If you’re looking for a career in an exciting, but laid-back medical field, chiropractic might very well be the career for you. Chiropractors are doctors who focus on the nervous and musculoskeletal systems. They practice medicine without the use of invasive surgery or drugs.
Chiropractic is becoming quite popular of late as more and more people are embracing the benefits of natural medicine.
Are you interested in pursuing a career where you can help patients through natural means?
This is how to enter the medical field and become a chiropractor.
Secure Your Undergraduate Degree
The first thing you must do (provided that you’ve secured your high school diploma) on your path to becoming a chiropractor is to secure your undergraduate degree. This is not required in all states but is required in most.
In states where an undergraduate degree is required, you typically must earn at least 90 credit hours. Doing so generally takes around 4 years of study.
Those who do live in states where 90 credit hours are required must start out by choosing a sufficient undergraduate university.
Upon enrollment at university, it’s best to take courses in the realms of physics, chemistry, and biology. It’s wise to take some classes in psychology, fitness, and nutrition, as well.
Chiropractors have to be fairly well-rounded individuals. Required skills include medical knowledge and communication skills, to name just a few. The goal while earning your undergraduate degree should be to take as many different types of classes as possible.
Graduate from Chiropractic School
Upon earning your 90 undergraduate credit hours (or Bachelor’s degree), you’ll be ready to enroll in chiropractic school.
If you plan on attending chiropractic school directly after earning your Bachelor’s degree, it’s wise to send out applications during your last year of undergrad. This will give you the absolute best chance of being accepted.
Believe it or not, there are relatively few chiropractic schools in the United States. They include Texas Chiropractic College, New York Chiropractic College, and a handful of others.
The degree that you earn from chiropractic school is known as the Doctor of Chiropractic. This degree is earned in a minimum of 4 years at most schools.
Earn Necessary Licenses
After graduating chiropractic school, your work is not yet over. You must secure necessary chiropractic licenses before you begin to practice chiropractic legally.
Many U.S. states require you to pass only the exam that is offered by The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. This is a 3-part exam offered at all chiropractic colleges in the United States. It requires rigorous study.
In addition to these 3 parts, there is also an optional physiotherapy exam that you can take in order to work in specialized fields.
There are practice exams offered at all chiropractic schools to help you prepare for this exam. Additional study is also recommended.
Some states also require that you pass their own specialized chiropractic exam. In addition to this, some states require that you continue education after your licenses have been earned.
Pick Your Specialty & Become a Chiropractor
The next step you must take if you want to become a chiropractor is to pick your chiropractic specialty. In general, chiropractors only practice one or two small subsets of chiropractic.
By doing this, they give themselves a better chance of being discovered by clients. Most clients don’t just want a chiropractor. They want a specific type of chiropractor: someone who is specially designated to handle their exact problem.
Sports injury, pediatric chiropractic, and chiropractic neurology are some of the more popular chiropractic specialties.
If you market yourself simply as a “chiropractor,” you’re going to have trouble securing clients of any kind, regardless of how good you are.
Why? Because you don’t stand out from anyone else in your location who refers to themselves as simply a “chiropractor.”
Consider which subsets of chiropractic you enjoy most. Then consider their earning potential. After you’ve done that, narrow the subsets down until you’ve got one that is both sought after by clients and enjoyed by you.
Start Your Practice or Fill an Existing Position
After you’ve secured your necessary licenses and have chosen your specialty area of practice, you can start to seek out employment. You can do this in one of two ways: by starting your own chiropractic practice or by accepting a position at an existing practice.
If you’ve got an existing social network which can help you secure a job at an already fledgling practice, you should accept an open position. This will allow you to get your foot in the door so that you can start growing your reputation.
However, if you have trouble finding an existing position, you can always start your own practice. As it is with any new business owner, it will be an uphill battle to attract a consistent client base. However, through marketing and hard work, it is possible.
Remember to market yourself as a specific type of chiropractor in order to make yourself as appealing as possible. For instance, Natural Healing Arts Medical Center markets itself as a natural healer. This differentiates it from other chiropractic practices in its area.
Maintain Your Official Status
Though you may have secured your license to be a professional chiropractor, it doesn’t necessarily mean that your work is over.
In many states, it is required that you maintain your official status. Taking additional classes and attending designated workshops will allow you to do so.
Even if it’s not legally required, it’s still wise to take classes so that you can keep up on the most modern of chiropractic practices.
Other Medical Careers to Consider
Perhaps you don’t want to become a chiropractor, but are interested in pursuing other medical professions? If so, ULearning can set you on the right path.
We can show you how to break into a number of different health careers, from dental hygiene to personal training, and much more.
Have any questions about a specific career? Contact us!