It’s hard to argue against facts, isn’t it? According to the research, people love what doctors of chiropractic do. In a major study, more than 97% of patients who received chiropractic care said they would return to their chiropractor for other musculoskeletal pain and conditions. Knowing that a desire to care for people is where you want to be, why wouldn’t you consider chiropractic college?
As noted in Annals of Internal Medicine, physicians report spending only 27% of their office day in direct patient care. In chiropractic colleges, students learn how the amount of time they spend with patients leads to decisions that can help reveal the cause of pain instead of merely treating the symptoms.
A patient-centered approach is a central part of chiropractic education. Clinical competencies expected by chiropractic college graduates include:
It’s a Great Time to be a Chiropractor
Satisfied patients have long been the champions of chiropractic care. Now there’s plenty of scientific evidence to validate it.
Over the past decade, four major medical journals have acknowledged the benefits of first addressing back, neck, and other conditions using conservative chiropractic methods and therapies.
The journals evaluating chiropractic include respected publications, including the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Spine, the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics, and Annals of Internal Medicine.
In another boost for attending chiropractic college, the American College of Physicians – the largest medical specialty society in the world – changed its clinical recommendations in 2017 to include chiropractic care.
The ACP now first advises its 161,000 members to choose conservative, non-invasive treatments for low-back pain, including manual spinal techniques.
Chiropractic Colleges are at the Center of Coordinated Care
Along with emphasizing a patient-first, non-drug approach, chiropractors are at the forefront of the move toward integrative care. Integrative care calls for all healthcare practitioners to care for patients in a coordinated, supportive way.
Chiropractors regularly coordinate care with M.D.s, occupational health practitioners, physical therapists, and sports medicine specialists when the results of a chiropractor’s comprehensive physical assessment indicate it’s necessary for optimal patient health.
In the article “Why DCs Are a Perfect Fit for Integrated Care Settings,” the author notes that he sees a trend bringing more chiropractic doctors into medical clinics and hospitals. At the same time, more medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy (D.O.s) are coordinating patient care with chiropractic practices.
Most chiropractic colleges operate throughout the year. This accelerated schedule results in most students earning their Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree in less than three and one-half years. By combining experiential learning with lecture and lab classes, graduates accumulate up to two years of clinical experience.
The following is an overview of a chiropractic college education, which covers more than 4,200 clock hours of classes, labs, and patient-care experiences:
Typical courses include chiropractic philosophy and history, introductory anatomy and spinal anatomy, cell physiology, and biochemistry.
More detailed anatomy classes, plus explorations of cardiovascular/pulmonary physiology and immunology. Often, biochemistry classes are looking at digestion and intermediary metabolism. Other courses teach various manual therapy techniques.
Students expand their knowledge of microbiology topics and continue refining techniques used to carry out the chiropractic philosophy.
Fifth-semester subjects in chiropractic college might include performing a physical exam and learning to diagnose accurately.
Classes include clinical laboratory diagnosis, soft-tissue techniques, neuromusculoskeletal diagnosis, skeletal radiology, and advanced chiropractic techniques.
Students start their student clinic experience as chiropractic interns in the seventh trimester. They also learn X-ray procedures, soft-tissue radiology, and study patient-focused case management.
At this point, outpatient clinic experiences under the management of a licensed doctor of chiropractic begin. In addition, there is more classwork in clinical nutrition, differential diagnosis, advanced imaging methods, and pediatric and geriatric topics.
Students also learn about business strategy and tactics and explore communicating and working effectively with other healthcare professionals.
The final trimester is primarily about completing a patient-focused internship. Typically, students can expect to perform about 200 chiropractic adjustments evaluated by their supervising clinician.
Naturally, you’ll have plenty of other questions about earning a doctor of chiropractic degree, so for more answers, check out this Q&A blog.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit university specializing in chiropractic and health sciences located on a 34-acre campus in Overland Park, Kansas, a large suburb in the Kansas City metro.
Most students complete their D.C. degree in 3.3 years through our year-round trimester schedule. More than 11,000 U.S. chiropractors have earned their Doctor of Chiropractic degrees from CUKC.
Points of distinction of our degree program:
There’s never been a better time to get all the facts about chiropractic college. For details, request information here to receive this free eBook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.