According to the American Chiropractic Association, chiropractic is a branch of the healing arts, which is concerned with human health and disease processes. Because of the emphasis on holistic care, chiropractic is associated with the field of alternative medicine. Chiropractors, also known as doctors of chiropractic medicine or chiropractic physicians, diagnose and treat patients whose health problems are associated with the body’s muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems, especially the spine. Chiropractors believe by making adjustments to these systems & the spine, patient’s health can be improved and preserved. They practice knowing that spinal dysfunction and skeletal imbalance affect many important parts of the body, like the nervous system, and if untreated can lead to pain. Chiropractic is a drug-free, non-surgical science; although they will refer patients for such services if medically necessary.
Chiropractic care of back, neck, extremities, and other joint damage has become more accepted as a result of recent research and changing attitudes. Chiropractors can specialize in specific areas of chiropractic care, including orthopedics, radiology & diagnostic imaging, sports chiropractic, pediatrics, occupational injuries or nutritional consultation. In chiropractic, as in other types of independent practice, earnings are relatively low in the beginning, but increase as the practice grows. Most chiropractors are in solo practice, although some are in group practice or work for other chiropractors. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the mean annual wage of chiropractors in 2018 was $71,410, and the demand for chiropractors is expected to increase 12% by 2026.
There are 18 colleges in the U.S. that are accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education. Most of these schools prefer that students complete a four-year degree prior to admission and some states require a bachelor’s degree prior to licensure. The Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) degree takes approximately four years to complete. All chiropractors are required to pass a state licensing exam before they are allowed to practice chiropractic medicine. The minimum GPA for admission to most schools is a 2.5, but preference is given to students with a 3.0 or higher GPA. Entrance exams are not always required, but applicants must submit an application, including letters of recommendation.
Course Requirements (for CA schools)
Note: Admission prerequisites vary by institution. Some schools will not accept AP credit for prerequisites. Check requirements carefully!
9 science classes to total 36 units. Here are some recommendations:
Biology: Bio 161, 162
Anatomy/Physiology: Bio 231, 232 (for all majors except Bio) or Bio 361, 406-409, & 426
Note: Engineering & Physical Science majors should enroll in Chem 124, 125, and 126
Note: Biochemistry & Chemistry majors should enroll in Chem 216, 217/221 & 371
Physics: Phys 121, 122 or Phys 141, 132
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