One wise move for those who want to enter a healthcare profession: take advantage of opportunities to learn from those who are already doing it well. One profession that truly embraces such one-to-one opportunities is chiropractic. In fact, learning how to become a chiropractor goes beyond the classes and labs of a chiropractic education.
Here’s what you want to know about opportunities called shadowing, internships, and preceptorships.
Wondering How to Become a Chiropractor? Shadow One!
Many students who are thinking about a doctor of chiropractic education felt the call to serve as a healing professional at an early age. Because of this deep-seated passion, these focused students have already asked ways they can get an insider’s view of a chiropractor’s life.
Shadowing refers to experiencing what goes on in a chiropractic practice as an interested observer. There’s no better way to find out if the patient care life is a good career fit than to watch a chiropractor go through the daily routine of patient exams and treatments.
Shadowing provides answers to some very essential questions: “Will I like seeing patients of all ages and backgrounds every day?” “Is the challenge of encountering a wide range of conditions everyday invigorating?” “Do I like the idea of leading others to a healthier life?”
For most, a shadowing opportunity confirms their career choice, which is a highly satisfying feeling.
On-campus Internship Opportunities
Internships are a big part of chiropractic education. They allow students to see how their training and knowledge translates into the real world, yet there’s guidance by a licensed professional.
Students reaching the seventh (of 10) trimesters of their doctor of chiropractic education enter the student clinic – a first chance to use the diagnostic and treatment techniques learned to that point. Patients are typically fellow students or family members, and a doctor of chiropractic faculty member is there for coaching and teaching.
Chiropractic students showing an appropriate level of proficiency transition to the chiropractic college’s public clinic. There, as student interns, they examine, diagnose, and treat members of the general public while being supervised by licensed doctors of chiropractic.
Other Learning Opportunities
Some chiropractic colleges will have off-site internship and clinical opportunities, such as with a publicly funded health clinic in the area or with Veteran’s Administration medical centers or clinics. Selected students are usually in their last few trimesters, and the selection process itself is competitive.
A typical rotation is four-to-five weeks, and the students in such programs receive credit for their participation. For access to such opportunities, check into chiropractic colleges within a city that has a strong healthcare presence.
After a student completes all chiropractic college requirements, a preceptorship can serve to expand and enhance the student’s clinical education.
In a preceptorship, a chiropractic student partners with a doctor of chiropractic in the chiropractic college who serves as a preceptor – an instructor. The length of a preceptorship can vary, but often is a minimum of 28 hours per week and lasts from four to 12 weeks.
There also can be the opportunity for an extended preceptorship, which has all the same features and benefits for the student as the regular preceptorship, except that it covers 12-15 weeks.
A preceptorship is an excellent opportunity to learn from skilled professionals in their field, and often becomes valuable for networking. It’s not uncommon for a preceptorship to provide an advantage regarding full-time employment after graduation.
The Value of Learning by Doing Opportunities
Chiropractic internship and preceptorship experiences elevate these abilities:
How to Become a Chiropractor: Cleveland University-Kansas City
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university located in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of the Kansas City metropolitan area. Our College of Chiropractic is a national leader in chiropractic education.
Students in the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree program at CUKC begin their studies with classroom and lab instruction, then move into a student clinic setting. Students then advance to CUKC’s on-campus Chiropractic Health Center, which is open to the public.
Our chiropractic college also has affiliations with area Veteran’s Administration hospitals, and two off-campus clinics, the Kansas City CARE Clinic, and Caritas Clinics, Inc. These two clinics provide healthcare services to the underserved in the greater Kansas City area.
You can get the details about how to become a chiropractor at CUKC here. For information about chiropractic careers, download this FREE ebook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.