Becoming a Chiropractic Physician
Chiropractic Physicians diagnose and treat patients facing problems of muscular, nervous and skeletal systems, particularly spine. They diagnose the patients with X-rays or ultrasound tests and examine various factors like genetics, food habits, sleep patterns etc. to develop suitable treatment options. These professionals use hands-on manipulation techniques and other natural healing methods to recover patients’ health concerns such as back and neck injuries, without administering surgery or drugs.
Apart from the manual manipulations, Chiropractic Physicians treat patients with a combination of diet, exercise and other lifestyle methods. In some cases, they refer patients to medical specialists for further diagnosis and treatment.
Chiropractic Physicians are employed either in a private practice or in a group with other Chiropractors. They often work with massage therapists, physical therapists and other medical professionals involved in rehabilitation facilities. Most of these professionals work full time in clean, well-lit, comfortable offices. According to patients’ demand, they may need to work in the evening and on the weekend as well.
In order to become a Chiropractic Physician, the aspiring candidates must earn a D.C. (Doctor of Chiropractic) degree from an accredited institution, which requires at least 3 years of undergraduate college education for admission. The D.C. degree program takes 4 years to complete and covers the course of anatomy, physiology, biochemistry, microbiology, pathology, spinal analysis, lab and clinical training etc.
Certification and Licensure
Since all states of USA require a Chiropractic Physician to be licensed, the aspiring candidates have to earn a License by passing a test conducted by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. The candidates can also obtain certification after passing the required examination.
Besides the clinical knowledge, a Chiropractic Physician possesses a wide range of traits such as excellent dexterity, empathy towards patient, being detail oriented, high medical ethics, decision making abilities, high level of physical stamina to stand for long duration, effective communications and interpersonal skills, basic computer knowledge, etc.
Job Outlook and Salary
The job outlook for a Chiropractic Physician remains excellent across the USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 15% from 2012 to 2022, higher than the average for all occupations. The average annual salary of a Chiropractic Physician was $66,720 in May 2014.