Planet Chiropractic News
Dear Dr. Michael Dorausch,
My name is Melissa, and this fall I will be a junior at the University of Southern California. I am writing you this email because I am interested in being a chiropractor. I have done some research online and while looking around, I found your website (ADIOLA). Seeing your ambition, personality, dedication, and love of your career and life is very inspiring. I was wondering, since I am still trying to figure things out about this career, if you would be willing to give me some advice and your general opinion about this field of work. What was it that got you interested in being a chiropractor? What kind of schooling did you have to go though? What would you say are the pros and cons of your career? I do have many more questions, but if there is any other information that you would be willing to share, I would greatly appreciate it. Thank you so much for taking the time to read my email. I look forward to hearing from you.
Thank you for the e-mail. You have summarized many questions hundreds or even thousands of people are seeking answers to. I'll address each of your questions individually as to offer some good solid information so that you (and others) can make some well-informed decisions related to chiropractic. The decision to become a chiropractor, or pursue any lifelong career, is one that requires some serious introspection and thought. By asking questions such as these, you are already on the right path.
1) Would you be willing to give me some advice and your general opinion about this field of work?
The Field of Chiropractic
I would visit some (if not many) chiropractic offices in your area. Since you're in Southern California you are welcome to come visit us in Marina del Rey. I know of hundreds of chiropractic offices throughout the United States and Canada that would welcome prospective students into their businesses for an introduction to chiropractic practice. Most chiropractors I know are very passionate about their practices and are quite supportive of new doctors and prospective students. When you meet the right people, the love and support you will receive will be a big bonus to having selected chiropractic as a career choice.
Chiropractic Schools and Colleges
I would get in contact with at least four different chiropractic schools and talk to advisers and current chiropractic students there. If you are planning to stay in California, I would advise a visit to Life Chiropractic College West in Hayward (the Bay area) and Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles. You can get the essentials to be a successful chiropractor in nearly any chiropractic College in the US. Some schools offer a greater diversity of chiropractic techniques than others. Personally, I would not recommend attending a school that did not offer at least three hands-on adjustive techniques. It is also important that the school you choose supports alternative techniques via clubs or visiting chiropractic lecturers. For example, Cleveland Chiropractic College and Life West offer well-rounded chiropractic technique courses and welcome a number of visiting experts in the field of technique to their campuses.
Create a 10 Year Chiropractic Success Plan
Those that fail to plan, plan to fail. The trenches alongside the potentially joyous road of chiropractic are full of those that just couldn't make things work. They will be there to attack an attempt to drag you into the trenches alongside them. They'll be there every step of the way, while you're in school, when you graduate, during national and state exams, and when you open your first practice. This is not unique to chiropractic, you will discover negative, disillusioned, and frustrated people regardless of the career path you choose. A famous chiropractic author, Dr. Fred Barge, once authored a book entitled "Life Without Fear." It may be too heavy of a book to read when first starting school, but I'd recommend it to every individual about to graduate.
If you already have your bachelors of science degree and/or have all entrance requirements met to begin chiropractic school you still have about five years of education and examinations ahead of you. Poor planning can get you into financial trouble. It becomes easier then to blame chiropractic and/or your schooling for something that was your responsibility (and dream) to begin with. The better you plan, the better your chances of succeeding. Don't let anyone steal your dreams.
Assuming you're paying for your own education, try to curb the following behaviors during your educational years...
1) Don't buy expensive cars. If you need a car, get an affordable and reliable fuel-efficient automobile that will last throughout your school years.
2) Borrow the minimal amount of student loans that you can. Don't go to Las Vegas with your student loan money. Do your best to only use student loan money for school related expenses.
3) Live close to school so you don't have a major commute. If you're going to commute see if you can hook up with classmates so that you can study to and from school each day.
4) If you are single, get a roommate or two (preferably ones that are also chiropractic students).
5) If you're planning on getting pregnant, figure that into your 10-year plan so that you can better manage the transition from student and/or new doctor to mother.
6) While in school, work anywhere you can that is related to chiropractic (office work, spinal screenings, assisting at seminars and continuing education courses).
7) Make as many chiropractic contacts as you can and keep in touch with those contacts regularly.
8) Choose your relationships carefully (I have no clue how someone does this). I was blessed to meet someone that grew with me while I was in school. I cannot imagine my experience in chiropractic without her.
Ambition, Personality, Dedication, and Love of your Career and Life
In my opinion, if you can move forward with ambition, dedication, love for your career and life, and improve your personality by just a smidgen each day, you can make a tremendous difference not only in your world, but the world of those around you. I'd like to think that I'd be just as excited and dedicated if I were a rock star, school bus driver, airline pilot, veterinarian, or whatever career path I chose. We all possess these qualities, it's what we do with them that makes the difference. Remove ambition and a career in chiropractic will be a dark and dull path. Lack of dedication will almost guarantee failure. In many ways, chiropractic practice requires more discipline and dedication than other health-care fields do. Most of us are solo practitioners and if we don't show up to work people will suffer. In some other fields, if you don't show up for work someone will cover your shift. A dedication to getting sick people well and keeping the well from getting sick creates a love for your career and your life, as far as I'm concerned.
Love is all You Need
I use voice recognition software when writing articles and my wife overheard me speaking to the computer and began singing "love is all you need." I said, that's great. I was just going to mention that if you have love (love for yourself) you'll have a difficult time doing poorly in chiropractic. People will want what you have and will be in fair exchange to receive it (love) from you.
That's my advice so far and I'm still on question number one. Watch for the next article as I share my general opinion on the field work of chiropractic. After that we still have three or four more questions to answer. I'll get to those but for now I have to go to "work."
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Dr. Michael Dorausch is a chiropractic graduate Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles, California. As a student, Michael was influential in bringing numerous successful chiropractors to the campus so that students and faculty could hear what it was like in the field. He could not have done this without the strong support of fellow students, local (and not so local) chiropractors, and key faculty members, all of whom volunteered their time and energy without expectation of financial reward. Scenarios surrounding these events were influential in the creation of planetchiropractic.com