An Overview of the Chiropractic Career
Have you ever been in a car accident? Thrown your back out, or suffered from a stiff neck? If so, you probably thought about going to a chiropractor.
Unless, of course, you wondered if seeing a chiropractor was the best solution?
After all, are chiropractors doctors?
Here, we’ll answer that question and explain the importance of chiropractors today. Further, we will discuss how you can become a chiropractor and help future patients live happy and healthy lives.
What is a Chiropractor?
A chiropractor is a health professional who cares about helping people and treating their patients with non-invasive, personalized care. Chiropractors treat disorders and issues of the bones, nerves, muscles, ligaments, cartilage, and nervous system.
There are over 70,000 licensed chiropractors working in the United States today.
A majority of a chiropractor’s work involves making adjustments in order to heal and ease discomfort for:
- Lower back pain
- Whiplash-related conditions
- Neck pain
- Pelvic pain
- Arm and shoulder pain
- Leg and hip pain
Chiropractors provide holistic, ongoing treatment that addresses the whole body and gives their patients the best quality of life possible.
Are Chiropractors Doctors?
Short answer: Yes.
However, chiropractors do not earn a medical doctor (MD) degree. Chiropractors in the United States are required to complete a Doctor of Chiropractor (DC) degree in order to practice. This degree is on par with an MD or a PhD.
Slightly longer answer? Yes, chiropractors are doctors of chiropractic medicine and are considered physicians.
Though they are unable to write prescriptions like medical doctors, chiropractors can diagnose and treat musculoskeletal conditions.
How Do You Become a Chiropractor?
After four years of undergraduate education, four years of a graduate-level chiropractic courses, and a certification by a state licensing board, chiropractors earn a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree.
In becoming a chiropractor, your undergraduate degree should focus on the sciences, with classes in biology, chemistry, psychology, and physics. Chiropractors typically finish college with a pre-med major or bachelor’s degree such as in Biology, Health Science, or Exercise Science.
After undergraduate studies, aspiring DC students attend a chiropractic graduate program with a combination of classes and hands-on experience. Chiropractic students learn about the body’s healing mechanisms, the neuro-musculoskeletal systems, patient diagnoses and pain management, health promotion, and develop a multidisciplinary approach to care.
After graduation, chiropractors must take and successfully pass the rigorous National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE) Exam before obtaining their license.
All states in the U.S. require chiropractors to earn their DC degree from a council on Chiropractic Education (CCE) accredited college, like the University of Bridgeport (UB).
Even after years of training, chiropractors are required to keep a high level of proficiency and remain current on the latest research and methods in their field. Furthermore, some chiropractors choose to specialize in a certain area and do an additional two to three years of residency training.
What Classes do Doctor of Chiropractic Students Take?
Classes in a Doctor of Chiropractic degree program can vary depending on the college or university. For example, UB’s School of Chiropractic (UBSC) prepares students to be primary health care providers. Each student is educated to diagnose patients, care for the human body in an evidence-based manner, and integrate their care within the larger health care system.
DC students take classes in biology, anatomy, clinical orthopedics, imaging interpretation (such as X-rays and MRIs), biochemistry, pediatrics, dermatology, and ethics.
More specifically, our Doctor of Chiropractic graduate curriculum involves:
- First year: courses in general anatomy, chiropractic principles biochemistry, and spinal anatomy
- Second year: courses in chiropractic procedures, pathology, clinical orthopedics, imaging interpretation, and research methods.
- Third year: courses in clinical internships, integrated chiropractic care, pediatrics, dermatology, practice management, and ethics and jurisprudence.
- Fourth year: Clinical internships and rotations in hospitals or clinics.
What Makes UB’s Doctor of Chiropractic Program Special?
Our program at UB has offered exceptional resources for students wishing to pursue a career in chiropractic care since 1991.
We continuously enhance facilities in order to provide robust clinical experiences, and treat the public in our UB clinics so students earn a high caliber education and achieve career success after graduation.
Program features include:
- Students are admitted twice per year–August and January
- Our program is only offered in a full-time, 4-year duration
- Small class sizes with a faculty to student ratio of 1:8
- Students enroll in an 18-week semester with 8 semesters total
- Summers off at the end of the first and second year
- Evidence-based curriculum with a strong focus on science
At UBSC, we make it our mission to educate chiropractic students to be successful providers of highly competent patient-centered care by utilizing best practice educational methodologies, engaging in relevant scholarly activities, and providing effective service to local communities.
Applying to UBSC’s DC program
Acceptance into the Chiropractic program at UB requires applicants to have a bachelor’s degree or a minimum of 90 credits completed and a GPA of 3.0 or higher. 24 of these credits must be in the physical/life sciences, with a C or better. We also recommend coursework in biology/anatomy and physiology, general and organic chemistry, and physics.
Prospective students must also submit an application, official transcripts from all schools attended, one letter of recommendation from a healthcare practitioner, and a 250-500 personal statement.
Applications must be submitted by July 15th for the fall semester and December 1st for the spring semester.
Becoming a Qualified and Caring Chiropractor
While chiropractors don’t have medical degrees (MD), they are doctors with a wealth of knowledge, with upwards of 4,000 hours of instruction and practice in various chiropractic methods.
With this knowledge, chiropractors are physicians that provide a drug-free, non-invasive, and affordable form of therapy to treat musculoskeletal problems for their patients. Chiropractic adjustments are designed to restore proper alignment, motion, and flexibility to all of the joints in the patient’s body so that the joints are properly aligned and subsequently the muscles, nerves, and other systems benefit.
Are you ready to provide excellent, patient-centered care to patients as a chiropractor? If yes, apply to UB’s Doctor of Chiropractic degree program today. Start the next step in your academic and professional journey today!