Victoria Martinez grew up going to a chiropractic doctor. After her mother was in a car accident and experienced a smooth recovery with the help of her chiropractor, she took the entire family as well.
It was through this care that Martinez realized that being a health care practitioner is one of the best ways to help people. Like her mother, so many others have experienced life-changing results thanks to chiropractic care.
Martinez also wanted to be able to treat her patients naturally and have the skills required to practice as a primary care physician, which is why she chose to pursue the chiropractic medicine program at National University of Health Sciences. If you share her desire to help people through a health care career, here is what you need to know about chiropractic physicians and what they can do.
What is a Chiropractic Physician?
A Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) is much more than a "back doctor." In fact, DCs study the same basic sciences as doctors of medicine (MDs). They are trained to use a wide variety of medical diagnostic tools and effective treatment options to manage a spectrum of health conditions.
Unlike MDs, chiropractic doctors specialize in non-invasive health care methods and focus on whole health healing. By considering a wide range of factors that may impact a patient’s health, such as biomechanical dysfunction, genetics, trauma, emotions, hygiene, microorganisms, nutrition, exercise, posture, environment and stress levels, they are able to determine the most effective natural treatment plan.
What Chiropractic Physicians Do
Chiropractic physicians help their patients explore natural, drug-free and surgery-free approaches that can help improve their health and minimize any painful symptoms they may be experiencing. They also provide preventive health care—in fact, thousands of back surgeries every year are prevented through natural and conservative care from DCs.
A DC most often performs adjustments or physical manipulation of the spine and other joints. However, depending on their training, they may also be able to practice acupuncture, functional and nutritional medicine, and physical rehabilitation therapy. They are also able to provide supplements including vitamins and natural botanical medicines.
Additionally, chiropractic doctors may be able to prescribe diagnostic tests like X-rays and ultrasounds, check blood pressure, as well as order and interpret blood, urine and other medical lab tests.
As a chiropractic doctor, you would be able to:
- Practice as a primary-care physician in most states
- Become licensed in all 50 U.S. states
- Own your own general or specialized practice or work as an associate in a group practice
- Specialize in fields such as sports medicine, acupuncture, pediatrics, women’s health, neurology, etc.
- Work in hospitals or wellness institutions
- Practice in veteran care, multi-disciplinary and integrative clinics
- Conduct research or teach at DC medical colleges
What Does a Chiropractor Treat?
DCs are able to care for patients of all ages, with a variety of health conditions. They’re especially well known for their expertise in caring for patients with back pain, neck pain and headaches.
A chiropractic doctor can also treat a wide range of injuries and disorders of the musculoskeletal system involving the muscles, ligaments and joints, such as repetitive injuries, migraines, sports injuries, auto accident injuries and pain from arthritis.
How You Can Become a Chiropractic Doctor
There has never been a better time to pursue a degree in chiropractic medicine! In fact, The Bureau of Labor Statistics expects 12 percent growth in chiropractic careers through 2026.
You can begin a rewarding career as a chiropractic doctor by attending an accredited university such as NUHS. Its Doctor of Chiropractic Degree program will train you to think like a physician, with an innovative curriculum that gives you a comprehensive base in human biology and anatomy, plus extensive hands-on experience in diagnosis and treatment.
To practice as a DC in the U.S., students must pass the national board examinations conducted by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners (NBCE). They must also apply for licensure in the specific state in which they plan to practice. Individuals interested in practicing in the U.S., Canada or internationally should visit the Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards (FCLB) for more information.
There are many valuable reasons to choose NUHS for your chiropractic education. To learn more, request additional information about our accredited and highly regarded DC program so you can start your application!