The journey from
being a student to
becoming an actual
doctor of chiropractic
been an interesting
ride. I think
many recent grads
will attest to the
fact that the first
year is pretty rough no matter what path you choose—associate,
independent contractor renting out space, or buying a practice.
Each position brings its share of good and bad. So I think the
challenge is in finding the right fit for yourself.
Many of my classmates had a good idea of where they wanted
to practice, and in which office they would be upon graduating.
Some decided to continue working in their preceptor offices.
Then there were others, like me, who weren’t completely sure
of where they’d end up.
Throughout my tenure on Palmer’s West Campus, I got
involved with a myriad of activities—partially to explore
various opportunities, but also to broaden my experience
with being in a chiropractic school. From National
Legislative Conferences in D.C. and becoming president
of the Campus Guides to my two years with the Associated
Student Government, the days in school seemed to fly by.
I was also fortunate enough to take part in Palmer’s Clinic
Abroad Program, where 22 of us got to treat over 3,000
patients in just five days.
Each experience got me more and more energized and excited
to be part of this growing profession. The only problem was
that I wasn’t quite sure where or how to get started. So after
graduation, I began revising my business plan from school to
truly envision the practice I’d want to have in five years. I also
joined a few doctors on a trip to Mexico, where we gave chiropractic
care to the people of Piedras Negras. After talking to
some of the seasoned chiropractors on the trip, I realized that I
would need a fairly large patient base in order to make my plan
successful. So then I began the arduous procedure of looking
for an associate position. After a few months of going to
numerous offices, I finally interviewed at an office where all the
big pieces just fell into place.
My boss soon became my mentor, and she helped guide me
and gave me ideas on different ways to network and to build a
patient base. After three months of being her employee, she
told me that she was hoping to sell the practice, and asked if I
was interested. Wow! Barely a year out of school, and I was
being handed an opportunity that many can only dream of. I
told her that I would be honored, and within several months, I
had become a business owner.
It has certainly been an interesting journey so far, but I am definitely
thankful for all the wonderful experiences which have
led to these exciting opportunities. For all the students taking
the time to read this, I strongly encourage you to get involved
in all types of clubs, attend seminars and talk to as many field
doctors as you can. Classes are definitely challenging and
demanding on their own, but if you can put in the time, it will
definitely be worth your while. To all of the experienced doctors,
I truly hope that you have the chance to become a mentor
for a student or a recent graduate. You have a lot to teach, and
the world will be a better place if you can share a part of yourselves
with the rest of us.