These are common questions that students ask regarding the FTP:

Where can I find the application/paperwork for the Field Training Program?

On the Palmer Website. Applications for the FTP and Postgraduate Preceptorship, as well as the Reports, Hour Sheets and other Forms, are all available for download and printing on the respective website page.

When do I have to have all the required paperwork in for the FTP?

By the end of Week 6 of 12th Quarter.

What happens if I do not turn in my paperwork on time?

We will attempt to get the doctor approved by the time the program starts but make no guarantees. If we do not have the doctor approved by the end of the quarter, you will be assigned to another in-area office.

If the doctor has participated in the FTP in the past, do they need to complete a new application?

Not if they have had an intern in the last three (3) years. They are, however, required to submit the Statement of Understanding/Acceptance Letter form and provide a copy of their D.C. License, Malpractice declarations page and X-ray certificate to the director at fax # (408) 944-6093.

Are there any special considerations for Out of State/Country Field Training Assignments?

Yes - Some states/provinces have additional requirements and/or fees to do the FTP in that location. Known locations that require additional application time, fees and/or processing are: Arizona, Washington, Alberta and British Columbia. If you intend to go to one of these locations, it is strongly recommended that you get your application completed by Week 2 of your 12th quarter.

Do all States allow Pre-graduate Preceptorships?

No - Some states/provinces do not have provisions for unlicensed (pre- and/or post graduate) individuals to provide chiropractic services under the license of a chiropractor in that state. Known locations that do not allow pre-graduate preceptorships are: Colorado, Hawaii, Nevada. If you intend to go to one of these locations, you may be assigned in an Observational Only capacity.

What is my "scope" for Out of State/Country Field Training Assignments?

It depends - you and your Field Doctor are responsible for researching the scope of practice for an unlicensed DC/pre-graduate student in the state/province/country in which you wish to do your preceptorship. Due to the constantly changing laws from location to location, if you wish to go out of the State of California for your FTP, you take on the responsibility of researching, learning and abiding by the rules and regulations of the location of your choice.

Can I go anywhere in the world that I want for my FTP?

No - You may go to any place in the United States and Canada. Outside of the US/Canada, you can go to a country where chiropractic is recognized and legal, where there is a governing body that regulates the practice of chiropractic, where our malpractice insurance applies, and where it is safe for you to live. Assignments outside the US/Canada are at the discretion of the college and dean of Clinics. If you wish to go outside the US/Canada, you should start researching this early in 10th or 11th quarter. You may be asked to sign a safety/security/liability waiver if you choose to participate in a foreign location.

Is there a list of doctors on the program?

No. We can check to see if there is a particular doctor in the program and if they are active, but there is no list.

Can I obtain a list of doctors so I can interview them?

Probably not. We will not give out a list of local doctors, as this is a promise we've made to these doctors when they joined our program. We are more likely to give out names of approved offices in out-of-area locations.

Who should I see regarding my assignment or availability of doctors?

The dean of Clinics, Dr. Greg Snow, manages all aspects of the Field Training and Postgraduate Preceptorship programs. If you have questions regarding your assignment, potential assignments, would like to further specify your office preferences, or would like information on approved out-of-area offices, please make an appointment to do so by emailing Dr. Snow at greg.snow@palmer.edu.

Should I select my own doctor or be assigned?

The choice is yours and there are positives to both. If you find your own doctor, you can "interview" the doctor in more detail and select the practice style, location and personality that best suits you. The downside is the doctor may be inexperienced at mentoring interns, not know what to do with you, and this may make the experience less satisfying. If you are assigned by the program director, you'll likely get a seasoned mentor who knows the program well and how to integrate an intern into the office; however, the practice location, style and personality may not all suit your preferences. In general, placements by the college seem to have fewer issues than intern selected offices.

How many hours do I have to be in the office?

180 hours during the quarter, 20 hours minimum and 35 hours maximum per week, excluding lunch and other breaks.

Can I finish the quarter early?

Yes, you need at least 180 hours to graduate. Please make arrangements, beforehand, with the D.C. if you intend to finish early; be professional.

Can I start my FTP early?

