Although some people suffer from FOMO (Fear of Missing Out), there’s also anxiety about FOMM – Fear of Making a Mistake. It especially applies to career choices because no one wants to embark on a career that has a short shelf life or isn’t personally or professionally satisfying.
That’s why it’s comforting to know that the research is clear: By saying “yes” to your Doctor of Chiropractic degree (D.C.), you’ll have an opportunity to help others while making healthcare more effective.
First, dismiss the idea that doctors of chiropractic somehow have less intensive training than medical doctors. Chiropractors undergo more than 4,200 clock hours of post-bachelor’s degree education, covering classroom, laboratory, and clinical internship instruction.
No wonder they are rightfully considered specialists in musculoskeletal conditions and diseases. That status is perfect for a healthcare world increasingly focused on specialists working together for the patient’s well-being and long-term health.
Second, those with a doctor of chiropractic degree are designated as physician-level providers in most U.S. states and the U.S. Medicare program. Federal healthcare delivery systems – Veterans Affairs and Defense departments, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Federal Worker’s Compensation, state worker’s compensation programs, and Medicaid – also cover essential services by chiropractors.
According to research by the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), most U.S. health insurance plans cover some or all costs of necessary chiropractic treatments. Go here for more research data on chiropractic healthcare services.
Research indicates that time with a patient and careful review of their medical history leads to better patient care. As revealed in Annals of Internal Medicine, physicians report spending only an average of 27% of their day in direct patient care.
In a doctor of chiropractic degree curriculum, patient-care and soft-skill education begin early. Students learn that skills like active listening and careful one-to-one communication often lead to decisions that reveal the cause of pain rather than addressing the symptoms. Learn more about soft skills for healthcare here.
Is chiropractic effective? In a Palmer/Gallup survey, 95% of those choosing a chiropractor say “chiropractic is effective,” and 97% of those who saw a chiropractor in the past year would likely return when they have neck or back pain.
Evidence-based effectiveness studies have led chiropractic to be a vital part of today’s guideline-based approach to pain management, according to the Journal of American College of Physicians in 2017.
In a similar conclusion, The Joint Commission, an organization accrediting more than 20,000 healthcare systems nationwide, recognized the value of chiropractic (non-drug) approaches. It added chiropractic to its standards for pain management and advised first using conservative care methods to help eliminate potentially unnecessary surgeries and prescription opioid medications.
OK, now you know that the doctor of chiropractic degree has a lot going for it. Another step to relieve FOMM is knowing that chiropractic education is comprehensive.
Chiropractic students, focusing on the bio-psycho-social (whole person) approach to well-being, also learn a multitude of ways people can optimize health over a lifetime:
To ensure they can provide this whole-body health perspective, clinical competencies expected by chiropractic college graduates include:
Along with emphasizing a patient-first, non-drug approach, chiropractors are helping lead the way toward integrative care. Integrative care calls for healthcare practitioners to provide care for patients in a coordinated, supportive way.
Today, more medical doctors and doctors of osteopathy (D.O.s) are coordinating patient care with chiropractic practices than ever before. Here’s how the Mayo Clinic describes what integrative medicine is and why it’s being used.
Chiropractic Economics publishes an annual report on chiropractic salaries, and the “self-reported median salary” is about $100,000, meaning half typically earn more and the other half may earn less. The U.S. Bureau of Labor and Statistics puts the median salary closer to $80,000.
Because 50% of those earning the doctor of chiropractic degree are in solo or group practices, they control how much to expand their business or widen their scope of care. The BLS career outlook for chiropractors is 11% growth from 2020 to 2030.
This increase is due to a large “baby boom” generation entering their 60s and 70s and, therefore, more likely to have neuromusculoskeletal and joint problems.
Finally, the results of a survey in a chiropractic journal article in 2021 emphasized that respondents found satisfaction in helping patients reduce pain, build strength, and increase flexibility. Overall, job satisfaction was rated as “high” (a median score of 9/10).
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit university specializing in chiropractic and the health sciences. Our campus is in Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City area suburb of 190,000 people. Overland Park is recognized for its family-friendliness and livability. Note: To connect quickly with someone to answer your questions, click here.
Our chiropractic history began in 1922, and today, more than one out of every 10 chiropractors in the United States have earned our Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
In addition to a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree you can complete in 3.3 years, some students choose a combined B.S./D.C. program that can reduce the amount of time in school by up to a year.
Find out why becoming a chiropractor is an excellent fit for today’s healthcare environment. Get this free eBook right now: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.