Scientific curiosity? Yes.
Life-long desire to help people? Yes.
Willingness to study hard in the classroom and the lab? Yes.
When you have all three of these things going for you, certainly a healthcare career is for you. Today, many students with healthcare in their DNA are choosing a doctor of chiropractic career because of the profession’s focus on drug-free, non-invasive care.
Educational Focus of a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree
Doctors of chiropractic focus on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders and conditions of the neuromuscular and skeletal systems. A doctor of chiropractic (D.C.) earns a degree that follows a multi-year educational path similar to other healthcare professionals: medical doctors, osteopaths, dentists, veterinarians, optometrists, etc.
Being Ready Will Take Your Best Effort
Chiropractic school education has many similarities to medical school, so you’ll want to make sure you’re up to the fast pace of learning and the depth of education required.
Ask these four questions to help determine you’re ready for a chiropractic degree.
Chiropractic students have more hours of training than med school students in anatomy, physiology, bacteriology, diagnosis, X-ray, and orthopedics. During their internship, chiropractors complete two years of hands-on clinical experience. Med school students typically complete a four-year residency.
One academic difference between those pursuing a chiropractic degree versus a medical degree is that chiropractic does not have a pharmacology component. The natural approach to healthcare by chiropractors is appealing for those who have concerns about the use of prescription medicine for treatments.
You should have at least a 3.0 cumulative GPA in any undergraduate college coursework, although some chiropractic schools have an alternative program for those with special circumstances. These students might be admitted under a personalized academic plan to ensure they’re ready.
You will need to have at least 90 semester hours in the following areas:
Those who know early on they want a doctor of chiropractic career may want to check out a combined degree program.
Such a program is often called a concurrent degree program or referred to as a “B.S./D.C.” plan. Students in a concurrent degree plan earn their bachelor’s degree on the way to completing the doctor of chiropractic degree. The concurrent degree plan can reduce the time in college by up to a year. The coursework is demanding, but it could save you a lot of money on tuition and fees.
An article in Harvard University Health Publishing notes this: “As one of the alternatives to pain-relieving drugs, the American College of Physicians low back pain guideline recommends spinal manipulation along with heat, massage, and acupuncture.”
Also, the number of multidisciplinary, collaborative medical offices continues to increase because they are practical and efficient. This new type of doctor’s office promotes referrals among chiropractors, M.D.s, and other physician specialties so each one’s expertise can be maximized.
The doctor of chiropractic career offers an exciting future according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The BLS puts the profession’s growth rate between 2012 and 2026 at 12%.
Getting Ready for the Doctor of Chiropractic Career
You can earn your doctor of chiropractic degree in as little as 3.3 years from the College of Chiropractic at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC).
Founded in 1922, Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a national leader in chiropractic and health sciences education. CUKC is in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of the Kansas City metro. More than one in every 10 chiropractors in the U.S. received a chiropractic degree from the CUKC Doctor of Chiropractic program.
Answers to most questions about getting a chiropractic degree – and what it’s like to have a doctor of chiropractic career – are found in this free ebook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession. Request yours today!