Description of Occupation - Chiropractors, also known as doctors of chiropractic or chiropractic physicians, adjust the spinal column and other articulations of the body to prevent disease and correct abnormalities of the human body believed to be caused by interference with the nervous system. Chiropractors examine the patient to determine nature and extent of disorder. They manipulate the spine or other involved area and may utilize supplementary measures such as exercise, rest, water, light, heat, and nutritional therapy.
Chiropractic requires keen observation to detect physical abnormalities. It also takes considerable hand dexterity to perform adjustments, but not unusual strength or endurance. Chiropractors should be able to work independently and handle responsibility. As in other health-related occupations, empathy, understanding, and the desire to help others are good qualities for dealing effectively with patients.
Like other health practitioners, chiropractors follow a standard routine to secure the information needed for diagnosis and treatment. They take the patient’s medical history, conduct physical, neurological, and orthopedic examinations, and may order laboratory tests. X-rays and other diagnostic images are important tools because of the emphasis on the spine and its proper function. Chiropractors also employ a postural and spinal analysis common to chiropractic diagnosis.
College Program Admission Requirements - High school diploma or GED; high school biology, chemistry, mathematics, health and home economics; HACC placement tests. Additionally, submission of a PA Child Abuse History Clearance and State Police Criminal Record Check may be required for employment.
Length of Program and College Degree Conferred - The pre-chiropractic transfer program is 63 credits, sequenced in 4 semesters, with the awarding of an associate in arts degree upon successful completion. Completion time can vary depending on a candidate's background and need for identified preparatory skills and coursework and the student's rate of study. The complete program is available at the Harrisburg Campus. Some required courses are available at the Gettysburg, Lancaster and Lebanon campuses and at other sites.
A doctorate degree is required in this profession.
Places of Employment and Outlook - Most chiropractors are in solo practice, although some are in group practice or work for other chiropractors. A small number teach, conduct research at chiropractic institutions, or work in hospitals and clinics. Employment of chiropractors is expected to grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2008 as consumer demand for alternative medicine grows.
Salary Ranges for Geographical Area - $66,800 median salary in Pennsylvania 2010
Educational Advancement - Most state boards require at least 2 years of undergraduate education, and an increasing number require bachelor's degree. All boards require completion of an accredited 4-year chiropractic college program, leading to the doctor of chiropractic degree.
Related Websites For Additional Information About The Career
Career Infonet with salary and job outlook statistics, career video and licensing requirements
American Chiropractic Association
If you have specific questions about the Chiropractor program, contact:
717-780-2392 or 800-222-4222, ext. 2392
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