Here are common questions we receive. If there are any other questions, please contact the director in room 315 or (408) 944-6036 or field.training@palmer.edu.

What do I need to know about applying?

  • Here's the link to the required paperwork
  • Deadline is the end of Week 6 of the 12th Quarter.
  • Missed the deadline? We'll contact the doctor, but there are no guarantees. We reserve the right to re-assign you to another doctor in the area.

How do I know if the doctor is cleared for participation?

Ask the doctor if she has participated in the program in the last three (3) years. If so, there is no need for a new application. She will, however, need 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.

What about applying for assignments outside of California ?

You will want to research additional application requirements and/or fees. We strongly recommend that you allow for an additional month in the application process.

  • Complete your application by Week 2 of the 12th Quarter.
  • We know that Arizona, Washington, Alberta and British Columbia have additional requirements.

Do all states allow pre-graduate preceptorships ?

No. Some states and provinces do not allow students to provide chiropractic services, even under the license of a chiropractor in that state.

  • You may be assigned to "observation-only" activities.
  • This is the case in Colorado, Hawaii and Nevada.

What is my "scope" for assignments outside of California ?

It is your responsibility to determine what tasks you, as an unlicensed DC/pre-graduate student, can perform in any given state, province or country. Start your research by discussing this topic with your intended Field Doctor. As laws are constantly changing, check your intended location's rules and regulations through its licensing body.

Can I go anywhere in the world for my FTP ?

The short answer is no. In the United States and Canada, you can go anywhere.

For other locations, you will:

  • Get approval from Palmer College and the Dean of Clinics.
  • Have researched the location and started the paperwork process early – by the 10th or 11th Quarter.
  • Choose a location where chiropractic is recognized and is legal, where our malpractice insurance applies, and it is safe for you to live.
  • Potentially sign a safety/security/liability waiver.

How do I find doctors and can I interview them ?

There is no master list of participating doctors.

  • If you have a doctor in mind, let us check to see if they are active with us. We can't release a list of local doctors, but we can give you an idea about approved offices in out-or-area locations.
  • You are welcome to talk with prospective supervising doctors.
  • You are encouraged to talk with Dean of Clinics Dr. Greg Snow about potential assignments. Make an appointment to see him by emailing him at greg.snow@palmer.edu.

Should I select my own doctor or be assigned?

The choice is yours. In general, placements by the college seem to have fewer issues than intern-selected offices. Dean of Clinics Dr. Greg Snow manages all aspects of the Field Training and Postgraduate Preceptorship programs. Contact him for a meeting if you would like to discuss: greg.snow@palmer.edu.

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.
  • To ensure you have a satisfying FTP, you need to determine if the doctor is experienced at mentoring interns. Does she know what to do with you?

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 might not suit your preferences.

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

180 hours during the quarter. Work 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. We ask that you be professional and make arrangements beforehand with the D.C. if you intend to finish early.

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. We reserve the right to change the start date to resolve conflicts or a shortened Quarter. If this is the case, Dr. Snow will notify you of the new start date.

  • 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.

Will "early" start hours count towards my required hours ?

No. Only those hours completed during the regularly-scheduled 13th Quarter count.

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

If you fail to do the following, you will receive and "F" grade for the course and must retake it.

Demonstrate that you are on track to finish by the end of the first week of the subsequent Quarter. Then:

  • You can walk the stage for the graduation ceremony.
  • You will, however, not receive your diploma at the ceremony.
  • You then continue to work until you've got the necessary hours.
  • Submit the hours to receive the diploma with the "official graduation date" for your class on it.

What is considered out-of-area ?

You must have all clinic requirements completed to qualify for out-of-area. Our "area" is defined by these boundaries:

  • The Bay to the north – San Francisco east through Antioch
  • South to Tracy
  • Southwest to Gilroy
  • West to Aptos

What about Thursday class & out-of-area assignments ?

  • You can come to Thursday class instead of the assignment.
  • You may NOT do the assignment instead of class.

What if I have not met all my clinic requirements ?

You may participate in the 13th Quarter if:

  • You have completed 75 percent of all clinic requirements to successfully pass Clinic IV.
  • Those who have failed Clinic IV will need to retake and pass before registering for 13th Quarter.
  • Appeals are made to the Clinic Standards Committee via Dr. Snow.

Can I be an intern in more than one office?


Can there be more than one intern in one office?

Yes, a preceptor (licensed Doctor of Chiropractic) may have up to two (2) interns in the 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 a doctor or clinic pay me?

You may not accept any form of compensation. If you violate this policy, your work hours are void. There are several reasons for this policy. If you accept payment, the law considers you an employee of that office. Palmer College's malpractice policy would no longer cover your actions and you may be guilty of practicing without a license.

Where do I file the midterm and final reports?

Return reports directly to Dr. Jeremy Lerner by the due date or fax them to the number on the form. You'll want your supervising doctor to complete and submit them in a timely fashion. Failure to do so may result in an incomplete grade for the course and no diploma at graduation.

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

Yes. First try to resolve any issues with the doctor before taking the next step. Otherwise, you will provide an email or typed explanation stating reasons and need for the change. We will try to locate an alternate office. The later in the quarter, the more difficult this process will be.

How do I guarantee that I will do more than soft tissue and PT work?

It's true that this happens to students on occasion. You should expect and receive a well-rounded experience in the operation of a chiropractic office. Patient treatment is certainly one aspect of the experience, but it should not dominate your time.

Here is what you need to do in advance of your FTP site selection to make sure you get a balanced experience:

  • Discuss with the doctor her expectations for the program.
  • Ask the doctor to create a schedule that exposes you to the seven subjects we've outlined for you.
  • Tell the doctor what you specifically would like to learn and what your expectations are.
  • Does the doctor clearly communicate how you will spend your time?
  • Has she confirmed what aspects of the business you will be involved with?

If you do not like the answers, then reconsider whether this office is right for you. Make the most of this unique opportunity.

Choose your program