Occupational statistics reveal what’s probably obvious to many. The need for healthcare professionals is growing, and the healthcare sector continues to expand. Overall, healthcare now is 18% of the U.S. economy and growing, according to the Association of Schools of Allied Health Professionals (ASAHP). At the same time, the doctor and nursing shortage shows little sign of slowing. Graduates of chiropractic colleges are finding they have a role in closing this gap.
Doctors of chiropractic (D.C.s) are healthcare practitioners who are specialists in treating diseases and conditions of the musculoskeletal system. Chiropractors are helping patients live better, healthier lives through nonpharmaceutical, noninvasive methods and practices.
1. “There’s no better time to be a chiropractor.”
Today’s medical community emphasizes coordinating patient care among specialists of many types. This approach is more satisfying to patients, delivers earlier, more accurate diagnoses, and drives down healthcare costs overall.
The 2019 article U.S. Health Care Continues Move Toward Multidisciplinary Medicine notes, “chiropractic services can be an integral part of the solution” in evaluating and treating patients with chronic pain.
All 50 U.S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands recognize and regulate the practice of chiropractic as an independent “portal of care provider” – the same status as dentists and ophthalmologists.
2. “Chiropractors have many treatment options to address many different conditions.”
Most people know chiropractors specialize in hands-on treatments in their approach to care. What surprises some is the full scope of that care, depending on a chiropractor’s comprehensive health assessment.
In chiropractic colleges, a chiropractic student will learn how to recommend an individualized treatment that might include:
3. “It’s three years to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree.”
Most chiropractic colleges use a year-round schedule that allows most students to complete their chiropractic degree in as few as 3.3 years. Although many students who begin a chiropractic degree already have an undergraduate degree, students can apply when they have a minimum of 90 semester hours of college credit and a cumulative 3.0 college grade point average.
Undergraduate majors that provide outstanding preparation include biology, human biology, kinesiology, and pre-physical therapy. Success in these subjects typically means a student can handle courses like anatomy, physiology, chemistry, and organic chemistry.
All chiropractic colleges list their degree requirements, so it’s easy to see how well undergraduate classes should (or did) match up to their expectations. Still in college and thinking about chiropractic? Know that college advisors are excellent at evaluating coursework for future careers. Often, students can take required and prerequisite courses remotely from their chiropractic college of choice.
There’s another option, too, when you have superior time management ability. Some universities offer a doctor of chiropractic degree where accepted students earn a Bachelor of Science (B.S.) in Biology (or Human Biology) at the same time.
In this option, the fourth year of the B.S. degree and the first year of the Doctor of Chiropractic degree program overlap. The benefit is that a chiropractic career can begin after six years of college instead of a more traditional seven or more. You can imagine the cost savings realized by not paying a year of college expenses.
Read more about the “3 years to a degree” approach to becoming a doctor of chiropractic.
4. “Chiropractic colleges offer a challenging curriculum.”
A chiropractic degree program includes more than 4,200 hours of classroom, lab, and patient care education, similar to the number of hours required in medical schools. As students near graduation, they will complete an internship focusing on patient care while under the supervision of a licensed doctor of chiropractic.
Of course, the curriculums have differences. Like medical school students, chiropractic students receive extensive classroom education and lab experience in many areas, including:
5. “More than half of all chiropractors become business owners and are in charge of their income potential.”
Yes, owning and operating a business presents risks, yet the lure of controlling the location of a healthcare practice draws many to the chiropractic profession. Imagine setting the hours of service and tailoring the practice to specific standards of patient care.
Because chiropractors control their business scope, chiropractic salaries typically increase over time as patients who like their experience refer family members, friends, and neighbors.
While the Bureau of Labor Statistics lists an average salary of $70,720, the data site Salary.com reports the lowest average salary by chiropractors with an established patient base to be $109,624, reflecting options like bonuses and profit-sharing. The median wage in 2020 ranges to $123,881 or more per year.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused University in Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City area suburb of 190,000 people. Founded in 1922, our College of Chiropractic is a pioneer in chiropractic education. There are more than 11,500 CUKC alumni in the chiropractic profession.
CUKC also offers a B.S. in Human Biology degree, a good match for those who plan to pursue the Doctor of Chiropractic degree. Some CUKC students choose to earn the B.S./D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic) concurrently to reduce the amount of time in school by up to a year.
Request more information about our College of Chiropractic here and download this informative, free eBook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.