The more you know about a profession, the better you’ll see if it’s right for you. There’s nothing worse than outdated or wrong information about a career, so getting the facts you need is super important. When you’re attracted to a patient-focused profession in healthcare, know that when you become a doctor of chiropractic (D.C.), you’ll find personal satisfaction and a sense of purpose in the community you serve.
7 Facts to Know About the Chiropractic Profession
1. You’re a Physician-level Healthcare Provider:
Become a doctor of chiropractic, and most states designate you as a physician-level provider, which means patients desiring chiropractic care do not need a referral, just like dentists and optometrists.
The essential services D.C.s provide are available in U.S. federal health delivery systems, including Medicaid, the Dept. of Veterans Affairs, Federal Employees Health Benefits Programs, Federal Workers’ Compensation, and all state workers’ compensation programs. More than 80% of health insurance plans now cover chiropractic services, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).
2. You’re Joining a Health and Wellness Community:
Today there are 80,000+ chiropractors in the U.S. who’ve passed a series of four board exams administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). Another 3,000 chiropractors fill administrative or manager roles.
3. It’s 3.3 Years to a D.C. Degree:
To become a doctor of chiropractic, you must complete a nationally accredited doctoral graduate school program. A comprehensive, accelerated program delivered in a trimester format includes a minimum of 4,200 hours of classes, laboratory, patient care best practices, and a clinical internship – often in a public clinic located on campus.
4. Patients Find Satisfaction With Chiropractic Care:
Another reason to become a doctor of chiropractic is that patients find solutions for musculoskeletal conditions. In a Consumer Reports article, chiropractors rated as the highest consumer-related professional for low-back pain treatments ‑ higher than physical therapists (PTs) and specialist physicians such as neurologists and family or internal medicine-focused doctors.
In a national survey looking at chiropractic, 95% of patients who had used chiropractic care said it was effective, and 97% of them said they would be likely to return to a chiropractor when having neck or back pain.
5. Evidence-based Research Supports Chiropractic:
Research is proving what chiropractic patients already know. The American College of Physicians (ACP), the world’s largest medical-specialty society, is devoted to enhancing healthcare quality and effectiveness. In 2017, the ACP updated its guidelines to first recommend non-drug treatments for acute and chronic low-back pain.
More evidence for the choice to become a doctor of chiropractic comes from a 2017 study reported in the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA), which supports the use of manual therapy for reducing acute low-back pain.
Other studies show that because cancer conditions can lead to pain and lack of movement, a chiropractor’s focus on helping patients move better opens up the possibilities of M.D.s recommending manual therapies chiropractors use to reduce patient stress.
6. A Viable Option to Reduce Abuse of Pain Drugs:
The essential services provided by those who become doctors of chiropractic often enable patients to reduce – or avoid – the need for pain-reducing pharmaceuticals. Many people now understand the addictive nature of prescription opioids. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) said more than 11.5 million Americans reported problems associated with prescription opioids.
7. Chiropractors are Devoted to Collaborative Care:
The chiropractic approach to care begins with a comprehensive patient exam, and chiropractors have wide-ranging diagnostic skills. A chiropractor’s recommendations can include therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, nutrition changes, and dietary and lifestyle counseling.
When serious medical conditions are indicated, doctors of chiropractic will refer patients to the appropriate healthcare provider. Many chiropractors have associations with other professionals and increasingly are called on in today’s move to patient-based collaborative care.
How to Become a Chiropractor: Discover Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC)
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a large suburban city within the Kansas City metro. Most students earn their Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree in 3.3 years through our accelerated year-round schedule.
Points of distinction for the CUKC chiropractic degree: