Those who choose to earn a Doctor of Chiropractic degree (D.C.) are doing so because of evidence-based research showing the effectiveness of the chiropractic approach to health and wellness. They also recognize that prescription medicine and surgery aren’t the only choices when treating painful conditions resulting from musculoskeletal conditions and disorders.
Preserving and restoring health is central to the chiropractic philosophy. In addition to a drug-free approach, a Doctor of Chiropractic degree means leading patients toward better health through
Doctors of Chiropractic as Primary Care Providers
There’s no shortage of news reports concerning a growing shortage of primary care providers. A report from the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) estimates a gap of nearly 122,000 physicians by 2032.
Meanwhile, there are more than 60,000 doctors of chiropractic practicing today who can help meet this shortage. Chiropractors have the education and skills to serve as primary care physicians. Patients have direct access to chiropractic care – no referrals are necessary. The career outlook is for 7% growth from 2018 to 2028, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.
A Doctor of Chiropractic degree is the beginning of a healthcare career anywhere in the U.S. and 90 countries worldwide. Licensing requirements give chiropractors the responsibility for patient assessment, establishing a diagnosis, determining indications for care, and consulting with medical doctors when assessments indicate.
A report by the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAC) recommends more patients should seek out chiropractors and other alternative-care specialists for primary care. In addition to patients having direct access to chiropractors, the American Chiropractic Association reports that 87% of workers have coverage for chiropractic treatment in their healthcare plan.
The Role of Chiropractic in Expanding Healthcare Access
In addition to more medical doctors working with chiropractors to co-manage patients’ needs, access to healthcare is increasing through clinics operated by chiropractic schools.
One example is a partnership in the Kansas City metro area between two nonprofit organizations – Caritas Clinics, Inc. and Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC). The University’s Chiropractic Health Center serves nearly 30,000 patients per year. Through the partnership, chiropractic interns – those who are at the final stage of earning a Doctor of Chiropractic degree – are serving patients in the Caritas clinic locations under the supervision of a CUKC licensed clinician.
Caritas patients are uninsured and live below 175% of the federal poverty level. According to Caritas Clinics Inc., the partnership is helping establish a safety net for uninsured patients and others in traditionally underserved communities. The CUKC/Caritas arrangement provides patients with a conservative, evidence-based primary care for managing chronic pain and musculoskeletal conditions.
Chiropractic: A Safe and Cost-effective Approach to Healthcare
In 2015, the Joint Commission, which evaluates and accredits more than 22,000 healthcare organizations and programs in the U.S, began recommending pain treatment strategies that may include non-drug approaches to pain, including chiropractic care.
Healthcare practitioners with a Doctors of Chiropractic degree are already working in various medical settings within the private sector, a movement indicating chiropractors have diverse roles within conventional healthcare facilities.
Evidence of chiropractic’s role in increasing healthcare access and helping reduce healthcare costs is documented in the 2017 report, Chiropractic: A Safe and Cost Effective Approach to Health Care.
3.3 Years to a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas. On our 34-acre campus in suburban Kansas City, students earn their Doctor of Chiropractic degree (D.C.) in 3.3 years through a year-round, trimester schedule.
When prospective students explore our chiropractic program, they discover a curriculum that covers more than 4,200 class and lab hours. Our Doctor of Chiropractic degree curriculum covers anatomy and physiology, chemistry, microbiology, neurology, radiology, and orthopedics.
Points of distinction for the CUKC Doctor of Chiropractic degree include:
If you have more questions about the Doctor of Chiropractic degree, you’ll find answers to some of the most frequently asked questions in this FAQ blog.
When you’re eager to learn more, it’s time for you to have this free eBook, Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession. Download yours today.