Chiropractors Job Description
Chiropractors deal with the diagnosis and treatment of problems in the musculoskeletal system, and the effects of these problems on the nervous system and overall health. Just as in any other health practice, chiropractors begin with the standard routine, involving patient’s health history, neurological, physical and orthopedic examinations, as well as ordering lab tests, x-rays etc. They will then use special procedures like massage, or therapies with heat, water and light, electric current or acupuncture. They will advise on diet and nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes, or may refer patients to physicians in other fields.
Chiropractor Career Outlook
Employment here, as in all aspects of health care, is projected to improve and grow a lot faster than in other fields, and job prospects are good. Employment in chiropractic expects an increase of 20% by 2028; this job growth due to increased demand for alternative health care procedures. Today’s health-conscious Americans are drawn to chiropractic care as it emphasizes the importance of a healthy lifestyle, and chiropractors do not perform surgery or prescribe medications. Pediatric chiropractors are especially in demand among children, who are normally not keen on doctor’s visits; having no problem with the gentle care of these specialists, and among the older population, who have more likelihood of musculoskeletal problems.
Applicants to chiropractic programs must have a minimum of 90 semester hours of undergraduate study, leading to a bachelor’s degree, which must include courses in English, social sciences or humanities, organic and inorganic chemistry, physics, biology and psychology. A lot of applicants already have their bachelor’s degree, which is expected to eventually be the minimum entry requirement. Several chiropractic colleges will offer the chance to take the bachelor’s degree program at the same time as the pre-chiropractic study. Different states have varied requirements as to recognized chiropractic education, so inform yourself before you begin.
Training must include a minimum of 4,200 hours combined experience in classroom, laboratory and clinical training. The first two years of chiropractic training cover work in classrooms and laboratories on the sciences, to include anatomy and physiology, microbiology, pathology and biochemistry, as well as public health. The following two years training covers courses in spinal adjustment and manipulation, as well clinical experience in physical and laboratory diagnoses. You will also take courses in neurology, geriatrics, orthopedics, physiotherapy and nutrition. Once you gain your degree you are entitled to the credential D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic)
If you choose to follow a particular specialty, like sports injuries, rehabilitation, orthopedics, pediatrics or neurology, you can take postdoctoral training and sit exams, to receive diploma status in your chosen specialty. Chiropractors have to be licensed, and can only practice in the states they are licensed for, although in some states it is possible to obtain a license without further examination, if your previous state’s license meets their specifications.