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Code of ethics



The following reference list is representative (but not all-inclusive) of sources utilized for reference during the preparation of the ABCO Examination 2003:

Evans -- Illustrated Orthopedic Physical Assessment, 2nd ed.

Gatterman -- Chiropractic Management of Spine Related Disorders, 2nd ed.

Hyde-- Conservative Management of Sports Injuries

Liebenson -- Rehabilitation of the Spine, 2nd ed.

Magee -- Orthopedic Physical Assessment, 4th ed.

Patten -- Neurological Differential Diagnosis

Reid -- Sports Injuries Assessment and Rehabilitation, 1992

Souza -- Differential Diagnosis for the Chiropractor, 3rd ed.

Taylor -- Skeletal Imaging, 1st ed.

Yochum -- Essentials of Skeletal Radiology, 3rd ed.


Various journals and periodicals, e.g., Spine, Clinical Orthopedics, JMPT





Examination Eligibility Requirements

The following items are required to be in our office no later than 45 days prior to the examination:

1) Certified transcript of courses and grades from the college from which you earned your D.C. degree. [Form A]

2) Certified transcript of courses and grades from the college through which you completed your post-doctoral chiropractic orthopedic education and a letter signed by the appropriate college authority attesting that you completed (with a score of 75 or greater on each modular examination) the chiropractic orthopedic course as offered. [Form B]

3) Completed application with current photograph (1Ѕ” x 2” passport type) attached, notarized, with notary seal partially covering the photograph.

4) A second 1Ѕ” x 2” passport type photograph, not notarized, but signed on the back across the face area.

5) A photocopy of your current state license to practice chiropractic.

Examination Fee

$750.00 of which $125.00 is nonrefundable. Refunds for withdrawals 15 to 30 days prior to the examination will be at 50%; no refunds are made for withdrawals 14 days or less without documented serious personal medical emergency. * The fee for examinees that will be retaking the exam for the 1st time is $500.00.

Payment can be made through personal check or money order.

Make checks payable to ABCO.

A copy of the Candidate’s Pre-Examination Instruction Booklet containing test content and administration as well as a reference list that may be helpful for preparation for the examination will be mailed to those approved to test. Click here to view the reference list now.

ABCO endorses the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), and seeks to ensure that disabled candidates are not deprived of the opportunity to take the examination solely by reason of disability, as required and defined by relevant provisions of law.

A candidate may request a modification to the ABCO Examination administration procedure due to disability, handicap, or other condition which impairs the ability of the candidate to take the test. Request special accommodations on page 2 of the application.


If you meet the above requirements,
click here to download a copy of the application.


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Candidate Questions:

Q: How do I know what to study for the ABCO exam?

A: The content on the examination is derived from the current Job Analysis from six major domains:

(1) History taking, (2) Performing examination, (3) Developing a diagnosis (4) Determining goals of management, (5) Assessment and conclusion of care, and (6) Record keeping, documenting and reporting.

To print a copy of the Job Analysis, click here.

Q: I completed the chiropractic orthopedic curriculum several years ago. Is there a time limit between completion of the curriculum and sitting for the examination?

A: The Board does not impose a time limit. They do however, stress the importance of remaining current on chiropractic orthopedic content for examination and certification purposes.

Q: What specific curriculum modules does ABCO require to be eligible to sit for the examination?

A: At this time ABCO does not require specific modules or curricula components within the 360 hours. The 360 hours must be in chiropractic orthopedic content, which must be verified by an accredited school. The candidate may complete the 360 academic hours at more than one college, but ABCO will require verification of hours from each school attended to make up the total required hours. No courses or content areas can be repeated to make up the 360 hours.

Diplomate Questions:

Q: I’m a member of several different chiropractic orthopedic organizations, and pay membership fees to each, aren’t I a member of ABCO as well?

A: ABCO is not a membership organization, rather it is a credentialing body which is recognized by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) as the pre-eminent certifying organization for chiropractic orthopedists. As the credentialing body, ABCO can only grant certification status to those Diplomates who have met and maintained specific requirements.

Q: What are the re-certification requirements for ABCO?

A: To date, ABCO has had a voluntary re-certification process in place. An ABCO Board committee currently is developing mandatory re-certification rules and guidelines. The committee is conscientiously preparing minimum requirements, which will be intended to assure current professional knowledge competency as well as assisting ABCO with publicizing the quality of the credential to the public, managed care, insurance agencies and state licensure boards.

Q: Are current Diplomates responsible for satisfying new re-certification requirements, including fees?

A: A credential is not the same as an academic degree earned through an educational institution. Voluntary, professional certifications are subject to all certification and re-certification requirements established by the Board of Directors, similar to the requirements imposed by your state licensure board. The Board has the right and responsibility to establish policies which it has determined are in the interests of the organization and fiscally responsible. At times, this responsibility includes the assessment of necessary fees and the development of new certification policies.

Q: What happens if I do not pay the mandatory annual maintenance fee or complete the re-certification requirements?

A: A certificant can be placed on inactive status for the following reasons: (1) failure to pay the annual maintenance fee, (2) failure to document the required continuing education activities, or (3) the submission and acceptance of a written request to relinquish a credential. Certificants designated as Inactive are not considered Diplomates of the American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists, cannot represent themselves as certified by ABCO and cannot use the credential in any way until reinstated to active status.