In decision-making, not knowing all the facts beforehand can lead to missed opportunities. So when you’re deciding on a healthcare career, dispel myths by getting the latest facts about the chiropractic profession. For example, did you know those with a chiropractic degree are designated as physician-level providers in most states and the federal Medicare program? Were you aware that chiropractic care is available in federal health delivery systems? How about that more than 80% of health plans in the U.S. cover chiropractic?
If at least one of those facts was a surprise, take heart in that no one knows everything. The famed physicist Steven Hawking said this: “The greatest enemy of knowledge is not ignorance; it is an illusion of knowledge.”
In seeking the best-possible career fit, the more you know, the more informed decision you can make. Here are six more facts about the chiropractic profession everyone with a desire for impactful, patient-centered career care should know.
#1. Through a year-round, immersive curriculum, a chiropractor can earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree in 3.3 years.
With a strong academic record and plenty of personal ambition, students can complete a Doctor of Chiropractic degree program in as few as 3.3 years (10 trimesters) through a year-round schedule. Applicants for chiropractic college are expected to have a 3.0 cumulative GPA and at least 90 credit hours of college.
Many applicants already have a bachelor’s degree. Typical degree majors include human biology, biology, kinesiology, exercise science, or pre-med.
For efficiency regarding time in school, some chiropractic students choose a concurrent B.S./Doctor of Chiropractic degree program. In a concurrent degree program, specific classes apply to both degrees, and this can reduce time in school by up to a year.
#2. Evidence-based research shows chiropractic is safe and cost-effective.
Evidence-based research continues to support the use of chiropractic care.
#3. Integrative, collaborative care is healthcare’s future. Chiropractors are already there.
A report from Harvard University’s Harvard Health Publishing acknowledged that chiropractors are at the center of providing integrative, multidisciplinary healthcare.
The comprehensive assessment that all chiropractors do with new patients can reveal a medical condition. With the shared goal of achieving better patient health outcomes and lowering healthcare costs, doctors of chiropractic refer patients to M.D.s or other specialists as needed. It’s just as likely that medical doctors will refer patients with musculoskeletal conditions to chiropractors.
As noted in the article, U.S. Healthcare Continues Move Toward Multidisciplinary Care, “D.C.s should be the point of entry for triaging musculoskeletal injuries within integrative health care settings, as they are experts in the diagnosis and treatment of these conditions.”
#4. A chiropractic degree curriculum is comprehensive.
Students entering a chiropractic degree program complete more than 4,200 hours of classroom education, similar to the number of hours required in medical schools.
Of course, the curriculums have differences. Chiropractic is a healthcare discipline emphasizing the inherent recuperative power of the human body. Chiropractors seek to optimize, preserve, and restore health without drugs or surgery.
Overall, chiropractic students receive more classroom education than med students in six areas:
Qualified chiropractic degree students serve internships starting in their second year, and by graduation, will have two years of clinical experience. Students first apply their skills in a student clinic and then move on to patient experiences supervised by a licensed clinician in a school’s public clinic.
#5. Chiropractic colleges meet strict accreditation and graduation requirements.
The national accrediting agency for Doctor of Chiropractic programs in the U.S. is the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE). The CCE maintains recognition by the U.S. Department of Education as the national accrediting body for chiropractic programs.
The CCE issues standards for the colleges, including governance and administration, facilities and services, instructional objectives, faculty qualifications, admission requirements, clinical competency, and outcomes assessment.
Chiropractic degree candidates must pass all parts of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) exam:
#6. Financial aid (and guidance) for a chiropractic college education is available.
Like other graduate degree options, education costs for a chiropractic degree can be paid through a mix of federal or private loans, scholarships, need-based grants, and personal or family sources. Those schools with financial aid staffs will provide guidance about costs, give advice about sources of grants, scholarships, and loans, and discuss repayment options after graduation.
Many chiropractic colleges offer Federal Work-Study positions, comprehensive tutoring, study- and test-taking strategies, and other student support services.
The Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC)
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused University in Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City area suburb of 190,000 people. Founded in 1922, our College of Chiropractic is a pioneer in chiropractic education. There are more than 11,500 CUKC alumni in the chiropractic profession.
CUKC also offers a B.S. in Human Biology degree, tailor-made for those who plan to pursue the Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Some CUKC students choose the concurrent B.S./D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic) program to reduce the amount of time in school.