Here is another profession in the health care industry. Have you ever thought about being a Chiropractor? Stuart enjoys his career and loves the fact that it is a more holistic approach to health. I see a trend in the fact that many professionals consider a job shadow as one of the best ways to make decisions about your future.
Q: What is the title of your profession?
A: I am a Chiropractor.
Q: What does a Chiropractor do?
A: As a chiropractor I help people improve their health naturally, without the use of drugs or surgery. We do this by keeping the body’s nervous system clear through adjustments of the spine.
Q: Have you always worked in this profession?
A: No, my undergraduate degree is in engineering and I worked in that field for 2 years before going to chiropractic school. I started seeing a chiropractor when I was 23 at the recommendation of a friend and was amazed at what it could do and the philosophy behind it. It always appealed to me because it is very similar to engineering (just working on a person instead of a machine).
Q: Why did you choose this profession?
A: For reasons mentioned above and also because I saw it as something I could do using my hands and something that would challenge me mentally. I enjoy working to solve problems, especially when the outcome ultimately helps someone live a better life.
A: Chiropractic is the “Health” part of the “Health Care” industry. We deal more with building health as opposed to fighting disease. I believe we need both, but I would rather work on the health and wellness end of the spectrum. Chiropractic is often referred to as a science, art, and philosophy. It is truly a holistic approach to optimal health.
Q: What is your schooling background?
A: I have a B.S. undergraduate degree in engineering at UMaine (Orono) and D.C. degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic in Davenport Iowa. 4 years undergrad, 3.5 years for doctorate program.
Q: Do you use your degree in your job?
A: My chiropractic degree is applied everyday in my job. My engineering degree also comes in handy at times.
Q: Can you use your degree for any other profession?
A: A chiropractic degree is fairly specific for our field however, within the health care industry many chiropractors specialize in things like nutrition, pediatrics, wellness, sports performance etc.
Q: Do you need to take continuing education for your profession?
A: Yes, we are required to have 48 hours of CE every 2 years. CE can be clinical, practice management, philosophy or other topics of practice.
Q: Do you need to become certified or pass a board examination?
A: Chiropractors must pass both National (multiple parts) and State Board examinations to hold a license.
Q: What is the day in the life of your job?
A: The day to day work of a chiropractor is fairly diverse due to the fact that we see the entire range of population, from a newborn to very elderly and everything in between. Every person is unique so that requires us to adapt our techniques and keeps our minds focused on the person in front of us. It is never routine. There is also the business aspect of running a practice that involves marketing, public speaking, educating, and of course accounting.
Q: What do you think makes a person successful in this career?
A: You must love helping people. I think that is the common thread for successful chiropractors that I know. Other factors include enjoying solving problems, using your hands, and educating people.
Q: Do you travel?
A: Travel is not a typical part of our job unless we are traveling for a conference or seminar which can happen several times per year.
Q: What is the typical schedule?
A: Every office is slightly different but most chiropractors will have hours in the morning and afternoon. This job has a tremendous amount of flexibility regarding hours. Our office is open from 8 am to 5:30pm (closed 12:30 -2:30 for lunch) on Monday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Tuesday 2:30 – 5:30 and Friday 8 am 12:30.
Q: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
A: Seeing someone come into our office with health problems, usually after they’ve “tried everything else”, and then seeing that same person get better, start enjoying life again and reclaiming their health. My favorite part about that process is that I was able to help them by using just my head and my hands, no drugs, no surgery. That is an incredible feeling!
Q: What do you dislike about your job?
A: Dealing with insurance companies.
Q: What advice would you give to a student that is considering this profession?
A: Be sure you love helping and being with people. A great way to see what being a chiropractor is like is to follow one around for a day. We’ve had many high school and college students over the years come in to shadow us for a day. This really gives them a great sense of what the job is about.
Q: If you had to do it all over again, would you?
A: Absolutely, no question.
Q: Are you having fun?
A: I love our patients, it is so much fun to get to the office and find out who I’m going to see that day!
Q: Do you receive a pension?
A: I’m self employed so my pension like most doctors, it is what I create for myself.