Doctor of Chiropractic FAQ
What makes the UWS chiropractic program unique?
Evidence- informed practice—UWS is committed to the art and science of chiropractic and has integrated (threaded) these competencies throughout the curriculum, research, and patient care. Our students develop the necessary abilities to translate an evidence-informed practice model into communicative competency with patient/public and professionals (other health care professionals)
A focus on whole-person care, with a commitment to prepare students to serve as primary care chiropractic physicians.
Integrative and patient focused approach to health care. We offer individualized approach to patient care so to not limit treatment to a single modality or approach. Philosophically, we are committed to providing patient care that meets the individual’s needs, goals, and preferences. (within our broad scope of practice). Our motto is “For The Good Of The Patient.”
Diverse and very experienced faculty demonstrated by their accomplishments and the excellent learning outcomes of students. Check out our board scores!
Geographically desirable (Ranked a top 10 city to live in) with a wide scope of practice (Oregon law) and curriculum/clinical experience that supports broad scope, primary care.
What is UWS approach to chiropractic philosophy?
UWS approaches philosophy with an understanding and appreciation of the self-healing capacity of the body. This self-healing capacity is optimized (strengthened) through structural balance, articular integrity, nutritional support and lifestyle modifications. The historical context of chiropractic includes theoretical concepts and empirical observations, coupled with a continued commitment to the primacy of holism and vitalism as guides to the care of each individual patient. We grow our understanding of these concepts through continued exploration, dialogue, and research. Our philosophy for patient care is ultimately grounded in our commitment to integrated care, incorporating evidence-informed interventions and therapeutic measures that correspond to the individual needs of each patient.
What chiropractic techniques will I learn?
UWS offers excellent instruction, exposure and critical discussion of a broad variety of chiropractic modalities, procedures and systems in formal class environment. Core techniques that prepare students to be competent in providing care to patients include training in over (100) specific manipulative procedures for spinal and extremity joints throughout the body. In addition, you will be introduced to specific approaches such as: high-velocity, low amplitude spinal manipulation; low force and light touch techniques; extremity manipulation; myofascial release and trigger point therapy including dry needling procedures; Diversified technique; Cox flexion/distraction protocols; Drop Table, Activator and other Instrument adjusting procedures; Gonstead procedures; McKenzie protocol; soft tissue manipulation and stretching procedures, Graston instrument and technique;, exercise protocols; Rehabilitative procedures, cold laser technique; various forms of electrical stimulation; ultrasound therapy; taping; splinting; and a variety of physical therapy modalities and procedures
Students also have access to several elective courses and workshops in which they may learn employ the use of other techniques, protocols, therapeutic procedures and diagnostic systems in the clinical setting.
Why is the program so structured (why can’t I choose my own classes)?
Similar to all health care degree programs, UWS’s curriculum is structured to establish knowledge bases that build on each other and integrate concepts and skills across the basic sciences, clinical and chiropractic sciences, and (ultimately are applied in) patient care. This approach to learning leads to integrated or synthesized knowledge and skills—exampled by diagnostic acumen, superior adjustive skills, and clinical confidence---with students prepared for their role as primary care physicians.
The program progressively develops student’s skills and competencies so as to build the core abilities of a successful graduate and practitioner. What you learn each quarter is successively built upon and expanded throughout the curriculum---leading to the value and practice of life long learning and continued professional development.
Are there electives?
Yes, there are both electives and workshops, though they are not required as part of the program. These educational courses provide additional exposure and/or training in content areas that are beyond the core curriculum. Electives are based both on student interest and faculty availability
What kind of business preparation does the program provide?
The four class sequence or core curricula in patient/practice management is designed to develop awareness, skills, and attitudes that support the necessary business aspect of practice readiness/competence. The basic concepts of starting and running your own business will be presented. Students learn the common practice models or options available. Considerations for creating a business plan, running an office, and communicating with patients/public and other professionals, are discussed. The impact/effects of state licensing laws, regulations, tax and commerce laws are discussed relative to practice and business plans. The series culminates in a student project that includes formulating the business plan and detailing the steps necessary to implement this plan.
