On Oct. 1, 2007, 23 students began their first semester at the first chiropractic school in Spain.
Located in the prestigious Maria Cristina Royal University Centre (Real Centro Universitario - RCU) 48 km (29 miles) from the capital city of Madrid, the new school comes after years of planning by and with the support of the Spanish Chiropractic Association (Asociación Española de Quiropráctica - AEQ), the national association representing doctors of chiropractic in Spain.
The curriculum design is based on the curriculum used at the Anglo-European College of Chiropractic in Bournemouth, England, and the educational program follows the standards of European Council Chiropractic Education (ECCE). The curriculum features innovative educational approaches such as integrated modules and problem-based learning (PBL), allowing students to be more active and independent in seeking information.
The chiropractic program is five years long and spans 10 total semesters. Requirements for admission into the program include successful completion of the Bachilerato, equivalent to the high-school GED in the U.S.; the Selectividad exam, required for admission into a Spanish university; and RCU´s admission exam, consisting of a psychotechnic exam, personal interview and English test.
Leading the faculty is Ricardo Fujikawa DC, MD, a Palmer graduate from Brazil well-qualified for the position, as he has spent the past five years leading the development of the chiropractic program at Feevale Central University in Brazil and speaks fluent Spanish. (The current AEQ president is Dr. Belen Sunyer of Madrid, also a Palmer College graduate.)
The university is part of a complex formed by the Monastery of San Lorenzo de El Escorial. The monastery is considered the second most visited site in the community of Madrid. The university campus is in the building funded by King Felipe II, where Queen Maria Cristina of Habsburgo funded the Royal Center for Higher Education in 1892 and gave the administration to the Catholic Order of Saint Augustine.
Congratulations to the AEQ and our colleagues in Spain on yet another exciting international first for the chiropractic profession.
Note: The new chiropractic program at RCU is the second chiropractic program to be taught in Spanish. The first, which commenced in 2001 and graduated its first class of chiropractors in 2005, is at the Universidad Estatal del Valle de Ecatapec (UNEVE) in Mexico City.