The Chiropractor’s Journey: From Student to Well-Established Practitioner

The Chiropractor’s Journey: From Student to Well-Established Practitioner

“How do I become a chiropractor? How long does it take? What degrees do I need? What steps do I need to take?”

You may think it’s hard to become a chiropractor. It certainly is a challenge. You have to master the chiropractic science and techniques and pass exams, certifications, and licensing before you can begin. However, with some research, preparation, and focus, you can have a tremendously rewarding career.

 

What Does a Chiropractor Do?

Chiropractors optimize the function of the nervous and skeletal systems. They manipulate and adjust the spine to alleviate pain and other symptoms. In addition, a chiropractor’s work addresses disorders in bones, joints, muscles, and connective tissues, which affect patients’ overall well-being and contribute to declining health.

Chiropractic medicine utilizes a natural and drugless approach” as a form of alternative or complementary health care. Spinal adjustments and other physical treatments, not drugs,  provide the pain relief patients need. But despite significant differences, chiropractic and medical practices can be combined to produce the best outcome for the patient.

 

The Steps Toward Becoming a Chiropractor

How long does it take to become a chiropractor? It can take about eight years, from college to job. You will be taking these steps to become a chiropractor:

  • Earn a college degree
  • Attend an accredited chiropractic school
  • Earn a Doctor of Chiropractic Certification (DC)
  • Obtain a state license
  • Choose a specialty
  • Land a job

 

Make a Smart Early Decision

Once you have decided to become a chiropractor, make a plan. What about money? Your current job? College courses? Support from your family and friends? It’s hard to become a chiropractor, but if you plan well, you can overcome challenges.

Let’s take a closer look at those steps to becoming a chiropractor.

 

Earn a College Degree

First, you need a bachelor’s degree. Each chiropractic school has its own set of requirements, but most look for science coursework such as biology, chemistry, physics, as well as exercise science, kinesiology, and anatomy. These provide a solid foundation for your chiropractic studies.

What if you didn’t major in science in college? You can take science classes such as organic chemistry, physics, chemistry, biology, and psychology at a nearby university.

Now you’re ready to apply to DC programs.

 

Attend a Chiropractic School

Apply to accredited schools with programs that appeal to you and can accommodate your needs. Three accredited chiropractic colleges closest to New Jersey are:

  • D’Youville College in Buffalo, New York
  • Northeast College of Health Sciences in Seneca Falls, New York
  • University of Bridgeport School of Chiropractic in Bridgeport, Connecticut

The DC degree can take four to five years to complete, depending on the school and your own timetable. Early years focus on anatomy, physiology, microbiology, biochemistry, pediatrics, neuroanatomy, spinal anatomy, and radiology. Later years focus on clinical experience in spinal assessment, techniques, diagnoses, and business management.

 

Earn a Doctor of Chiropractic Certification

Starting while in school, you will take a set of examinations from the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE):

  • Part I – anatomy, physiology and other sciences
  • Part II – chiropractic practice, diagnoses, and other specialized topics
  • Part III – case history and management, techniques
  • Part IV – advanced case management and techniques

Once you have passed, congratulations! You have earned your DC degree! You can now apply for a license.

 

Become Licensed and Specialize

You must be licensed in the states in which you practice. Armed with your DC certificate and passing scores in the NBCE exams, you can apply for your license. Each state may have its additional exams and requirements, though New Jersey, for example, “recognizes the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners’ four-part examination as their state examination.

You will also need a specialty. What sparks your interest? Specialties include:

  • Sports
  • Pediatrics
  • Occupational health
  • Orthopedics
  • Neurology
  • Nutrition
  • Acupuncture
  • Radiology

Keep your eyes open for what interests you most among these and any other specialties you discover. Then, choose what will be most fulfilling.

Furthermore, keep in mind that if you ever plan to open your practice, you will need to learn how to start and maintain a business. This requires knowledge of managing and leading staff, finance, effective communication, marketing, records management, legal matters, state and local laws and regulations, and more. You can take business classes at a local university. Also, look into the Small Business Administration’s valuable, free resources that help you plan, launch, manage, and grow your business.

