When choosing a profession, few things are more powerful than hearing someone’s testimony of how a carefully considered career can make a difference.
One of those difference makers is the chiropractic profession. A doctor of chiropractic focuses on the diagnosis, care, and prevention of disorders of the spine and other parts of the musculoskeletal system. The unique feature of the doctor of chiropractic curriculum is the emphasis on the study of the structure and function of the human body, including the spine and extremities, and the nervous system, and how the relationship of these structures affect the restoration and maintenance of health.
Dr. Sammy Somerhalder earned his chiropractic degree from Cleveland University-Kansas City College of Chiropractic in 2018. He became acutely aware of the chiropractic profession after he went through some severe health problems as a young man. After a trial of prescription medicines, and with minimal relief, his frustration with lingering intense pain was his motivation to see a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.).
Following a comprehensive health assessment, young Sammy’s chiropractor discovered the source of Somerhalder’s pain. Through chiropractic care and changes in diet and nutrition, Somerhalder’s chiropractic experience and return to health helped lead him to his career choice.
Here’s an excerpt of an interview with Dr. Sammy Somerhalder, providing a first-person look at what it can mean to pursue a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree.
Q. What attracted you to Cleveland University-Kansas City’s College of Chiropractic?
A. After I was healthy, I was ready to figure out what I wanted to do and chiropractic looked like a really good option. It would give me the ability to help people. So, I started looking at schools.
A good friend of mine had gone to school at CUKC. One of the things I liked was it had a very small-town feel. I was raised in a small town and went to a small college.
Q. How is chiropractic positioned within healthcare?
A. Right now, chiropractors only see about 14% of the population, although more are starting to come around. Symptoms are merely the body’s way of expressing that something is missing or needs to change. The combination of the patient’s case history, examination, and diagnostic findings help determine whether chiropractic services are appropriate for the patient’s condition.
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.
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 Defense, the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, Federal Workers’ Compensation, and all state workers’ compensation programs.
Widespread satisfaction with chiropractic is documented by patient surveys and detailed in publications such as 2022’s Chiropractic: A Safe and Cost-effective Approach to Health.
After earning their chiropractic degree, many graduates start their own practice of chiropractic or are an associate in an established practice; others are employed by corporate wellness centers, the Veterans Administration of the U.S. Department of Defense, or work in multi-disciplinary practices with other health professionals. Chiropractic practices are found in cities, small towns, and rural areas.
The data site Salary.com reports the annual income of chiropractors with established practices will range from $100,000 or more. Salaries often include bonuses, commissions, and profit sharing.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) sees a 9% growth rate in the need for doctors of chiropractic from 2022 through 2032.
No single college degree or major is the key to chiropractic college admission, although the Council on Chiropractic Education sets the minimum requirements for accreditation. Each chiropractic college will have the requirements listed on its website.
Some areas of undergraduate study are known to offer a solid foundation for chiropractic:
Cleveland University-Kansas City is a chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburban city within the Kansas City metro area. Founded in 1922, more than one in every 10 chiropractors in the U.S. has received their chiropractic degree from CUKC. Our ongoing mission is to educate and develop leaders in health promotion and embrace behaviors that empower people to control and improve their lives.
Here are some of the reasons to consider CUKC:
CUKC offers a B.S./D.C. degree pathway, representing a concurrent program leading to a B.S. in Human Biology and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree. A similar pathway is available with the B.S. in Exercise Science. 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 connecting with an admissions advisor. You’ll also want our free eBook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.