Part IV Board Exams

Thursday afternoon, several ninth and tenth trimester interns left for Part IV Board Exams. National University of Health Sciences does not hold Part IV on campus, so most students go to Iowa or St. Louis for the exams. I went to Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport, Iowa, for my final board exams. After taking four other board exams, I walked into Part IV with a very different attitude than the other ones. I'm not sure if it was confidence having taken the other parts or just anticipation of board exams being behind me.


Friday morning I had the first part of the exam, which was diagnostic imaging. This exam consists of 10 stations with X-rays, CT scans or MRI scans. After reading the films, I had to answer questions about diagnosis, treatment plan, any needed referrals, additional imaging, or additional diagnostic tests.

Saturday was the difficult day. Case management and chiropractic technique exams were given that day. The case management exam was very similar to many of the practical exams we had throughout school. In the first few rooms, I took detailed case histories on a simulated patient. Following these rooms, I went into a follow-up room, which had more patient information, X-rays, and diagnostic tests that added to the patient presentation. With all that information, I needed to come up with a differential diagnosis, treatment plan, any needed referrals, or additional diagnostic tests.

Following these rooms, I went through several orthopedic and neurologic testing rooms. In these rooms, I was given a list of procedures to perform on the patient, I had to verbalize my findings to the doctor in the room, and answer questions pertaining to the case after.

The final portion of the exam was chiropractic technique. In this section, I was given two chiropractic manipulations or mobilizations to perform on a simulated patient. The chiropractic listing for the patient and the name of the adjustments were posted outside the room, which gave me time to think about set-up and procedure. Once in the room, I performed all the steps up to the actual thrust, and instead of thrusting I stated what my line of drive would be to the doctor that was grading.

The entire exam on Saturday was about two and a half hours long. So by the time I was finished, I was so burnt out mentally. The worst part of the second day of the exams was the wait time after I finished. In order to keep people from cheating or sending answers to students taking the exam on the West Coast, we were sequestered following the exam until all the West Coast students had checked in. But, overall, I think the exam went well and fingers crossed I passed. My scores are posted in late December. For additional information about board exams you can go to