Can I Train For a Career in Chiropractic Academia and/or Research?

Caring for patients is just one of the ways chiropractors can make a difference in the world. While most students use their chiropractic training to launch a clinical practice, many others choose to advance the profession by pursuing a career in academia or research.

Becoming a professor or researcher at chiropractic school requires the extra time and energy needed to achieve a Master’s degree or Ph.D., but the rewards are incalculable. Career in Academia and Research

“The best part of my job is the interaction with students—learning from them, learning with them, in addition to being able to teach them a thing or two here or there,” said Michael J. Tunning, D.C., an associate dean of Clinical Sciences at Palmer College’s Davenport campus. . “Basically seeing how far advanced our students are is really the reason that I come here every day.”

Palmer students in their senior year of chiropractic training who are considering a focus on academia or research can lay the groundwork for success by participating in our Clinical Teaching Assistant (CTA) Program. By assisting faculty clinicians, clinic administrators or other interns within a patient care setting, clinical teaching assistants receive on-the-job training for a career as a professor or chiropractic researcher.

Students interested in chiropractic research can also participate in Palmer’s Research Honors Program during their D.C. training, which allows them to participate in various aspects of current research projects at the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research. (PCCR).  The PCCR is the largest and most highly funded chiropractic research center in the world. The Research Honors Program is available on all three Palmer campuses, and allows students to work with several of the most respected researchers in chiropractic.

What does the CTA Program involve?

Participants in the CTA Program work up to 10 hours a week in a clinical setting. Students can volunteer their time or apply to receive work-study funds. Those who complete the program will earn a Certificate of Merit upon graduating.

How do I apply?

Current Palmer students can visit Palmer’s student portal to learn more about applying for the CTA program, which is directed by the Clinic Capstone Programs Office. Applications are due during the last four weeks of the trimester. Work-study awards must be approved through the Financial Planning Office.

Providing chiropractic training for future generations and contributing to a growing body of chiropractic research can be highly rewarding—especially considering that as demand for chiropractic care grows, more teachers and research will be needed to keep the profession moving forward. For Palmer students, becoming a clinical teaching assistant is the first step toward a fulfilling career path.

Interested in learning more about a career in academia? Watch the full interview with Palmer professor Dr. Tunning.

Interested in learning more about a career in research?  Then view our interview with Dr. Amy Minkalis, a former Research Honors grad.

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