiology (ACBR). The ACBR requires continuing education in advanced imaging modalities on an annual basis to maintain certification.
Chiropractic radiologists have several careers paths to choose from including private radiology consultation practice, clinical practice, teaching (chiropractic / medical students, residents or at the post-graduate level), administration and research. Chiropractic radiologists are often called upon for expert testimony and/or consultation in malpractice cases, personal injury and workers compensation cases.