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Clinical Experience and a Preceptorship with Brittany Pilat-Hopkins

Brittany Pilat-Hopkins completed her time in Palmer’s Doctor of Chiropractic program precepting at a chiropractic clinic in Beaverton, Oregon, where she and her husband, Aaron, want to relocate to long term. 


Brittney Pila-Hopkins in front of Clinic.Beginning in the seventh trimester, Palmer students care for patients in the Palmer Chiropractic Clinics, the largest chiropractic clinic network in the world. Through the Internship Preceptorship Program, students in their final term can gain clinical experience at one of more than 6,000 approved chiropractic offices across the country. 

Since starting in July, she has learned a substantial amount and loves the doctors she’s been working under. 

“I’ve honed in on my soft tissue and adjusting skills, learned how to be involved in the community, and strengthened patient communications,” she stated. “Doctor Iselin and I have weekly meetings where he gives honest feedback on how things are going, plus suggestions on how to communicate more clearly and concisely with patients. There are also monthly staff meetings where I get to learn more about the business side of things.”

When asked to describe her preceptorship, Brittany likened it to her time as an intern in the Palmer Chiropractic Clinic’s Sports and Rehabilitation department. “We take a thorough initial history by asking a lot of questions, then provide hands-on passive and manual therapies followed by exercise therapy and active care rehab,” she said. 

She also elaborated on how her preceptorship is set up, allowing her to complete her classes. “You complete 360 hours in your final trimester, broken up however you and your preceptor doctor want. I precept between 25-30 hours each week which gives me the in-clinic experience as well as time to complete my final two classes, prepare to graduate, and register for my state board exams,” she explained.

Clinical Experience

Brittney Pilat Hopkins helping student athlete while clinician oversees.Brittany says that her experience in the Palmer Chiropractic Clinics helped prepare her for her preceptorship, stating that “students bounce ideas off one another and work together, all with the same goal of helping patients.” 

“Not being an athlete myself, I don’t have the personal experience of putting the intense physical demands on my body that many of these patients are. I knew that if I wanted to have a rehabilitation focus, I needed to get into the sports and rehabilitation department as early as allowed (7th trimester),” she said. 

“I find the puzzle of figuring out concerns with athletes super interesting. I enjoy watching people move and making small changes, often affecting their pain and performance. Interning in Palmer’s Sports and Rehabilitation department taught me that sometimes the area of concern may not be the root of the problem. Seeing chiropractic care making a huge difference in chronic pain and athletic performance was astounding!”

Brittany worked with multiple doctors during her time in the Palmer Clinics. “I’m grateful for working with so many doctors at Palmer and during this preceptorship. I could see how each one does things a little differently so that I could learn what worked for me. Dr. Barber, my staff doctor, made everything make sense,” she said. 

Life After Palmer

Brittany plans to work as an associate in a chiropractic clinic after she graduates in October 2023. Her goal is to work with athletes of all levels from the weekend warriors to the pros. 

Meanwhile, she enjoys exploring Beaverton with Aaron and border collie, Bronco. The high school sweethearts originally from Ohio, say they are loving their new city so far!