Most complex topics defy easy yes and no answers. When considering healthcare professions, you might ask, “Are chiropractors doctors?” The answer is “yes” when you know the profession’s facts, the benefits chiropractic patients get, what research says about chiropractic care, and the next-level education chiropractors receive. It’s time to learn about a career as a Doctor of Chiropractic.
For many, the term doctor refers to a health professional who holds a medical doctor (M.D.) degree, which means med school, an internship, a residency, and a license. Because chiropractors do not have an M.D. degree, they aren’t medical doctors. By their training and licensure, chiropractors are doctors of chiropractic (D.C.) – professionals who are devoted to providing non-invasive, personalized care and treatment.
In the U.S., chiropractors hold a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree from an institution accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), the programmatic accreditor for chiropractic professional education.
In addition, chiropractic degree programs are typically affiliated with institutions holding regional accreditation, such as the Higher Learning Commission. The HLC is the same organization that issues accreditation for institutions such as the University of Kansas or the University of Missouri, among other higher education institutions.
Chiropractors are designated as physician-level providers in most state and federal Medicare programs. The essential services chiropractors provide are also available in national health delivery systems, including those administered by Medicaid, the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and the Department of Defense, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Federal Workers’ Compensation, and all state workers’ compensation programs.
A doctor of chiropractic degree focuses on diagnoses, care, and prevention of disorders of the spine and other parts of the musculoskeletal system. Doctors of chiropractic study spinal anatomy in-depth and learn to diagnose neuro-musculoskeletal conditions.
Chiropractic students, along with supervised patient care experience through internships or at area treatment facilities, do additional work in labs, independent and group study projects, and research studies. As chiropractic students gain knowledge and skills, they advance to treating patients in a public clinic supervised by licensed clinicians.
Ongoing evidence-based research supports the role of chiropractic care in non-pharmacological pain management, restoring function, and at a lower cost with high patient satisfaction.
Here are a few recent studies and meta-analyses that support the role of chiropractic care:
To apply for chiropractic college, students must have at least 90 semester hours of college courses in the following areas:
When you’re interested in knowing more about the chiropractic career, get to know Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC). Founded in 1922, CUKC is a national leader in health promotion through our College of Chiropractic and College of Health Sciences. More than one in every 10 chiropractors in the U.S. has received a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree from our College of Chiropractic.
Points of distinction of our D.C. program:
CUKC offers a B.S./D.C. degree, representing a concurrent program leading to a B.S. in Human Biology and a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. This reduces the total time from high school to a professional degree by up to a year.
Learn more about our College of Chiropractic by requesting information from an admissions advisor. You’ll also want our free eBook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.