Like all doctors, chiropractors work to help people get and stay healthy. Unlike other doctors, though, whose treatments can have delayed results due to waiting times for tests, slow-working medications, or surgeries with long recoveries, patients of chiropractors often see immediate results. Many walk out of their chiropractic appointments feeling less pain than when they went in. In fact, 95% of patients who went to chiropractors say that their treatment was effective!
At University of Bridgeport, our Doctor of Chiropractic program prepares you with the knowledge and training necessary to provide holistic, pain-reducing treatments — improving the well-being of individual patients and entire communities. Read on to learn if this unique field of medicine is the professional path for you.
What Do Chiropractors Do?
Chiropractors achieve results using several non-invasive therapies that help patients address immediate issues with long-term relief from pain and immobility. These therapies might include manual manipulation, acupuncture, spinal decompression, laser therapy, therapeutic massage, and more. Chiropractors also diagnose various musculoskeletal conditions and can provide physical therapy to help patients maintain long-term health. By providing affordable and non-invasive treatments for pain, chiropractors help reduce prescription drug abuse in their communities — playing a critical role in curbing the effects of the opioid epidemic.
Conditions that a chiropractor might be able to help with include chronic pain, carpal tunnel, tendonitis, sciatica, tennis elbow, and more. Treatments aim to eliminate pain, cramping, tingling, stiffness, inflammation, headaches, dizziness, and other similar physical symptoms.
How Do I Know if I’d Be a Good Chiropractor?
The better question to ask yourself is, “Do I want to become a chiropractor?” You’ll learn all the skills necessary once you enter your Doctor of Chiropractic degree program, so the real thing to think about is whether you’d be happy doing the day-to-day activities of a chiropractor. But before entering a program, it can be helpful to take a look at the general skills that a chiropractor employs every day. These skills include:
Coordination: Chiropractors use manual adjustments to realign a patient’s spine, muscles, joints, and more to ease pain. They need careful coordination, dexterity, and physical strength to do these adjustments accurately and carefully so as not to cause further harm to patients and meet the more physically demanding aspects of their careers.
Confidence: Chiropractors have a central role in creating care plans, giving diagnoses, and knowing when to recommend further treatment. Patients rely on confident doctors to make quick and well-thought-out decisions regarding their treatments so that they spend the least amount of time in pain as possible. A good Doctor of Chiropractic program like the one at UB is crucial for helping chiropractors develop the confidence and decision-making skills they need to earn patients’ trust and design effective treatment programs.
Empathy: Chiropractors care for patients who are in pain. A good chiropractor should be able to empathize with their patients so that they can provide understanding and supportive care.
Integrity: Chiropractors treat patients when they’re at their most vulnerable. Patients rely on their chiropractors to provide care in an ethical manner.
Organizational skills: Chiropractors often work in private clinics, taking on the difficult but highly fulfilling role of doctor and business owner. Entrepreneurial endeavors require careful organizational skills to manage paperwork, licensing, and bills. Furthermore, even chiropractors working in an already-established clinic or hospital have a lot of balls to juggle, including patient records and care plans, billing, and more! Good organizational skills are crucial to keeping your practice functioning and productive.
Interested in learning more about this profession from a practicing chiropractor? Check out our interview with UB professor Dr. Lesly Valbrun to learn more about what makes chiropractic such a unique field of medicine!
What Steps Should I Take to Become a Chiropractor?
Chiropractors must complete several highly specific educational requirements before they are eligible for licensure.
In order to become a chiropractor, you must complete a degree. Typically, students earn a bachelor’s degree before applying to a Chiropractic program. However, many schools simply require that students have completed a minimum of 90 undergraduate credits to begin their chiropractic studies. Every school has its own specific requirements for admission, which may include specific GPA or testing requirements. It’s recommended that you have a solid background in anatomy, chemistry, biology, and physics, as many schools require these as prerequisites. Getting them done early will help you save time in school, and in some cases, an application requirement.
If you’ve completed all the necessary prerequisites and meet the standards of your preferred chiropractic school, you may enter a Doctor of Chiropractic degree program. A Doctor of Chiropractic degree typically takes four years to complete, during which you’ll complete 4,200 hours of classroom and practical experience in both laboratory and clinical settings. In addition to gaining an in-depth knowledge of the musculoskeletal system, you’ll learn how to interpret diagnostic tests and administer various therapies to alleviate pain and discomfort in your patients.
Although every degree program is slightly different, a good Doctor of Chiropractic degree program typically has classes in:
- Diagnostic Skills
- Physical Therapy
Coursework in these areas helps future chiropractors prepare for the types of work they’ll be doing every day, ensures that they are prepared to take their licensure exams, and gives them hands-on experience in chiropractic therapies.
At UB, we place a focus on hands-on experience through our Chiropractic Clinic, where students can get real-world experience treating community members under the guidance of our highly experienced faculty. We also offer rotations at highly respected local chiropractic clinics off campus, giving students the opportunity to work with a diverse range of conditions and individuals.
In the United States, chiropractors are required to be licensed by the state in which they are going to be practicing, which can only happen after they have completed their Doctor of Chiropractic program. To be eligible for licensing, students must have:
- Passed all parts of the board exams administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners
- Graduated from an accredited college of chiropractic
Additional requirements may be needed depending on the state in which you are pursuing licensure.
What is the Job Outlook for Chiropractors?
Due to chiropractors providing holistic and non-prescriptive care, many people are turning to them as an alternative or addition to other forms of treatment. Furthermore, many prescriptive care options can take some time to start providing relief, and surgeries can have long recovery periods. On the other hand, chiropractic appointments often provide immediate pain relief, making them an enticing alternative for those who experience debilitating pain. As more insurance providers cover chiropractic treatment, the services chiropractors offer become more and more accessible as well. With all these factors increasing demand, it’s no wonder that the field is experiencing a surge in job prospects!
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employment for chiropractors is predicted to grow 10% between 2021 to 2031, a faster-than-average growth rate, with about 2,100 job opportunities per year. With a median pay of $75,000, becoming a chiropractor has never been more promising.
Doctors of Chiropractic provide their patients with holistic care that can substantially improve their daily life. Find out whether University of Bridgeport’s Doctor of Chiropractic program is right for you. Contact us today or call (203) 576-4552.