Choosing to become a professional healthcare practitioner is a big deal. Lots of responsibilities, and lots of opportunities to bring hope to those wanting answers to painful conditions or searching for a healthier life. When you’re searching for a patient-focused career like that, it makes perfect sense to become a chiropractor. Their focus on people-first patient care is a big reason why.
The Doctor of Chiropractic Degree: A Whole-person Focus
A doctor of Chiropractic – a D.C. – is often the choice of patients because of the chiropractic profession’s emphasis on non-pharmacological, non-invasive treatments. Chiropractors are intensely focused on finding ways to get their patients to their best-possible health over their entire life.
A good way to summarize those who choose to become a chiropractor is an approach to healthcare that covers:
Other qualities that patients and practitioners appreciate about the chiropractic degree come through the profession’s laser-like focus on the six “C’s” – comprehensive care, communication, capability, community, confidence, and credibility. (Check out the details of the 6 C’s in this blog about the scope of chiropractic care.)
Patient Focus = Collaborative Healthcare
Another aspect of learning how to become a chiropractor is the profession’s commitment to practicing collaborative healthcare. Under the goal of searching for what will be effective for each patient, chiropractors often team up with
How Long Does It Take to Become a Chiropractor?
Many healthcare-focused students — after visiting a chiropractic college or checking on the requirements — discover how similar chiropractic education is to medical school education.
Students interested in chiropractic need to have at least three years of college-level coursework (90 hours) before applying to their chiropractic college. The education itself includes classes and lab time in biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, bacteriology, clinical neurology, skeletal radiology, diagnosis, learning various chiropractic techniques, and mastering patient care skills.
Students earn the doctor of chiropractic degree in 3.3 years by way of a trimester format, and the time in school usually includes substantial patient-interaction via time in a student clinic, an on-campus public clinic, an internship, or all three.
Why Chiropractors Love Their Profession
Most chiropractors (more than 50%) see patients in a solo or group practice. Typically, doctors of chiropractic have daytime office hours and can match the types of services offered to the needs of their community.
Because sports and recreational activities can lead to back, neck, and other musculoskeletal pain or issues, chiropractors often treat high school, college, and professional athletes. Some chiropractors will seek certification or diplomate status in a chiropractic specialty area through postgraduate study.
A Patient-first Focus Makes a Difference
A patient-first focus and the ability to help lead their community to better health and wellness show up in national rankings of healthcare professions. The annual U.S. News list places chiropractors at #24 for the best healthcare jobs.
The article’s overview includes a quote from Robert Hayden, D.C., who decided to move from being a critical care nurse to learning how to become a chiropractor.
“I wanted to create my own little microcosm of healthcare that was holistic, patient-centered and user-friendly,” Dr. Hayden’s quote says,” and I knew that I couldn’t do that anywhere other than private practice.”
Dr. Justin Grabouski, who practices in the Kansas City area, likes how the chiropractic profession is positioned for the future of healthcare. He calls chiropractic “a first line of defense against musculoskeletal pain and chronic visceral issues. There seems to be a health trend going away from the conventional medicine side for non-surgical procedures.”
Dr. Sherri Hays, a second-generation chiropractor in Tulsa, Okla., talks about the satisfaction she gets by treating patients.
“The meaning of life is to find your gift…the purpose of life is to give it away,” Hays says. “Chiropractic is a profession where you can find that meaning, and you can give it away every day that you’re practicing.”
Meanwhile, the career advising site owlguru.com gives chiropractors its “A” rating, noting high job satisfaction and projections for high job growth. The site’s research shows 92% of chiropractors find their role in healthcare meaningful.
How to Become a Patient-focused Doctor of Chiropractic
CUKC is Cleveland University-Kansas City, a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a city of nearly 190,000 people within the Kansas City metro.
Our College of Chiropractic has been a national leader since 1922. Most students earn their accelerated Doctor of Chiropractic degree program in 3.3 years (10 trimesters). Our chiropractic degree program has three class starts per year: September, January, and May.
Cleveland University-Kansas City can also help you maximize the value of your education in a concurrent degree program. Qualifying students can reduce time in school by earning their Bachelor of Science in Human Biology while concurrently completing the doctor of chiropractic degree.
Eager to know more about the profession and the steps to become a chiropractor? Request your free ebook today: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.