Supplemental Programs Offer Invaluable Training for TCC’s Interns

Texas Chiropractic College’s Supplemental Training programs have become an invaluable extension of the college’s curriculum. Interns in their final trimester are eligible to participate in the Hospital Rotation Program or in the Preceptorship Program. Following graduation and before becoming licensed, they have the opportunity to add to their education through the Postceptorship Program.

Hospital Rotation Program

The most recognizable of these is the Hospital Rotation Program. Established in 1985, this one-month program allows for observational clinical and surgical rotations in the fi elds of orthopedic surgery, neurosurgery, reconstructive surgery, sports medicine, rheumatology, pain anagement, pediatrics, internal medicine, family medicine and radiology. Texas Chiropractic College has drawn national attention as the “Texas Model” for this off-campus educational experience.

One of the primary goals of the hospital rotation is to promote and establish dialogue between those in the medical professions and chiropractic interns. The exchange of information on diagnosis, treatment and research opens avenues of understanding and appreciation between the professions.

Interns realize numerous benefi ts from participation in a hospital rotation. Their exposure to a comprehensive healthcare approach of treating patients gives them a better understanding of chiropractic’s contribution to the healthcare system in this country. In observing medical and surgical procedures, the interns become aware of alternative care that is beyond the scope of chiropractic care. Their exposure to a variety of patients and conditions as they work with medical personnel enhances their diagnostic abilities while, at the same time, the interns become familiar with proper hospital protocol and interdisciplinary dialogue.

There are approximately twenty different rotations located throughout southeast Texas. In addition to the clinical settings, the Texas Medical Center, the University of Texas Medical Branch–Galveston, and the Veterans Affairs Medical Center, both in Houston and Temple, TX, have established hospital rotations agreements with Texas Chiropractic College. According to Colman Albracht, D.C., TCC’s Manager of Supplemental Programs, the college’s interns are well received. Their sound preparation in the basic sciences is evident as they interact with medical students and doctors, and Dr. Albracht has heard many favorable comments from the participating doctors in the rotations.

Preceptorship Program

Texas Chiropractic College’s Preceptorship Program is actually comprised of three different programs. Preceptorship I is a locally based program that allows an intern to spend a full week in fi ve different practice settings. While the intern is completing the clinical requirements in the Moody Health Center, he or she can devote fi fteen hours each week to the program while spending fi ve hours in the clinic. Once the clinic requirements are completed, the intern spends twenty hours per week in Preceptorship I. The program is observational only.

Once the requirements for the Doctor of Chiropractic Degree Program are completed, an intern can participate in Preceptorship II, spending fi ve weeks with a participating field doctor in either the United States or Canada. It is a ywenty-hour per week commitment. The intern observes and, under the direct supervision of the participating doctor, can perform exams and use some modalities such as ultrasound, traction, moist heat, interferential or electrical stimulation.

Preceptorship III provides the most extensive experience of the three programs. An intern may spend the entire trimester, fifteen weeks, with a participating fi eld doctor in the United States or Canada. Before entering the program, the intern must have completed all of the college’s requirements to graduate and have passed Parts I and II of the National Board exams. The intern will spend a minimum of thirty hours per week in the program, which includes all aspects of patient care, including manipulation under direct supervision of the doctor. However, students are not allowed to formulate a diagnosis or treatment plan.

Interns spend approximately 80 percent of their time in the clinic and 20 percent of their time learning the business side of the practice. It’s about as close to being in actual practice as an intern can get on this side of graduation.

Postceptorship Program

In the fall of 1999, Texas Chiropractic College inaugurated a Postceptorship Program. This somewhat novel one-credithour post graduation program allows graduated students to enroll for a postgraduate class that carries the same general requirements, benefi ts, and regulations as the Preceptorship III Program. Graduates continue to develop their skills and gain valuable experience while waiting to receive full licensure.

In Conclusion

The purpose of the Texas Chiropractic College Supplemental Training Program is to augment the Doctor of Chiropractic Program by providing voluntary opportunities of off-campus training experiences to interns who qualify, under the supervision of qualifi ed doctors, both in the field of chiropractic and various medical fi elds.

Interns who have completed the Hospital Rotation Program, a Preceptorship and/or Postceptorship Program have been enriched in many ways by their experiences. They leave Texas Chiropractic College well prepared to take their place in the healthcare system of this country as Doctors of Chiropractic.

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