As a result, there is a huge demand for qualified chiropractors in immediate future. In fact, chiropractor profession is the most sought after career in the field of alternative medicines today. And this strong demand for professional chiropractors is here to stay.
A chiropractor is an alternative health care professional who is technically qualified to practice chiropractic medicine by completing a four year duration professional degree program in chiropractic medicine which is followed by one or two years of mandatory professional clinical experience.
A chiropractor provides personalized and holistic health care services by diagnosing the health problems of their patients and treating the root causes of these problems. The underlying principle behind chiropractic medical practice is that the root cause of every disease often lies in the mismanagement of the spine and the nervous system.
So a chiropractor normally ensures the overall health and wellbeing of his patients by focusing on the manipulation and treatment of their spinal cord and nervous system. Besides this, a professional chiropractor is also concerned with the rehabilitation, nutrition and health aspects of his patients.
A chiropractor diagnoses the health problems of a client by taking examining him physically, taking his past medical history, and by conducting various medical tests in order to determine the functionality of his nervous, orthopedic and spinal systems. While treating a patient, a chiropractor stresses on the natural immunity and recuperative capacity of a person.
For maximizing the body’s natural defensive mechanism against diseases, a chiropractor drafts a detailed plan on the daily routine of the patients stressing on his diet and nutrition, exercise, healthy lifestyle, adequate sleep, and other related aspects of daily living. A chiropractor mostly adopts non-surgical and non-invasive treatment methods without the prescription of drugs, instead focuses on natural therapeutic practices such as massage therapy, heat therapy, light therapy and hydro or water therapy.
Chiropractic treatment is considered as one of the best treatment options for the treatment of joint pains, back and neck ailments and therefore chiropractic medical care is considered as the best medical practice for the treatment of aged patients.
To practice as a chiropractor, one needs to complete a four year duration course, bachelor degree in chiropractic medicine. To earn this degree in chiropractic medicine, one needs to spend at least $11,000 to $20,000 towards tuition fee alone. According to the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), an aspiring chiropractor must study chiropractic medicine for about 4,200 hours that includes classroom studies, laboratory research and minimum one year clinical experience.
For independent professional practice, a chiropractor must obtain necessary government licenses from the concerned authorities. Chiropractors aspiring to have a strong professional growth in the field of chiropractic medicine may opt for postdoctoral training programs in chiropractic medicine. There are various specializations available at the post graduate level such as specializations in neurology, orthopedics, sports medicines, pediatrics, family medicines, nutrition and diagnostic imaging.
There are a large number of chiropractic colleges in the United States of America. Some of them are Allied Health Institute, Life Chiropractic College West – Hayward, Palmer College of Chiropractic – San Jose, Southern California University of Health Sciences Chiropractic (LACC) – Whittier, Los Angeles College of Chiropractic (LACC), Parker College of Chiropractic – Training in Dallas, TX, and Logan College of Chiropractic.
For those looking for a short term course in chiropractic medicine, there are some colleges that offer a two year course in chiropractic medicine.
Skills and Personal Qualities Required
Professional chiropractors must have good observation and diagnosing skills to detect the physical abnormalities of their patients. They should feel responsible for their patients’ wellbeing and therefore they should have an understanding nature and empathy towards their clients.
Generally chiropractors are employed by the hospitals, alternative healthcare clinics, and mental health centers. Experienced chiropractors may opt for private practice later in their career.
A salaried chiropractor generally works on average of 40 hours per week while self employed chiropractors may have to put in more working hours. Professional chiropractors work in comfortable settings with their own private room for practicing chiropractic medicine.
Qualified chiropractors may practice as professional chiropractors, chiropractic physicians or chiropractic doctors. There is also a great scope for self-employed chiropractors. Graduates with two year qualification in chiropractic medicine may begin a career in chiropractic medicine as a chiropractic assistant.
Professional chiropractors who work in the field of diagnostic imaging are responsible for the diagnosis of the diseases. To diagnose the root causes of a disease they generally rely on advance diagnostic imaging techniques such as MRI and CT Scan.
Professional chiropractors who specializes in nervous disorders may practice as neurologist chiropractors.
Professional chiropractors who specializes in chiropractic medicine for children may practice as pediatrics chiropractors.
Chiropractic Assistants assist experienced chiropractors practicing in the hospitals and clinics. Chiropractic Assistants may later upgrade their qualifications and skills in order to become a practicing chiropractor.
Chiropractors – Self Employed/Private Practitioners
Chiropractors who are interested in establishing own practices have several options to choose from. They may either set up an entirely new chiropractic practice by investing considerable time and money or they may purchase an already established chiropractic practice. Two or more chiropractors may enter into a partnership or form a liaison with a reputed chiropractor in order to establish a group practice or a chiropractic healthcare facility.
Chiropractors who opt for private practice must start with building a patient base, hiring chiropractic assistants and other employees, and putting a strong documentation system in place for keeping the patient records. Earning potential of a privately practicing chiropractor is very high as compared to a salaried one.
Income from chiropractic profession depends on the individual reputation as a professional chiropractor, qualifications in chiropractic medicine, professional experience and personal qualities. Generally self-employed chiropractors earn much higher than those employed by the health care industry. While self-employed chiropractors earn an estimated annual income of $100,000, salaried chiropractors earn a figure in the range of $68,000 t0 $85,000 a year.
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