Are you looking for a career that takes a natural, preventative approach to health care? A career that helps patients achieve good health and function without the invasive use of drugs or surgery?
If you are, I implore you to consider pursuing a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) Degree Program.
1. Who is a chiropractor?
According to the Sherman College of Chiropractic, a chiropractor is a health care professional focused on the diagnosis and treatment neuromuscular disorders, with an emphasis on treatment through manual adjustment and/or manipulation of the spine. Most chiropractors seek to reduce pain and improve the functionality of patients as well as to educate them on how they can account for their own health via exercise, ergonomics and other therapies to treat back pain.
Most chiropractors work full time, according to wikiprofessional.org. They are typically employed in office settings, either in a private practice or in a group with other chiropractors. Though not frequently seen, chiropractors can also work in doctors’ offices. Those who work in their own offices have more flexibility when it comes to scheduling, but they may need to work in the evening and on the weekend depending on patient need. Chiropractors often work with physical therapists, massage therapists, and other medical professionals involved in the area of rehabilitation.
2. What are the educational requirements to get into an accredited chiropractic school?
Chiropractors typically graduate from an accredited chiropractic school. They do not have an MD or DO degree from a medical school; instead they earn a D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic) degree. Currently, chiropractic candidates are not required to have a bachelor’s degree before entering chiropractic school. However, many students do complete a bachelor’s program, and a minimum of 90 semester hours of undergraduate coursework is required for acceptance into a chiropractic program. Prospective chiropractic students will also need to have successfully passed prerequisite classes in biology, chemistry, and physics.
According to the American Chiropractic Association, there are 16-18 schools and institutions that hold accredited status with the Council on Chiropractic Education. The list can be found at the American Chiropractic Association website.
3. What is chiropractic school like?
According to about.com, The chiropractic course is typically a total of four years, but some programs vary in length. The focus of the classroom coursework entails courses in the sciences such as anatomy, physiology, biology, biochemistry, and pathology. In addition to classroom requirements, lab and clinical training are required components of the chiropractic education.
Licensure is required on a national level and is obtained by passing a four-part test by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. Not surprisingly, continuing medical education (CME) is required to keep licensure current. Some state boards require additional testing, but most recognize the national test.
4. What is the job outlook for a chiropractor?
The outlook for chiropractors is well above average, with about 20% growth predicted between 2008-2018, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. There are about 49,100 chiropractors practicing in the U.S. as of 2008, and about 44% of those are self-employed in a solo practice.
The reason for this faster than average growth is due to the new popularity of alternatives to medication and surgery. Also, since alternative therapies are now being more widely accepted, insurance companies are more likely to cover chiropractic treatment, and chiropractors are now working with other medical professionals to treat patients. The portion of the population that is aging will also seek chiropractic treatment due to conditions and injuries of the spine and joints associated with getting older.
5. Additional Job statistics according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics,
Median pay: $66,160 per year ($31.81 per hour)
Number of Jobs: 44,400
Hopefully you found this to be a good introduction into the profession. You can find additional information about the preparation for chiropractic school by checking out the guidelines provided by the Association of Chiropractic Colleges.
BASC Peer Adviser 2014-2015