You already know this: A doctor of chiropractic is a healthcare professional who focuses on the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disorders of the spine, as well as other parts of the musculoskeletal system. You also know a chiropractic degree translates into a conservative, non-pharmaceutical approach to healthcare, which is a good thing at a time when there’s so much concern about opioid pain medications.
Chiropractic Degree = Comprehensive Approach
A doctor of chiropractic will first do a comprehensive assessment of a patient’s health, then formulate a treatment plan that takes into account health, wellness, safety, and disease prevention over one’s lifespan. In addition to high-level diagnostic skills, the doctor of chiropractic degree covers training in rehabilitative and therapeutic exercises, and nutritional, dietary, and lifestyle counseling.
As noted in a report from Harvard University’s Harvard Health Publishing, chiropractors are at the center of providing multidisciplinary healthcare. Chiropractors today, the Harvard report says, work in conjunction with primary care doctors, pain experts, and surgeons.”
Did you realize doctors with a chiropractic degree typically spend more time per patient than other doctors? One reason may be that most chiropractors are in solo or group practices, so they have more control over their time.
Evidence of this attention to patient evaluation and care is found in patient satisfaction statistics. According to a 2018 Gallup survey, patients seeing a chiropractor for significant back pain in the last year reported their chiropractor listens to them, demonstrates care and compassion, and spends the right amount of time with them.
That’s impressive patient care, you might say. But how does a chiropractic degree education compare to medical school education?
What to Know About Chiropractic Education
Total subject hours in chiropractic college are similar to that of medical school. A chiropractic student has 3,065 total subject hours. A medical school student will have 2,706 total subject hours. Doctors of chiropractic have more training in anatomy and physiology (exploring the mechanical, physical, and biochemical functions that determine one’s health.) Medical doctors have more training in public health issues and go through a residency program after graduation.
A chiropractic education also includes classes in neurology, radiology, orthopedics, and diagnostic techniques and procedures.
As noted, a chiropractic degree education is comprehensive and includes early patient interaction. Qualified chiropractic students serve internships starting their second year, and by the time they graduate, the student will have two years of hands-on clinical experience.
Most students earn their Doctor of Chiropractic degree (D.C.) in 3.3 years through a year-round, trimester schedule.
Is Chiropractic the Right Approach for Your Career?
If you like a natural approach to healthcare and understand that chiropractic college is as challenging as medical school, you might have what it takes to become a chiropractor. The profession is well-positioned to succeed in today’s emphasis on highly specialized, cost-efficient healthcare.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics estimates a 13% job growth for health-diagnosing professionals, and puts employment growth for chiropractors at 7% from 2018-28. Meanwhile, chiropractors appreciate knowing the majority of health insurance plans in the U.S. include coverage for chiropractic treatments. This coverage includes workers’ compensation, Medicare, some Medicaid plans, and Veterans Administration facilities, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans for federal employees.
Choosing the Right Chiropractic Degree Program
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a national leader in chiropractic and health sciences education. More than one in every 10 chiropractors in the U.S. received a chiropractic degree from the CUKC College of Chiropractic. CUKC is in Overland Park, Kansas, the largest city within the Kansas City metro area.
Points of distinction for the CUKC chiropractic degree include:
To learn more about the doctor of chiropractic degree, get this free ebook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.