By Michael Dorausch, D.C.
Choosing a chiropractic school can be an easy decision for some future chiropractors as they may simply go where their parent/s or doctor/s went. For many future students of chiropractic, thoughts of location, cost, level and length of education, licensing exam preparation, and housing may come to mind.
Are there other things a prospective chiropractic student should consider? I contacted some practicing chiropractors to get their feedback on the issue.
Dr. Stew Bittman (Graduate of Los Angeles Chiropractic College, LACC) offered the following...
What I would look for in a chiropractic college is: 1) Philosophy; 2) Leadership; 3) Technique instruction; 4) Tradition, in that order.
Stew practices in South Lake Tahoe, CA. He runs a "box on the wall" chiropractic practice, along his wife Hillary and daughter Ari.
Dr. Rick Wren (practicing chiropractor in Texas) of the Seminar21 series suggested the following things to consider...
1) Is the school financially sound?
2) Do the facilities indicate they are financially sound?
3) Is it accredited, so I can get loans?
4) How many of their students pass the National Boards compared to other Colleges?
5) What is the Professor to Student ratio?
6) How many of the Professors have real clinical experience and how many years of clinical experience do they have?
7) How many Professors failed in practice and that is why they teach?
8) Do they teach and discuss subluxation with the associated spinal decay?
9) Do they teach corrective vs. relief care?
10) Do they teach lifetime Spinal Hygiene or Maintenance Care?
The list above would be a good one for any potential chiropractic student to have in hand when asking questions about a particular college.
Dr. Lou Corletto (practice located in New Jersey) sent me the following via email when I asked him about thoughts on choosing a chiropractic school.
Some Clarity - one in existence or one I'd like to see teach TIC?
Exposure of the students to TIC - support for them to experience more - off campus things, joint mission/humanitarian work
Focus on TIC things: lots of art forms, tons of palpation, TIC philosophy and other vitalistic philosophies
Vitalisticly Driven - teaches possibilities not fear, it would have to have leadership to offer these (if we had these location becomes a moot point)
I received this from Dr. Brad Deaken, who practices in Canada.
I believe that when students are looking for a school the main thing that determines their choice is the same thot paradigm that governs the way they practice. Meaning... if they are going into chiropractic because of financial reasons or because they wanna be called Doctor then they will likely go to a school that is 'heavier in sciences' such as North Western, NYCC, TCC, National, etc... If the person feels a calling they will be more likely drawn toward schools with a philosophy like I was... to Life, Life West, Parker, Palmer, etc...
After they have determined 'path A' or 'path B' they then determine their choice by techniques offered, location of the school, the intangible 'feel/energy' of the school if they visit it. I do believe that the warmth and proactiveness plays a BIG role in the recruitment process, much more than the schools realize. First phone contact with schools is CRUCIAL to setting a tone and establishing rapport with the prospective student.
Regarding reputation, important, not so much as techniques offered. Leadership is important but is taken into consideration with the program and location of the school.
Dr. Sharon Gorman of Pennsylvania supplied this list of information to consider...
1) Length of Educational Program
4) Practice Management Skills (What they would get)
5) Efficient Financial Aid Department
6) Neighborhood school is located in
7) Affordable Housing - Dorms?
8) Classroom size
9) Quality and Reputation of Professors
10) Recognized Research Department
11) Pass rate for National Boards
And finally, for now, Dr. Freddie So (who has a chiropractic practice in Oakville, Ontario) supplied this...
I would look for (in order of importance): philosophy technique leadership reputation location cost
In summary, some of the things chiropractors in practice found most important include... Leadership, Philosophy, Technique instruction, Financial stability, and Practice Management. Thank you to the six chiropractors who offered the above information.
If you are someone considering attending chiropractic college in the USA or Canada, we suggest you view the planetc1 chiropractic school website. There you can find a list of all schools in the US and Canada along with reviews and ratings of those schools provided by former graduates.
If you are a chiropractic school graduate there are two ways you can help us help others. 1) Visit the School Website and take 15 minutes to write a thoughtful, constructive review of the school you attended. (And if you don't have 15 minutes, maybe you can offer 5 minutes to write a review)
2) Contact me via email (listed above) and let me know in order of importance what you feel chiropractic schools should be providing their students.