The career services provides opportunities, information and resources and enhances student readiness to enter the job market and prepare for business of practice. UWS also provides a list of available practice opportunities on the Web site in the Professional Resources section. These practice opportunities are submitted by DC’s in the field.
Can I do a preceptorship in a foreign country?
It is possible to do a preceptorship in a number of countries where chiropractic has been established and in a few countries where chiropractic is not yet a regulated profession. Student applications to participate in an international preceptorship are addressed on a case-by-case basis. The sponsoring chiropractic physician preceptor must meet the same qualifying criteria required of licensed doctors of chiropractic in North America. Also, individual preceptorship programs must comply with regional accreditation standards and local jurisdictional licensing regulations.
Are there opportunities for internships outside of the campus clinic to fulfill the clinical reqs?
The UWS clinic experience includes internships in the on-campus out patient clinic, in one of our 3 off-site clinics, and many community based events UWS participates in. In addition, students in their final (12th) quarter have the opportunity to complete a Community Based Internship (CBI) in the office of an approved doctor of chiropractic in the Portland area or a preceptorship in the office of an approved doctor of chiropractic in another part of the US or Canada.
What opportunities are available if I want to specialize?
Oregon has a very broad scope-of-practice for chiropractic physicians. While you will become trained to function as a competent primary care chiropractic physician, you will also be an expert in the diagnosis and treatment of neuromusculoskeletal and related conditions. UWS will prepare you to practice in a broad-scope setting allowing you to choose your own particular interests of specialization for clinical practice.
Further specialization opportunities are available in a number of formal programs including:
A Master of Science degree program with residency training in diagnostic imaging
A Master of Science degree program in, Sports and Exercise Science
A Master of Science degree program in Nutrition and Functional Medicine
A Fellowship program in Exercise and Sports Science
Numerous postgraduate educational offerings that are available to students while they are in the Doctor of Chiropractic degree program
I heard that UWS teaches you how to deliver babies and how to perform minor surgery. Is this true?
The chiropractic practice act in the State of Oregon includes obstetrics (midwifery) and minor surgery. UWS teaches a lecture course in obstetrics that does not include a lab requirement to either deliver a baby or attend a live birth. UWS also offers a 2-hour didactic course in minor surgery and a corresponding 1-hour elective lab. Minor surgical procedures (laceration repair, removal of lipoma, removal of sebaceous cysts, etc.) can be performed in the UWS outpatient clinic, and students can observe and/or participate on a voluntary basis. Successful completion of these courses would not qualify one to perform obstetrical or minor surgical procedures. More detailed answers regarding the chiropractic practice of obstetrics and minor surgery in Oregon can be obtained from the Oregon Board of Chiropractic Examiners (http://www.oregon.gov/OBCE/index.shtml).
When do students get to start adjusting?
Biomechanics and palpation lectures and labs begin in the first quarter, so students begin right away with hands-on instruction. The first adjusting course, which includes a lecture and lab portion, is offered in the third quarter.
Can I work and go to school at the same time?
Most of our students don’t work because the chiropractic program is full time, about 35 hours a week, which doesn’t allow for much extra time for a job. The majority of our students take advantage of the federal school loan program, which generally provides them with enough money to cover tuition, fees, and living expenses.
Is there on-campus housing? Where do most UWS students live?
There is no on-campus housing, but UWS is located in a pleasant residential area with houses and apartments nearby. Many students are able to live within walking or bike riding distance from the campus.
After I’m accepted, can I change my start date without having to reapply?
If you decide to delay your entry date after being accepted, we can usually accommodate you. If you do change the date, though, we will ask you to submit an additional tuition deposit to hold your spot.
Can I be accepted to UWS without having completed all the prerequisites?
