Everyone who works in healthcare will say helping people is at the core of what they want to do. By earning a doctor of chiropractic degree, you’re in a position to help people in a variety of natural, noninvasive ways.
Chiropractic care emphasizes a biopsychosocial care philosophy rather than one limited to a biomedical approach. People becoming a chiropractor want to offer a spectrum of care choices.
Determining the correct treatment for each patient is central to chiropractic education. A comprehensive physical assessment is always step one, and every treatment plan is personalized to help patients achieve better health over a lifetime.
For example, the chiropractic approach to safe, effective care includes
Patients have long accepted chiropractic care, and recently, there’s been an abundance of evidence to validate their trust.
Since 2012, 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) – the largest medical-specialty society in the world – presented issued new clinical recommendations advocating for first choosing conservative treatments, including spinal adjustments.
The years of education a chiropractic student undertakes is quite similar to medical school. Students earning a chiropractic degree complete more than 4,200 hours of classes, lab work, and patient care instruction.
Most chiropractic colleges use a tri-semester system (three semesters per year), enabling the majority of doctor of chiropractic degree students to complete chiropractic college in 3.3 years after admission.
To apply for admission to a chiropractic college, students must have a minimum of 90 college hours and a cumulative 3.0 or higher GPA. Common college majors include kinesiology, exercise science, human biology, or other health sciences.
Most students who decide to earn a chiropractic degree already have a bachelor’s degree and have had previous success navigating science and math courses. The 90 college hours are expected to include 24 hours of life and physical sciences courses, including biology, anatomy, physiology, and general and organic chemistry with lab components.
At different times during chiropractic college, students undergo testing supervised by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). The NBCE exam series evaluates knowledge of various basic science and clinical science subjects, higher-level cognitive abilities, and the ability for effective problem-solving.
All U.S. states and the District of Columbia accept or require success in Parts I, II, III, and IV for state licensure. A glimpse into the NBCE exam series:
(Functional assessment of body alignment, movement, and balance.)
The final session of the NBCE exam evaluates student competencies for patient conditions chiropractors commonly encounter, conditions that present cautions to chiropractic case management, and conditions that require early detection to preserve the life/health of the patient.
Dr. Taylor Frederick:
“I grew up expecting to go into business, IT work, or teaching. I started college as an international business major, then architecture. During my architecture stint, I suffered a substantial injury and became a chiropractic patient for the first time. After experiencing first-hand the benefits of chiropractic, I remember thinking, ‘this is too cool to not do for a living!’”
Dr. Sherri Hays:
“Chiropractic works everywhere. You can work for someone if you want to or start your practice and have your own business. When you start school, you think, ‘I’m going to adjust patients,’ but you end up doing a lot more than you would expect. Chiropractic is a profession where you really can find meaning, and you can give it away every day that you’re practicing.”
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a nonprofit, private, healthcare-focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a Kansas City metro suburb.
Our history in chiropractic education began in 1922. Today, CUKC is the only chiropractic university still guided by the founding family. Nearly 11,000 chiropractors in the U.S. have a doctor of chiropractic degree from our College of Chiropractic.
Going for the chiropractic degree puts you on track for a satisfying – and challenging – people-first career as a healthcare practitioner. The job outlook for healthcare diagnosing or treating practitioners is for 10% growth from 2021 through 2031, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Find out more by requesting CUKC information, and get this free eBook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.