You have a solid academic record. You know how to set goals in life and get them done. Now you see yourself in health care…and you’ve chosen to become a chiropractor because of the conservative care-first philosophy. You know a doctor of chiropractic program is for you, so here are 11 things you should do to be ready for it.
1. Let’s go study. Make time to study up on the life and health sciences, especially for any areas you know are weak points. In a chiropractic program, the knowledge comes fast, and you want to keep up with your classes.
2. Map it out. Always get familiar with the college you’re considering, its location and the surrounding neighborhoods. Think about the area’s climate, and the size of the city you prefer. Find out if classes are all on-campus and if there’s plenty of free parking. Make sure the area’s healthcare environment supports chiropractic internships and shadowing opportunities.
3. Serious schedule. Those who want to become a chiropractor must be ready for a rigorous academic schedule. A chiropractic program immerses you in all things related to the human body. The more than 4,200 hours of class and lab time includes biochemistry, anatomy, clinical neurology, skeletal radiology, diagnosis, chiropractic technique, interacting with patients, and business principles.
4. Center on student services. Students who leverage available student services do better overall than those who choose a lone wolf approach. Review what’s available on-campus, from free tutoring to a campus fitness facility to extras like a “roommates available” list.
5. Powerful connections. Make efforts to build a network of colleagues and friends who can help you succeed, and not just in class. Social events may not be your thing, but knowing how to connect with others will prove valuable when you become a chiropractor in your chosen community.
6. Think ahead. Read the course catalog and the student handbook. Knowing what’s to be covered in class – and when – will enhance learning comprehension. Understanding expectations and preparing for them can prevent you from costly missteps.
7. Your advisor is wiser. Keep in close contact with your student advisor, whether by text, email, or phone. Ask questions early and often. Prioritize reading and responding to your university’s official communication (via email and postal mail), so you never miss important school details.
8. A better budget. Do the work necessary to get all financial aid available. Chiropractic colleges have a full-time financial aid staff to help you research available scholarships, guide you in federal programs for lower-interest student loans, and how to sign up for part-time jobs via the Federal Work-study program.
9. Remember the memberships. Take the time to explore student clubs that focus on specific chiropractic techniques, specialties, or care for specific populations. Specialized clubs can present learning opportunities that help you gain practice and insight. Don’t see one you like? Start one.
10. Get the big picture. When you become a chiropractor, a traditional chiropractic practice is not your only career option. Specialties within chiropractic include pediatric, animal, nutrition, and sports (recreational, amateur, and professional). Some chiropractors become super-specialists, such as chiropractic radiologists. Interested in specialties? Check out this webpage.
11. Prepare for the big one. To become a chiropractor, you will dedicate a large chunk of your time to prepare for the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) tests. You must pass the four-part NBCE board exam to demonstrate you are ready to become a chiropractor.
Choosing the Right Chiropractic Program
As of fall 2018, more than 450 students are in the College of Chiropractic at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC), a private, nonprofit chiropractic and health sciences university.
CUKC has been at the center of chiropractic education since 1922. More than one in every 10 chiropractors in the U.S. graduated from the CUKC Doctor of Chiropractic program. CUKC is in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of the Kansas City metro – a location that combines big city amenities with a small-town vibe.
Interested in knowing what it’s like to become a chiropractor and hear about the chiropractic profession’s exciting future? Click here to talk to an advisor and be sure to download this new, free ebook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.