 

Our Journeys

The doctors of Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center have traveled their unique journeys.

Dr. Gregory Doerr graduated from Rutgers University with a BS in Biology and from New York Chiropractic College. A Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician, he has developed techniques for taping injuries, has lectured nationally and internationally on various topics, and has worked with college and professional sports teams.

Dr. Megan K. Doyle is a graduate of the University of Bridgeport Chiropractic College and has her MBA from Western New England University. In addition, doctor Doyle completed a year of clinical training at various hospitals and community centers. A former athlete, she specializes in sports.

Dr. Alex Farinola is a graduate of the University of Bridgeport School of Chiropractic in Connecticut and received his undergraduate degree in Exercise Science from Rutgers University. He spent over five years in the healthcare industry while completing his graduate studies.

 

Conclusion

There are many roads on the journey to becoming a chiropractor. If you’re asking yourself, “How do I become a chiropractor? What are the requirements?” A little research on your part will go a long way. Prepare yourself, apply to schools, then apply yourself to the program.

You’re on the road to a fulfilling career!

At the Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, led by Dr. Gregory Doerr, follows the highest and most professional medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. After all, our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care and services in a comfortable healing atmosphere. Contact us to learn more about our chiropractic services!

 


 

Bibliography

https://www.bergenchiropractic.com/
https://www.bls.gov/ooh/healthcare/mobile/chiropractors.htm
https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/finding-a-job/how-long-does-it-take-to-become-a-chiropractor
https://www.usnews.com/education/best-graduate-schools/articles/how-to-get-into-chiropractic-school-and-become-a-chiropractor
https://www.acatoday.org/About/Related-Organizations/Chiropractic-Colleges
https://careertrend.com/how-6426378-become-chiropractor-new-jersey.html
https://www.sba.gov/

No Two Chiropractors are Created Equal: How to Choose the Best Chiropractor

No Two Chiropractors are Created Equal: How to Choose the Best Chiropractor

Chiropractors are evidence-based specialists in musculoskeletal and nervous system treatments. They use hands-on, non-invasive processes to manipulate body parts to relieve pains and inflammations. However, different chiropractors use different techniques with their patients. The chiropractic field is an alternative to the conventional medical process, and many practitioners have varying beliefs, philosophies, and approaches to treatment. As a patient, understanding what makes a chiropractor different will help you choose the best.

 

What Should I Look for When Choosing a Chiropractor? 

The chiropractic’s hands-on nature and the peculiarities in technique preferences create the need for comfort and close rapport between patient and chiropractor. Unfortunately, this leaves the patient in a tough place when looking for top-rated chiropractors around. Therefore, we decided to jump to the rescue and give you a few constructive tips and advice on how to get a top-rated chiropractor near you. 

 

Seek Recommendations from Experts

Recommendations or referrals are an excellent starting point in looking for the best chiropractor, especially if this is your first time seeking chiropractic services. Health writers advise patients to start by asking their primary care providers, therapists, or spine specialists for recommendations for trusted and competent chiropractors. In this case, the relationship between the medical professionals and the recommended chiropractor is essential. Recommendations could also come from family, friends, and colleagues, especially those who have used the services of a chiropractor. Finally, collect and consider all the recommendations based on your specific needs.

It is advisable to pay attention to how many times particular chiropractors are recommended. The more they are recommended, the more reliable they are. Very closely related to this is the need to check out a few reviews/testimonies from patients. You can gain more insights on what to expect by reading the experiences of others. You would typically find reviews on different aspects of patient experience—fixing appointments, waiting time, the facility’s environment, the receptiveness of staff members, cost, satisfaction, etc. Even though reviews can be tricky sometimes, they are a good source for corroborating what you have from recommendations.   

