Health Diagnosing Occupations and Assistants


This section is excerpted from chapter nine of Health Care Job Explosion and features health diagnosing occupations and assistants. The major occupational groups are:

The chiropractor specialty is included here along with a sampling of resources from the all new 4th edition of Health Care Job Explosion!. Dentists, optometrists, physician assistants, physicians, and veterinarians are featured in the same format as presented for chiropractors in the text version of Health Care Job Explosion! Occupational groups are divided into primary and related occupations so that individuals can investigate other fields for additional job opportunities.

Health Care Job Explosion features over 1,400 career exploration and job vacancy resources. Resources are grouped with each occupation and a sample of related resources are included with the first occupation.



Interview With A Physician

Dr. Paul ZubritzkyPaul M. Zubritzky, M.D. graduated Cum Laude from the University of Pittsburgh in May of 1973. He graduated from Temple University School of Medicine in May of 1977 and served his residency at Western Pennsylvania Hospital from June 1, 1977 through June 30, 1981. He was certified in 1984 by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology.

Doctor Zubritzky has been in private practice specializing in Obstetrics, Gynecology and Infertility for the past 25 years with offices in the suburbs of Pittsburgh. He is also the Chief of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Ohio Valley General Hospital.

I asked Dr. Zubritzky why he entered the field, he stated, "I was highly influenced by my father who was a physician. I never contemplated any other career." Kiddingly, he followed up with several exceptions. "At age five I thought about being an auto mechanic. Then at ten a cartoonist and like most 16 year olds I wanted to be a rock star."

Doctor Zubritzky is a member of a number of prestigious professional organizations including the American Medical Association, Pennsylvania Medical Society, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, Diplomat of the American Board of Obstetricians and Gynecologists to name a few. I asked him if he was aware of any unique publications or resources for those seeking career information or placement services. He suggested a number of publications and journals including OB GYN News. This publication offers a number of job classified ads for the field. Many of these resources are listed in this chapter.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects that employment of physicians will grow faster than the average for all occupations through the year 2008 due to continued expansion of the health care industries. I asked Dr. Zubritzky what advice he would give to others who want to enter this field. He stated, "It takes lots of work and a total commitment. This is a profession and not a nine to five job. It requires personal integrity, a considerable amount of your time, and you must realize that up front before entering the field." He further stated that, "your personal time and life will be sacrificed, however, there is a balance of both good and bad days." One other point he stressed was that you must have good people skills to be successful and be cognizant of the fact that medicine is in evolution and constantly changing. He said, "you must keep up—more today than when I first started out—with these changes, especially now with the advances that are being made in all fields."

Note: A complete description of this career choice with resources is available in chapter nine of the new 4th edition of Health Care Job Explosion. You will find 221 resources in the book including web links for all major specialties on pages 270 and 271.



Chiropractors diagnose, treat, and work to prevent disorders and injuries. So do:

  • Dentists
  • Occupational Therapists
  • Optometrists
  • Physical Therapists
  • Physicians
  • Podiatrists
  • Veterinarians


Significant Points

  • Job prospects should be good; employment is expected to increase faster than average as demand for alternative health care grows.
  • About 58 percent of chiropractors are self-employed.
  • Earnings are relatively low in the beginning, but increase as the practice grows.
Source : Health Care Job Explosion!, Fourth Edition By Dennis V. Damp


Nature of the Work

Chiropractors, also known as doctors of chiropractic or chiropractic physicians, diagnose and treat patients whose health problems are associated with the body’s muscular, nervous, and skeletal systems, especially the spine. Chiropractors believe that interference with these systems impairs the body’s normal functions and lowers its resistance to disease. They also hold that spinal or vertebral dysfunction alters many important body functions by affecting the nervous system and that skeletal imbalance through joint or particular dysfunction, especially in the spine, can cause pain.

The chiropractic approach to health care is holistic, stressing the patient’s overall health and wellness. It recognizes that many factors affect health, including exercise, diet, rest, environment, and heredity. Chiropractors provide natural, drugless, nonsurgical health treatments and rely on the body’s inherent recuperative abilities. They also recommend changes in lifestyle—in eating, exercise, and sleeping habits, for example—to their patients. When appropriate, chiropractors consult with and refer patients to other health practitioners.

