Palmer College of Chiropractic offers a Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree. Each candidate for the degree is required to complete a minimum of five academic years (eight months each of classroom work) in the prescribed curriculum. Students transferring from other accredited chiropractic colleges must complete a minimum of 25 percent of the prescribed curriculum while in residence at Palmer College. The final academic year prior to graduation must be completed at the Palmer campus where the degree is being awarded.

The Doctor of Chiropractic curriculum on each campus focuses on the teaching and subsequent evaluation of student clinical competency. The Council on Chiropractic Education has identified mandatory meta-competencies that ensure the graduate will demonstrate attainment of the skills necessary to function as a primary care chiropractic physician. These meta-competencies, along with the Palmer Abilities, present our vision of the specific knowledge, skills and attitudes that will be demonstrated by all Palmer graduates in the Doctor of Chiropractic degree program.

Competencies and Skills for the Chiropractic Graduate:

CCE Meta-Competencies:

  • Assessment & Diagnosis
  • Management Plan
  • Health Promotion and Disease Prevention
  • Communication and Record Keeping
  • Professional Ethics and Jurisprudence
  • Information and Technology Literacy
  • Intellectual and Professional Development

Detailed information on CCE Accreditation Standards  

The components skills associated with the Palmer Abilities and the CCE Meta-Competencies include:

  • History Taking
  • Physical Examination
  • Neuromusculoskeletal Examination
  • The Psychosocial Assessment
  • Diagnostic Studies
  • Diagnosis or Clinical Impression
  • Case Management
  • Adjusting Competencies
  • Emergency Care Competencies
  • Case Follow-up and Review
  • Record Keeping
  • The Doctor-Patient Relationship
  • Professional Issues
  • Wellness and Public Health
  • Ethics and Integrity
  • Non-adjustive Therapeutic Procedures
  • Nutrition
  • Patient Education
  • Business Management Issues
  • Chiropractic History and Philosophy
  • Information Literacy

In addition to learning each skill, students will be able to associate with it a cognitive, an affective and psychomotor component.

For example, a student studying radiology examination should, among other things, be able to demonstrate knowledge of the various physical and chemical processes involved in taking an X-ray, demonstrate an attitudinal awareness of patient apprehensions and discomfort, and demonstrate the capability to select a proper exposure.