 

Research Credentials Carefully

Patients need to verify the educational qualifications and licensing of the chiropractors. It would help if you were sure there are no track records of malpractices, quackery, or other disciplinary or criminal cases. Typically, you have to look out for their undergraduate and postgraduate qualification and specialty. Before a chiropractor receives his certification, he must complete the stages listed below: 

  • 4 years of chiropractic training, including 2 years studying basic sciences followed by the completion of the National Boards, Part 1. After the National Boards, Part 1 completion, intending chiropractors must undergo 2 years training in clinical sciences.
  • This should then be followed by the successful completion of the National Boards, Part 2.
  • For chiropractors that want to explore physiological therapeutics, they must complete the National Boards, Part 3.
  • Successful completion of the National Boards, Part 4. 

 

Additional Background Checks 

Beyond verifying qualifications, examine issues like the chiropractor’s clinic process, how open-minded and expressive they are, and their willingness to work with other healthcare professionals. 

 

Ask for an Interview

You probably have a list of referrals or recommendations and your background checks on credentials. Asking for an interview would help you slim down your list as you close into your best choice. The next step will be reaching out (call, email, or text) to each chiropractor, checking if they are currently fully booked or can accommodate new patients at the period. The response determines if you would proceed with an appointment to consult or interview the chiropractor. 

 

Interviewing a Chiropractor

It is essential to learn as much as you can about a chiropractor. This time, in-person consultation or a telephone interview would suffice. The interview will help you understand the chiropractor, their facility, philosophy, and techniques. By now, you are better positioned to decide if they are the best chiropractor for you. It would help if you asked about the chiropractor’s experience. Questions like years in practice, verifiable success stories, and proven expertise in your area of need are indispensable touchpoints the chiropractor must address. 

Many people consider comfort, flexibility, and excellent rapport with clients as decisive determinants of a chiropractor’s ability. Are you okay with the communication style? Do you have a particular gender or age preference? Do you look forward to the possibility of using telehealth? Remember, the choice is yours, and you are not obligated to hire a chiropractor after an interview. You may interview several chiropractors until you find the perfect one.

 

Confirm Charges

It would be best if you considered the cost implications of the service. Factors to consider when determining cost implications include: 

  • Consultation costs
  • The availability of free consultations
  • Availability of affordable options
  • Insurance coverage 
  • The facility’s payment policies

Confirming these details saves you a lot of stress and prevents borrowing or suspension of treatment due to financial reasons. 

 

Watch out for Possible Red Flags

Red flags include: 

  • The chiropractor recommends the same treatment for almost all cases. 
  • They claim to use techniques known only to them.
  • Proposes solutions on issues outside their expertise. 
  • Has no metric for determining the progress of the client’s health. 

 

Final Words

In your selection process, jot down your observations – or make a mental note of everything you see. Always remember that your needs come first, and the chiropractor’s feelings are second; hence, do not be afraid to say no. Interview as many chiropractors as you can until you meet one that ticks all the essential boxes.

At the Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Center, our chiropractic team, led by Dr. Gregory Doerr, follows the highest and most professional medical standards to provide superior chiropractic help. After all, our mission is to provide unparalleled patient care and services in a comfortable healing atmosphere. Contact us to learn more about our chiropractic services!

 


 

Bibliography 

Kelly Andrew, How to select the Best Chiropractor. In Spine-health. 04/07/2020.
Available at: https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/how-select-best-chiropractor

Steven Yeomans, Chiropractor Educational Requirements. In Spine-health. 10/7/2009.
Available at: https://www.spine-health.com/treatment/chiropractic/chiropractor-educational-requirements

Sarah Lewis, 8 Tips for Choosing a Chiropractor. In Healthgrades. May 11, 2020
Available at: https://www.healthgrades.com/right-care/chiropractic-care/8-tips-for-choosing-a-chiropractor

Kneeclinic.ca., What does it mean to be a Chiropractic Sport Specialist? Interview with Dr. Arif Karmali.
Available at: https://kneeclinic.ca/blog/2020/01/17/what-does-it-mean-to-be-a-chiropractic-sport-specialist/

Bergen Chiropractic and Sports Rehabilitation Centre.
See website at: https://www.bergenchiropractic.com/