Like other health practitioners, chiropractors follow a standard routine to secure the information they need 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 chiropractor’s emphasis on the spine and its proper function. Chiropractors also employ a postural and spinal analysis common to chiropractic diagnosis.

In cases in which difficulties can be traced to the involvement of musculoskeletal structures, chiropractors manually adjust the spinal column. Some chiropractors use water, light, massage, ultrasound, electric stimulation, acupuncture, and heat therapy. They also may apply sup-ports such as straps, tapes, and braces. Chiropractors counsel patients about wellness concepts such as nutrition, exercise, changes in lifestyle, and stress management, but do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery.

Some chiropractors specialize in sports injuries, neurology, orthopedics, pediatrics, nutrition, internal disorders, or diagnostic imaging.

Many chiropractors are solo or group practitioners who also have the administrative responsibilities of running a practice. In larger offices, chiropractors delegate these tasks to office managers and chiropractic assistants. Chiropractors in private practice are responsible for developing a patient base, hiring employees, and keeping records.


Working Conditions


Chiropractors work in clean, comfortable offices. Their average workweek is about 40 hours, although longer hours are not uncommon. Solo practitioners set their own hours, but may work evenings or week-ends to accommodate patients.

Like other health practitioners, chiropractors are sometimes on their feet for long periods. Chiropractors who take x-rays must take appropriate precautions against repeated exposure to radiation.



Chiropractors held about 53,000 jobs in 2004. Approximately 58 percent of chiropractors are self-employed. 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.

Many chiropractors are located in small communities. However, there still often are geographic imbalances in the distribution of chiropractors, in part because many establish practices close to one of the few chiropractic institutions.

Source : Health Care Job Explosion!, Fourth Edition By Dennis V. Damp

Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement

Educational Opportunities - Online healthcare degree & certificate programs

All states and the District of Columbia regulate the practice of chiropractic and grant licenses to chiropractors who meet the educational and examination requirements established by the state. Chiropractors can practice only in states where they are licensed. Some states have agreements permitting chiropractors licensed in one state to obtain a license in another without further examination, provided their educational, examination, and practice credentials meet state specifications.


All boards require the completion of an accredited chiropractic college leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree.

For licensure, most state boards recognize either all or part of the four-part test administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. State examinations may supplement the National Board tests, depending on state requirements. All states except New Jersey require the completion of a specified number of hours of continuing education each year in order to maintain licensure. Chiropractic associations and accredited chiropractic programs and institutions offer continuing education programs.

In 2005, 15 chiropractic programs and 2 chiropractic institutions in the United states were accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education. Applicants are required to have at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate study leading toward a bachelor’s degree, including courses in English, the social sciences or humanities, organic and inorganic chemistry, biology, physics, and psychology. Many applicants have a bachelor’s degree, which may eventually become the minimum entry requirement. Several chiropractic colleges offer pre-chiropractic study, as well as a bachelor’s degree program. Recognition of prechiropractic education offered by chiropractic colleges varies among the state boards.

Chiropractic programs require a minimum of 4,200 hours of combined classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience. During the first 2 years, most chiropractic programs emphasize classroom and laboratory work in basic science subjects such as anatomy, physiology, public health, microbiology, pathology, and biochemistry. The last 2 years stress courses in manipulation and spinal adjustment and provide clinical experience in physical and laboratory diagnosis, neurology, orthopedics, geriatrics, physiotherapy, and nutrition. Chiropractic programs and institutions grant the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic.


Chiropractic colleges also offer postdoctoral training in orthopedics, neurology, sports injuries, nutrition, rehabilitation, radiology, industrial consulting, family practice, pediatrics, and applied chiropractic sciences. Once such training is complete, chiropractors may take specialty exams leading to "diplomate" status in a given specialty. Exams are administered by specialty chiropractic associations.

Chiropractic requires keen observation to detect physical abnormalities. It also takes considerable manual dexterity, but not unusual strength or endurance, to perform adjustments. 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.

Newly licensed chiropractors can set up a new practice, purchase an established one, or enter into partnership with an established practitioner. They also may take a salaried position with an established chiropractor, a group practice, or a health care facility.

