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.
Healing with a Human Touch
The benefits of internships are nearly too numerous to list, which is why they are very popular among chiropractic students. A portion of the doctor of chiropractic curriculum is devoted to the clinical experience. 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 the Clinic
As you reach the mid-point of the program you are first introduced to the student clinic, typically treating fellow chiropractic students or relatives. The student clinic is where you begin to use the diagnosis and treatment techniques learned to that point and the interactions you’ll have will mirror a chiropractor-patient relationship as closely as possible.
A licensed chiroprator supervises the actions of a chiropractic intern, evaluates all aspects of a student’s approach to care, and approves any recommended treatment plan.
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, off-site internships are another way to gain exposure to different kinds of patients and conditions. When you are nearing the end of your coursework and have demonstrated exceptional skills in the campus clinic environment, you can be considered for these off-site opportunities.
These range from clinics for under-served populations, existing private practitioners, and Veteran’s Administration hospitals and clinics. In all instances, they help you understand the treatment, understand patients, and understand yourself as a healthcare professional.
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 or 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 chiropractic program or health clinic leadership.
Don’t Miss This “Practice” Opportunity
Most doctors of chiropractic welcome the chance to provide internships to qualified students, and 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.
The College of Chiropractic at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC)
CUKC is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university specializing in the chiropractic and health sciences. Our chiropractic history started in 1922, and today more than one out of every 10 chiropractors in the United States have earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from our College of Chiropractic.
The CUKC campus is in Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City area suburb of 190,000 people. Overland Park is recognized for its livability, family friendliness, and affordability.
CUKC also offers a B.S. in Human Biology degree, which you can use as a springboard into the College of Chiropractic. This bachelor’s degree coursework is tailor-made for those who plan to pursue the Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Some CUKC students even choose a concurrent B.S./Chiropractic degree (Doctor of Chiropractic) program that can reduce the amount of time in school.
Learning about becoming a chiropractor – and the student-learning opportunities that a part of the chiropractic education – starts with good information. You can see why chiropractic care is an excellent fit for today’s healthcare environment by downloading a free ebook right now: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.