The 3.3 years spent earning a Doctor of Chiropractic degree will be a busy time. You’ll be learning diagnostic assessment skills, studying human body biomechanics, and gaining a deep understanding of nutrition, exercise, and posture. Beyond that, how else can you plan for a successful chiropractic career after graduation?
While you’re in school, here are four ways to ensure your healthcare career gets off to a fast start.
How to Prepare for Your Career While You’re in School
1. Job Shadow a Chiropractor
Although the majority of your time focuses on chiropractic school duties, you’ll benefit greatly by job shadowing with an experienced doctor of chiropractic. A chiropractic school located in an urban area will give you plenty of opportunities to find one – or several – who can introduce you to the inner workings of serving the public. Be proactive about talking to faculty or administrators who can refer you to alumni in the area.
Don’t settle for one type of practice, either. In addition to shadowing someone in general practice, see if you can find a doctor of chiropractic who specializes in sports chiropractic, pediatric chiropractic, or another specialty, or one who regularly works with medical doctors and other healthcare specialists. These experiences will help you decide what type of chiropractic best fits your talents and interests.
2. Begin Thinking Like the Healthcare Leader You’ll Be
As a chiropractic student, you’re on track to become a member of the third-largest independent healthcare profession after medical doctors and dentists. Yes, you’ll be a specialist in treating neuromusculoskeletal conditions, but remember that doctors of chiropractic are healthcare leaders for the communities they serve.
Your noninvasive, non-pharmaceutical approach to better health and wellness will have a positive impact for everyone in the community over their lifetime:
3. Focus on Creating Effective Patient Relationships
You want to be the doctor of chiropractic whose patients eagerly recommend you to family members, friends, and neighbors. In a study by the American Journal of Small Business, the top-ranked characteristics among successful people are oral communication and active listening. Patients need to know you care about them as a person.
Beyond technical knowledge and skills, an essential part of becoming a doctor of chiropractic is learning how to explain findings and recommendations clearly to patients of all ages and backgrounds.
Ask your instructors to tell you about the different patient scenarios they have faced. Practice varying your approach to care according to a patient’s background, ethnicity, or cultural background.
4. Envision What Makes Your Practice Grow
As an independent healthcare professional, you are responsible for the growth of your practice. Patients won’t find you without knowing you and the benefits you can provide. To ensure success for the long term, you’ll want to be active in networking, have a sound business plan, and a firm understanding of business operations.
In the best of all worlds, your doctor of chiropractic school will include success strategy sessions and classes as part of the educational curriculum. (Here’s an example of business strategy sessions for chiropractic students.)
Often led by an alumni chiropractor, these sessions introduce you to
You Chose the Doctor of Chiropractic Degree. You Chose Well.
Maximizing learning opportunities while in school will help you get a fast start to your chiropractic career, and the decision you made has never had a better outlook. In a 2017 report, 95% of recent chiropractic patients rated chiropractic as effective, and 97% of past-year chiropractic patients would see a chiropractor again for neck or back pain.
Doctors of chiropractic are designated as physician-level providers in most U.S. states, Puerto Rico, and by the U.S. Medicare program. Eight of every 10 U.S. health plans cover the essential services by chiropractors.
They are also available in federal health delivery systems, including Medicaid, the U.S. Departments of Veterans Affairs and Defense, Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Federal Workers’ Compensation, and state workers’ compensation programs.
The Doctor of Chiropractic Degree at CUKC
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, the largest suburban city in the Kansas City metro. Most students earn their Doctor of Chiropractic degree (D.C.) in 3.3 years (10 trimesters) through a year-round schedule.
Also available is a Concurrent D.C./B.S. in Human Biology program that can reduce time in school by up to a year.
Points of distinction for the CUKC chiropractic degree include:
If you have more questions about how to become a chiropractor, you’ll find answers to many of the most frequently asked questions in this FAQ blog.
When you’re eager to learn more, or want to tell someone you know about this in-demand opportunity, get the free eBook, Your Complete Guide to the Doctor of Chiropractic Profession.