Source : Health Care Job Explosion!, Fourth Edition By Dennis V. Damp


Job Outlook

Job prospects are expected to be good for persons who enter the practice of chiropractic. Employment of chiropractors is expected to grow faster than average for all occupations through the year 2014 as consumer demand for alternative health care grows. Because chiropractors emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyles and do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery, chiropractic care is appealing to many health-conscious Americans. Chiropractic treatment of the back, neck, extremities, and joints has become more accepted as a result of research and changing attitudes about alternative, noninvasive health care practices. The rapidly expanding older population, with its in-creased likelihood of mechanical and structural problems, also will increase demand for chiropractors.

Demand for chiropractic treatment, however, is related as well to the ability of patients to pay, either directly or through health insurance. Although more insurance plans now cover chiropractic services, the extent of such coverage varies among plans. Increasingly, chiropractors must educate communities about the benefits of chiropractic care in order to establish a successful practice.

Source : Health Care Job Explosion!, Fourth Edition By Dennis V. Damp



Median annual earnings of salaried chiropractors were $69,910 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $46,710 and $118,280 a year. In 2005, the mean salary for chiropractors was $104,363, according to a survey conducted by Chiropractic Economics magazine.
In chiropractic, as in other types of independent practice, earnings are relatively low in the beginning and increase as the practice grows. Geographic location and the characteristics and qualifications of the practitioner also may influence earnings. Self-employed

In this occupation, replacement needs arise almost entirely from retirements. Chiropractors usually remain in the occupation until they retire; few transfer to other occupations. Establishing a new practice will be easiest in areas with a low concentration of chiropractors.

Source : Health Care Job Explosion!, Fourth Edition By Dennis V. Damp



Resources (Partial Listing)

Over 221 total resources are presented in the paperback version of Health Care Job Explosion! 4th edition by Dennis V. Damp for this occupational group. Resources include Job Ads, Job Hotlines, Job Fairs, Placement services, Associations, Books, Directories and Internet (Web) Sites. Your local library may have this book in their reference section or you can purchase a copy for $19.95 plus shipping with all major credit cards from our toll free service at 1-800-782-7424 (Orders Only).

American Chiropractic Association (ACA) - 1701 Clarendon Blvd., Arlington, VA 22209; 800/986-4636. (www.amerchiro.org, memberinfo@acatoday.org) The ACA has about 20,000 members who are doctors or chiropractic assistants. The Education and Training section of the web site, accessible in the patient information tab, has information about education requirements and includes lists of colleges and state licensing boards. The membership tab includes job ads and practices for sale.

Canadian Chiropractic Association - 1396 Eglinton Avenue West, Toronto, Ontario M6R 2H2, Canada; 416/781-5656. Information on education, certification and the Student Canadian Chiropractic Association is located on this site. To access information about becoming a chiropractor in Canada go to their web site at (http://www.ccachiro.org, ccachiro@ccachiro.org).


Federation of Chiropractic Licensing Boards, 5401 W. 10th Street, Suite 101, Greeley, CO 80634; 970/356-3500.(http://www.fclb.org, info@fclb.org) Organization of state boards in the US, Canadian provinces and Australia. Contact for information on state education and licensing requirements. Also has directory of educational programs.

International Chiropractic Association (ICA) - 1110 N Glebe Rd., Suite 650, Arlington, VA 22201; 800/423-4690. Association of chiropractors. (http://www.chiropractic.org, chiro@chiropractic.org) Student section has scholarships, health insurance, and seminars.


Opportunities in Chiropractic Health-Care Careers - by Bart Green, Claire Johnson, and Louis Sportelli, McGraw-Hill, 2004. ISBN: 007141164X. Provides essential information for a career in the chiropractic field, including advice on selecting a college and financing education.


Other Occupations


The following nursing occupations are featured in the all new 4th edition of Health Care Job Explosion!. Each of the following occupations are featured exactly like the Chiropractor occupational description and includes resources for each listing. Your local library may have this book in their reference section or you can purchase a copy for $19.95 plus $5.75 shipping with all major credit cards from our toll free service at 1-800-782-7424 (Orders Only). Also available at bookstores nationwide.

  • Dentists
  • Optometrists
  • Physician assistants
  • Physicians
  • Veterinarians