Maybe, you must appeal to the Clinic Standings Committee (by letter, to Dr. Snow) if you wish to start prior to the first day of your 13th quarter. At times, the start date may be pushed back a week for the entire class, due to conflicts and/or a shortened quarter. In this case, you will be notified of the early start date by Dr. Snow. If you start prior to the first day of the quarter without permission to do so, your hours during those days will not count towards you totals. If you are planning to start one quarter early (or half-quarter), you must follow the policies in the FTP policy and procedures manual. Early participation may NOT be out-of-area.

If I start early, will those hours count towards my 180 required hours?

No. The only hours that count are those completed during the regular scheduled 13th Quarter.

What happens if I don't finish my hours in time for graduation?

Provided you are on track to finish by the end of the first week of the subsequent quarter, you will still be allowed to walk the stage for the graduation ceremony. You will not receive your diploma at the ceremony. You will then continue to work until you've accumulated the necessary hours. Once you've accumulated and submitted your hours, you will receive your diploma, with the "official graduation date" for your class on it. If you fail to accumulate the necessary hours by the end of the first week of the next quarter, you will receive an "F" grade for the course, and will have to retake it.

What is considered out-of-area?

Anything that is not "in the area". In the Area is anything contained within the boundary of the Bay to the north (San Francisco east through to Antioch), south to Tracy, and south west to Gilroy, and west to Aptos. Anything outside that area is considered "out-of-area." You must have all clinic requirements completed to qualify for out-of-area.

Can I come to the Thursday class instead of doing the Out-of-Area assignments?

Yes.

Can I do the Out-of-Area assignments instead of coming to the Thursday class?

No.

I don't have all my clinic requirements. May I still participate in the 13th Quarter?

Yes, you must complete 75% of all clinic requirements in order to pass Clinic IV (12th Q) and become eligible to register for 13th Quarter and participate in the Field Training Program. If you fail to meet the 75% requirement, you will fail Clinic IV and will need to retake and pass it before being allowed to register for 13th Quarter. Appeals may be made to the Clinic Standards Committee via Dr. Snow.

Can I be an intern in more than one office?

No.

Can there be more that one intern in one office?

Yes, a preceptor (licensed Doctor of Chiropractic) may have up to two (2) interns in their office at a time, regardless of how many doctors work there. The two-intern limit applies to both 13th Quarter and post-graduate interns from ALL colleges who would be in the office at the same time.

Can I get paid from the doctor or clinic?

No compensation may be received for 13th Quarter. If this policy is violated, your hours worked will be void. You will be considered an employee of that office and the college's malpractice policy will not cover your actions. You may also be guilty of practicing without a license.

Who receives the Midterm and Final reports?

Those reports must be turned in to Dr. Gary De Wet by the due date. Failure to do so may result in an incomplete grade for the course and no diploma at graduation. Ask your doctor to complete and submit them in a timely fashion to ensure you receive your diploma at graduation. Return them to Dr. De Wet directly, or fax them to the number of those forms.

If I don't like the office I am in, may I change?

Yes, if you provide a typed explanation as to the reasons you are requesting a change (email is okay). An attempt will be made to locate an alternative office. The later in the quarter this request is made, the more difficult this process will be. Try to resolve any issues with the doctor before reaching this step.

Some students say that all they do is soft tissue work or PT in an office. Can this happen?

Yes, it has happened on occasion, but is the exception, not the rule. The FTP is intended to provide the student with a well-rounded experience in the operation of a chiropractic office. Patient treatment is certainly one aspect, but should not dominate your time. Before starting with the doctor, discuss his/her and your expectations for the program and ask him/her to set out a schedule where you will be exposed to the multiple facets of practice. You have a handout summarizing the seven subjects that should be covered. Communicate your wishes to your doctor about the things you want to learn and your expectations for your FTP. If the doctor is unable to elaborate on how your time will be spent in the office, or indicates you won't be involved in certain aspects of the business, you may want to reconsider this office.

The FTP is a unique opportunity to become involved in an office before being licensed; make the most of it.

If there are any other questions that should be on this list, please contact the director in room 315 or (408) 944-6036. Thank you for your input.
For more information, please contact us at field.training@palmer.edu  

Contact Us

Davenport, Iowa, Campus
Academic Affairs
(563) 884-5466

San Jose, Calif., Campus
Academic Administration
(408) 944-6021

Port Orange, Fla., Campus
Academic Affairs
(386) 763-2760 

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