Chiropractor Career Information
A chiropractor, also known as a chiropractic physician, diagnoses and treats health problems related to the musculoskeletal and nervous systems, and perform procedures in the interests of general health improvement. Chiropractic medicine stresses the overall health of the patient, and takes a non-invasive approach, resisting treatments like drugs and surgery.
Job Description: A Day in the Life of a Chiropractor
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, about 52 percent of chiropractors are self-employed, working out of a private practice. Chiropractors generally work a 40-hour week. Throughout the day, a chiropractor will meet with patients to diagnose and treat their ailments. Many patients see a chiropractor on a regular basis, to treat an ongoing issue or for general well being.
The first time a chiropractor meets with a patient, like any doctor, he does a standard check up and gathers the patient’s medical history. Based on this, he can determine the appropriate chiropractic approach to take. Chiropractors also have patients perform certain tests so that they can analyze the patient’s posture, spine, and general alignment.
Most of the treatments of chiropractic medicine concern the spine and the manipulation of the spine. The basis of chiropractic medicine is the principal that misalignmnts in the joints and spine interfere with the general functioning power of the nervous system, resulting in symptoms of poor health such as decreased resistance to disease. Some chiropractors include various alternative medicine practices in their work, such as massage, acupuncture, and water therapies.
General Requirements and Training
Chiropractors are required to have a license in order to practice. This means first completing a two or four-year undergraduate degree program, and then taking a four-year college program for chiropractic training. The first two years of such programs emphasize basic work in the sciences and healthcare subjects, while the second two years focus on the actual chiropractic practices of spinal manipulation and adjustment.
After completing their education, chiropractors may take the test of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners in order to receive a license.
Salary, Benefits, and Opportunities for Advancement
The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports the median wage of a chiropractor to be $66,490 as of May 2008. According to Salary.com, the mid-50% earnings range of a chiropractor is $107,972 to $175,153.
Payscale.com reports that a chiropractor with one to four years experience earns, on average, $37,536 to $61,900, while a chiropractor with twenty or more years experience earns $51, 882 to $210,090.