With a background in personal training and an undergraduate degree in physical education, Wooseok Choi (Woo for short), is excited to help people live their best lives on a deeper level as a Doctor of Chiropractic.
Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Woo first considered medical school but was discouraged by what seemed like a singular-solution care system (prescription medication).
Woo witnessed the struggle of the health care system firsthand when he served his mandatory two years in the South Korean military. He wanted to be able to help people by getting to the root cause of their pain, without having to rely on prescription drugs or surgery.
“If you hurt yourself, you might receive assistance with acute care, but the government won’t take care of you long term. Everything is paid out of pocket regardless of severity,” he recalls. This led Woo to start looking into a career in chiropractic.
He was shocked to learn there were no chiropractic schools in South Korea and that medical doctors and physical therapists overtly monopolize the market.
“They’re very supportive of chiropractic care and acknowledge it works but want to be the only ones to offer it. They’re powerful enough to hedge out anyone trying to open a chiropractic office here,” Woo said.
Then a simple internet search changed Woo’s trajectory.
Palmer College popped up first during his search for chiropractic schools. This was no surprise to Woo as he’d heard the name before thanks to one of his college professors. He liked that Palmer was the first in the world to offer chiropractic education and appreciated the robust curriculum.
Transitioning to American life wasn’t easy as he worked to master the language, get used to Palmer’s challenging curriculum and experience living in a new country.
“I doubted my own ability to succeed but everyone at Palmer went above and beyond to ensure I understood the lessons. Some of my classmates even shared their class notes with me. I was able to adapt to my new environment and gain confidence very quickly thanks to them,” he said.
Now a student intern in Palmer Chiropractic Clinics, he loves all of the hands-on training and being able to care for patients with a multitude of challenges.
“I love learning in the classroom environment, but seeing and helping patients in the Clinic is so rewarding. The learning goes beyond adjustments and dives into bedside manner, creating care management plans and more. Watching patients progress has been incredible and I’ve learned so much,” said Woo.
With graduation only a couple of months away, Woo is feeling ready for the real world and has even started tutoring.
“Thanks to my high grades, I’ve been tutoring Palmer students in two classes – anatomy and radiology diagnoses. I sometimes teach 30 students at once!”
Whether he ultimately obtains his medical license so he can practice chiropractic back home in East Asia or maybe an amazing opportunity turns up in the states, Woo is beyond excited about starting his chiropractic career!