Students pursuing the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree, endure an extensive amount of lecture and clinical learning while in school. By the time they receive their degree, they have spent 3 ½ years and 4,757 clock hours immersed in the pursuit of academic excellence. And while this conventional learning in the classroom is extremely valuable, perhaps the most impactful learning of the entire D.C. program takes place during chiropractic internships.
The benefits of internships are too numerous to list, which is why they are a very popular among chiropractic students. A portion of the curriculum is devoted to the clinical experience where students are introduced to the clinical environment midway through the 10-trimester program. In addition, other opportunities for chiropractic internships are available at off-site locations. In all instances, they help you understand treatment, understand patients, and understand yourself as a health care professional.
In the Clinic
Although the clinical internship takes place on campus, it’s no easy road. As you reach the mid-point of the program you are first introduced to the student clinic, where you begin to utilize the diagnosis and treatment techniques learned to that point. When you’ve achieved the appropriate level of proficiency, you are transitioned to the public clinic. There as a student intern, you will treat members of the public under the supervision of licensed doctors of chiropractic. The campus clinic environment is where interns become the doctors of tomorrow.
While not required, another way for you to gain to exposure to different kinds of patients and conditions, are off-site internships. When you are nearing the end of your coursework and have demonstrated exceptional skill in the campus clinic environment, you can be considered for these off-site opportunities. These usually take place at locations in an area near where you are attending school, and are organized by the Health Center administration. Students who wish to add to their experience are then selected for positions based on the discretion of the health center administration.
Another option for additional off-site learning is called a preceptorship. Similar to an internship, preceptorship is a term that means “teach or instructor,” and involves working for a short time in the office of a practicing doctor of chiropractic under his/her supervision. A variation of this is the much longer extended preceptorship, which can last an entire trimester. Preceptorships usually happen in the final stage of your career as a student intern, when you demonstrate the highest level of competency.
Those seeking the extended option must have completed all graduation requirements and have received the necessary approvals from the health center administration.
Chiropractic internships are a great way to sharpen your adjusting abilities while strengthening your patient communication skills. Your career as a doctor of chiropractic will require you to be proficient in both, which is why it is important to take advantage of such an opportunity. As you become more confident, you will begin to place greater trust in yourself. At that point, your mind, heart and treatment instincts begin to operate in unison for the good of each patient.
For more information about the doctor of chiropractic degree program at CUKC, contact the Office of Admissions today. Formerly known as Cleveland Chiropractic College, Cleveland University-Kansas City is located in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park. In 2016, Money magazine ranked Overland Park 29th on its list of “Best Places to Live.”