A degree in chiropractic medicine focuses on patient health and the relationship between the main structures of the body, including the skeleton, muscles and nerves. Most chiropractors believe in functional medicine where the root causes of the pain or injury are examined. A degree in chiropractic medicine provides students with the skills necessary to work in this well-respected field of medicine.
Overview: What is Chiropractic Medicine?
Chiropractic medicine is a healthcare discipline that focuses on the innate power of the body to heal itself without the use and overuse of drugs and surgery. Chiropractic medicine determines the relationship between the body and its ability to restore and preserve its health. Chiropractic doctors and professionals diagnose and treat patients who experience health problems associated with muscular, skeletal and nervous systems.
A chiropractor’s approach to medicine is functional and often holistic in nature. The profession does not typically believe in forcing drugs on patient’s to prevent pain, but believes that through careful and natural manipulation of the body issues can be deterred and often cured. The profession examines the root causes of the problems a patient faces and is aware that a person’s diet, sleep patterns, stress levels and overall environment may contribute to the issues. Heredity is also considered when determining the root causes of issues faced by patients.
A chiropractor typically spends between seven and eight years in school and graduates from an accredited chiropractic medicine program. Students have the option of obtaining a bachelor’s degree in three or four years from a college or university. Those obtaining their degree in three years immediately enter a Doctor of Chiropractic program to obtain a D.C. degree. A typical D.C. degree program takes four years to complete.
The standard curriculum for the program includes a wide variety of science and health related subjects. Courses in anatomy, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, psychology, nutrition, neurology and biomechanics are covered. Students learn techniques in chiropractic care such as adjustive manipulation, spinal analysis, and more.
Accreditation matters, so it is important to only consider schools and programs that are accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education.
The job outlook for chiropractic medicine is favorable over the next ten years as the aging population reaches an all time high and requires additional medical care. The average salary is $90,000 for chiropractors depending on the location and experience. Most chiropractors work in private practice or with a team of professionals. Those in private practice have a higher earning potential than those who work under managed care.
Chiropractors typically work forty hours per week, while solo practitioners are able to set their own schedule. Some may work weekends or evenings in order to adjust to patient’s schedules. In case of emergencies, chiropractors may see their patients at all hours of the day. It is important to be flexible and willing to change in the field. Keeping up on modern technology and new advances is important in successfully working in the field of medicine.