Some statistics are more startling than others are. One research study examining how doctors spend their day found that physicians spent 27% of their office day in one-on-one time with patients. According to the report Practice Analysis of Chiropractic 2020, doctors of chiropractic spend 64.3% of their day on patient care and treatment.
When your career goal is providing people with the best healthcare possible, exploring the Doctor of Chiropractic degree (D.C.) should be high on your list. Read on to discover why. After all, you deserve to know all you can about the occupation U.S. News & World Report ranks as one of the “Best Healthcare Jobs” for 2022.
Attending a chiropractic college means choosing a healthcare career focusing on a whole-person, biopsychosocial philosophy of health rather than only a biomedical approach.
Doctors of chiropractic believe in optimizing health through manual therapies that ensure proper spinal and extremity joint biomechanics, along with proper nutrition, constructive exercise, and good posture.
The Association of Chiropractic Colleges, the leadership organization of chiropractic education programs in the United States and Canada, states, “the chiropractic discipline emphasizes the inherent recuperative power of the body to heal itself without the use of drugs or surgery. In addition, doctors of chiropractic recognize the value and responsibility of working in cooperation with other healthcare practitioners when in the best interest of the patient.”
Most students thinking about a healthcare career want to know how it takes to enter their profession. In a typical chiropractic college using a year-round trimester schedule, earning a doctor of chiropractic degree takes about three and a half years of study.
Most chiropractic college students already have a bachelor’s (4-year) degree, typically in biology, human biology, kinesiology, exercise science, or a closely related subject. In some cases, students are admitted if they have at least 90 undergraduate credit hours.
A D.C. degree requires at least 4,200 clock hours of instruction, about the same as medical school education. On average, chiropractic college students have more hours of training in anatomy, physiology, diagnosis, and orthopedics (the musculoskeletal system).
In addition, there’s direct patient care time in a chiropractic college’s student clinic and public clinic, always under the supervision of a licensed chiropractic clinician. Often, a chiropractic college will have a dedicated lab space so students can practice manual therapies.
A Doctor of Chiropractic degree education is intensive, and the amount of knowledge to master happens quickly. Be prepared to excel!
While in high school, focus on math and life sciences courses, and choose those with lab components when you can. (Often, your local community college offers such classes to high school students.)
When selecting a university to attend, look into being a pre-med (or similar) major. Make sure you ask about the college’s reputation for teaching excellence in areas such as biology, anatomy, physiology, and general and organic chemistry.
As you might expect, there are minimum D.C. degree program requirements, set by the Council for Chiropractic Education. The CCE is the national accrediting agency for doctor of chiropractic degree programs.
CCE minimum admissions requirements:
A Doctor of Chiropractic degree entitles graduates to be considered a portal-of-care healthcare practitioner, meaning no referrals for medically necessary care are needed.
Four major medical journals have acknowledged the benefits of chiropractic treatments: the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), Spine, Annals of Internal Medicine, and the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics.
In 2017, the American College of Physicians (ACP) issued new clinical recommendations for first choosing conservative, non-invasive treatments, including spinal therapies by chiropractors.
At the same time, chiropractors are helping lead the way toward integrative healthcare, which means using conventional and complementary approaches together in a coordinated way. The profession’s collaborative, whole-person approach fits naturally into today’s expectations for accurate diagnosis and cost-efficient care.
Chiropractors regularly coordinate care with M.D.s, occupational health practitioners, physical therapists, and sports medicine specialists.
According to the American Chiropractic Association (ACA), at least 90% of U.S. healthcare plans cover chiropractic care when medically necessary. Workers ’ compensation, Medicare, some Medicaid plans, and Blue Cross Blue Shield plans also provide coverage for federal employees.
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, chiropractic and health sciences university in Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City area suburb of 190,000 people. Overland Park is recognized for its livability, family friendliness, and affordability. (Got a quick question about us? Click here to be connected!)
Since our founding in 1922, more than 11,000 chiropractors have earned their D.C. degree through our College of Chiropractic.
Points of distinction for our chiropractic program:
Request information about the CUKC Doctor of Chiropractic degree and click here to get a free eBook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.