UPDATED MAY 5, 2020
Those who have a unique skill set to enter the world of healthcare should know two things. One, the world needs more people with that “caring calling” to enter healthcare professions. Two, these talented, compassionate individuals can find that perfect career fit by learning how to become a chiropractor. More students find the world of chiropractic appealing than you realize, and the reasons are compelling.
Chiropractic translates to “done by hand,” which means an emphasis on using the hands to relieve dysfunctions of the spine and extremities. The goal is restoring and optimizing the quality of life in natural ways – without surgery, invasive procedures, and prescription medicines. Chiropractors optimize patient health by emphasizing proper nutrition, regular exercise, stress management, and a focus on spinal and extremity joint biomechanics.
In 2017, articles in major publications like the Annals of Internal Medicine and the Journal of American Medical Association (JAMA) were calling for conservative, nondrug therapies for pain management whenever possible.
That puts a chiropractic degree at the front and center of the search for better, more effective healthcare.
How to Become a Chiropractor
1. Focus on Science Courses in High School
Chiropractic education is equivalent to medical school, encompassing 4,200 hours of class time, lab work, and learning patient care skills. You can be prepared for the fast pace of a chiropractic degree by focusing on science and life science coursework in high school.
Don’t settle for the minimum – look for advanced biology coursework like “human biology,” plus chemistry, chemistry labs, and anatomy.
2. Earn a B.S. in Biology
The standard for a chiropractic degree, similar to med school, remains the Bachelor of Science in biology. The complexity of the human body and chiropractic’s focus on the musculoskeletal system makes a good case for earning a B.S. in human biology – the deeper the knowledge of the body’s systems, the better.
For some, how to become a chiropractor might be a stepped approach. This could mean focusing on coursework for an associate degree in biological sciences, then continuing to a B.S. in biology or human biology after that. Always keep your end goal in mind. Most, if not all, pre-med type coursework should transfer to your choice in chiropractic school.
3. Choose Your D.C. Program and Maximize the Opportunity
Do all the above, and you’ll be as ready as possible for chiropractic school’s academic challenges, but that’s just the beginning. Look for a university that provides an active student community. Participate in student clubs, ask questions in class, join a study group, and take advantage of all clinical experiences offered.
One good reference point for overall quality is the percentage of graduates passing all parts of the all-important National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) exam. As a benchmark, look for an average student pass rate of 90% or more.
Earn Your Chiropractic Degree from CUKC
Being smart about how to become a chiropractor starts with where to become a chiropractor. More than one out of every 10 chiropractors in the U.S. is a Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) graduate.
CUKC is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of nearly 190,000 people within the Kansas City metropolitan area. The University’s College of Chiropractic has been a national leader since 1922.
The CUKC accelerated Doctor of Chiropractic degree program can be completed in just 3.3 years (10 trimesters), all in classrooms and labs on the CUKC campus and at clinical settings in the Kansas City area. Qualified applicants can enter the chiropractic degree program in September, January, or May of each year.
Cleveland University-Kansas City can also help you maximize the overall value of your education with a concurrent degree plan. You earn a B.S. in Human Biology while completing your Doctor of Chiropractic degree. That’s more bang for your buck and in less time!
Our team of admissions advisors can help answer your questions about becoming a chiropractor and get you on the path toward becoming the difference in healthcare. Click here to connect with an advisor.
For a guidebook about chiropractic careers and what to look for in a chiropractic college, get a free ebook, Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession today!