Everyone seeking a career wants to know their choice has a bright future. If you’re thinking healthcare profession, earning a Doctor of Chiropractic degree is one way to have plenty of opportunities to help people live a healthier life – without resorting to pharmaceutical help.
Essential Facts About the Chiropractic Profession
When you earn the Doctor of Chiropractic degree at a college of chiropractic, you’ll have broad diagnostic skills to detect and treat musculoskeletal conditions – those relating to the neck, spine, and joints.
Chiropractors are focused on whole-person health and have the knowledge and training to recommend therapeutic and rehabilitative exercises, provide nutritional, posture and gait correction, and offer lifestyle and dietary counseling.
That range of comprehensive skills has broad appeal today. It’s estimated that 60% to 80% of adults will, at some point in their lives, experience back pain or neck pain that interferes with their daily activities, causes significant loss of workdays, or both.
Chiropractors have the designation as physician-level providers in most states. The essential services provided by chiropractors are also available through the federal Medicare program and federal health delivery systems administered by Medicaid, the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Federal Workers’ Compensation, and state workers’ compensation programs.
Certainly, the U.S. armed forces have taken notice. In February 2021, the Army and Air Force Exchange Service (AAFES) began offering chiropractic services at six U.S. locations. Overall, chiropractic care has been a permanent benefit for active-duty personnel since 2000.
Chiropractors regularly interact with other healthcare workers, such as physicians and physical therapists, through referrals and complementary care. Nearly 80% of health insurance plans in the U.S. cover all or some of the costs for essential chiropractic services, according to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA).
You’ll be Entering the Healthcare Workforce in 3.5 years
College of chiropractic students typically complete their degree in 3.5 years thanks to a concentrated year-round schedule.
After prerequisite and general education requirements, students enter advanced coursework. As they progress in a doctor of chiropractic degree program, students practice their skills in a student lab, then become chiropractic interns in a public clinic, supervised by licensed chiropractic practitioners.
Chiropractic students take many of the same classes as students in medical or dental school. Subjects studied include:
There are many other classes, too, each offering specialized instruction in a particular area. Examples include public health issues, clinical diagnosis, diagnostic imaging procedures, and electronic health records (EHR) systems. A chiropractic degree program includes adjusting techniques–typically mastered in an on-campus technique lab with specialized equipment.
The doctor of chiropractic degree curriculum totals at least 4,200 hours of classroom instruction and clinical experience. Chiropractors must pass a series of four national exams administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) and be state-licensed. (See what’s included in the NBCE exams are here.)
What Chiropractic College Graduates Say
Dr. Sammy Somerhalder, a D.C. since 2018, says he likes how the profession devotes itself to discovering the underlying causes of conditions.
“Often, symptoms are signaling an underlying imbalance somewhere else,” Somerhalder says. “I like to see patients do a trial of chiropractic care or try nutrition changes. If they start with that and see success, they might have their problems resolved without resorting to drugs or surgery.”
Dr. Jon Petrick, now in his 20th year as a doctor of chiropractic, says, “People are thinking more carefully about the best approach for their musculoskeletal problems and pain. Many of them say, ‘Wait, why would I take that med when I can do this naturally?’ There’s never has been a better time to be a chiropractic physician than right now.”
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit healthcare university specializing in the chiropractic and health sciences. Founded in 1922, more than one out of every 10 U.S. chiropractors have earned the Doctor of Chiropractic degree (D.C.) from our College of Chiropractic.
The 34-acre CUKC campus is in Overland Park, Kan., a Kansas City suburb of 190,000 people. Overland Park is recognized for its family-friendliness and affordability.
CUKC is the first chiropractic college to have multiple Force Sensing Table Technology (FSTT) units in its on-campus Technique Lab. FSTT equipment improves students’ mastery of effective adjustment techniques by displaying and recording adjusting force.
High-achieving students sometimes choose our concurrent B.S./D.C. program where they can earn their Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Human Biology on the way to their Doctor of Chiropractic degree. This program can reduce the time in school by up to a year.
For the details about our doctor of chiropractic program, request information, and click here for the FREE eBook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.