“I always knew that I wanted to work in health care, but I didn’t know which path to take,” Palmer student, Kiearrah Williams said. “I knew that I wanted to do something that involves healing and I liked chiropractic’s scope of practice since it didn’t involve medicine.”
Kiearrah, a Davenport, Iowa native, completed her undergraduate degree in kinesiology and health at Iowa State University. “After getting my B.S. I worked for two years while trying to decide my path. All throughout everything I was always in contact with Palmer’s admissions team.”
Kiearrah wanted to ensure she was making the most logical decision and finding the best fit for her. “I researched other schools,” she said, “but Palmer just made the most sense, especially when I looked at the cost of living and other expenses.”
“It was Palmer’s 360° Main Campus Experience that fully convinced me to attend. I’m the first in my family to become a chiropractor. The day-long visit solidified what I could see for my future.”
At Palmer, Kiearrah serves as the President of SABCA (Student American Black Chiropractic Association), formerly known as the Harvey Lillard Society. This group was established in memory of the first chiropractic patient. Its purpose is to aid in promoting equity in the chiropractic profession for minorities and promote the expansion of chiropractic as a healthcare system. The organization has hosted events during Black History Month, hosts the TeqTalk, and has volunteered with local churches and community groups.
“SABCA is really like an additional family,” she said. “To see other people who look like me going through the doctor of chiropractic program makes it easier. Seeing Black doctors give me motivation. I think to myself, ‘I will be in that position one day,’ and ‘I’m going to be a Black chiropractor.”
“We [members of SABCA] want to encourage more Black people to go into the profession and SABCA is a network for all of us on that journey,” Kiearrah said. “Currently we have about 20 students involved, but SABCA is open to all students.”
Kiearrah also stays busy as a work-study in Palmer Clinics in the Clinical Co-Curricular Program. Since the fall of 2020, she has helped coordinate and write the monthly Clinic newsletter that goes out to all Clinic students and staff. Additionally, she helps manage the Clinic’s Facebook page and produces content ideas. The Clinic work studies also help with Clinic community programs, including the Bix Spine and Quad City Storm Games.
“I decided to get involved because the marketing tasks interested me, and I know these are skills that will help me when I’m in practice. My favorite part of the job is working with the staff I wouldn’t normally get to work with as a student!”
In her free time, Kiearrah prioritizes spending time with her family, enjoys photography, and is involved with Zeta Phi Beta Sorority Inc.
“I also became a doula in September 2021 through the Iowa Black Doula Collective with a focus of serving Black moms,” Kiearrah said. “I want to continue learning more about birth work and serving these women.”
As she enters the Clinics as an intern this trimester, she is eager to start seeing patients. Looking beyond that, Kiearrah is open to opportunities! “I’m going to look both in and outside of the Quad Cities for jobs when I graduate. I don’t have a specific population that I want to work with, but I do want to be able to work with pregnant women and children as patients.”
“The doctor of chiropractic program has continued to be rewarding and fulfilling,” Kiearrah said. “I have gained so much knowledge in the brief time I’ve been here. I’m grateful that I can be the person in my family that they come to when they have their own health questions.”
To anyone considering going into chiropractic care, Kiearrah says, “Go for it! It’s such a rewarding career path to go into. Even as a student I’ve been able to see and experience the benefits it’s given patients. You can really change people’s lives.”
See yourself as a future chiropractor? Experience campus like Kiearrah and schedule a campus visit.
Palmer College of Chiropractic is the first and largest chiropractic college. More chiropractors have graduated from Palmer than any other chiropractic institution. Interested in learning more about attending Palmer College? Visit palmer.edu.