It is possible to be accepted on contingency that you successfully complete a small portion of the prerequisites before enrolling. Our policy is that we evaluate each application as soon as it is complete and notify a student if enough academic information is present to make a decision or if more is needed. For example, it may be necessary for a student to take additional courses before the admissions committee will agree to offer acceptance. In general, if a student has completed all but one category of the prerequisites (organic chemistry, for example), the committee will offer a contingency acceptance.
Can incomplete prerequisites be completed during the first quarter at UWS?
CCE requires that the prerequisite courses be completed before a student enrolls in the DC program.
Can I test out of any of the prerequisites?
UWS will accept credits earned from tests, like the CLEP exams, for the humanities and social science prerequisites. These credits must be listed on a transcript from an institution that is regionally accredited.
How do I know which science courses to take as prerequisites?
In order to prepare for admissions into the UWS chiropractic program, you should take the science courses at your institution that are specifically designed for pre-professional students, those intending to continue in medical, dental, optometry, veterinary, or chiropractic colleges. Most schools identify courses as pre-professional, but if your school doesn’t, the admissions staff would be happy to look at course descriptions to determine which ones are most appropriate.
Do I need to request transcripts from schools where I only took one or two courses or if it’s listed as transfer credit somewhere else?
Yes. We require that ALL official transcripts be sent to the University of Western States as part of the application process. We cannot use courses listed as “transfer” on another institution’s transcripts. You must disclose all institutions attended on the application, even if only one or two courses were completed.Are any additional tests, like the MCAT, required for admission?
No. There are currently no tests required for admission into the UWS chiropractic program. Is there an interview process?
As of October 1, 2009, a personal interview is required of all applicants. When should I begin the application process?
We suggest that students begin the process about a year in advance. Typically, if a student hasn't completed enough of the prerequisites for the committee to make a decision, we send a letter asking that the student provide us with an official, updated transcript at the end of the next term. Can I earn a bachelor’s degree at UWS?
You can earn a B.S. in Human Biology while you are enrolled in the chiropractic program at UWS. The required course work for the B.S. includes the prerequisite courses used for admission, the basic science courses taken in the first two years of the chiropractic program, and 8 additional quarter credits of courses that prepare you to complete a baccalaureate project. It is also possible to transfer basic science courses taken in the chiropractic program to your undergraduate institution to count toward a B.S. Ask an Admissions Office staff member for details. Does UWS require a bachelor's degree for admission?
Students do not have to have a bachelor's degree in order to be admitted to UWS. However, some states require a bachelor’s degree before awarding a license. You should check with the licensing board in the state where you want to practice for specific educational requirements. As far as UWS is concerned, the only advantage to having a degree might be that it makes a student more competitive for scholarship awards; however, degrees do not factor in to our decision to accept a student. Many of our students, over 60%, do have degrees before they enter our program. Who should write my letters of recommendation?
We require two letters of recommendation, which can be from a teacher, an employer, or someone else with knowledge of your work habits and character. It is best to avoid asking close, personal friends unless they have knowledge of your academic or professional experiences and abilities. We also ask that the recommenders not be members of your family.Letters of recommendation
Besides GPA, what else do you consider important for admission?
Other criteria for acceptance include positive recommendations, strong essays, and community involvement, all showing a good fit between our program and a student's goals. What is the average GPA for students being accepted into your program?
For admission, we consider only the prerequisite GPA, which must be at least 2.5 for students entering winter of 2012 and 3.0 for students entering fall 2012 or later; however, for scholarship awards, we consider the cumulative GPA. The average cumulative GPA for our most recent entering class was just over 3.00. I would like to visit the campus. How do I schedule a tour?
Campus visits are scheduled throughout the week and appointments are necessary. Typically a campus visit includes meeting with our Vice President of Enrollment & Student Services or a faculty member, touring the campus, visiting a class (depending on availability), and meeting with an Admissions Coordinator. It is also possible to schedule advising with an Admissions Coordinator to discuss prerequisites and entrance into UWS. To schedule a tour or advising, please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
with contact information as well as your dates of availability.