This post appeared originally on the Chiropractic Economics magazine website. It has been reprinted with permission from the author.
Students: Follow these steps before starting a chiropractic practice
SCHOOL CAN BE REALLY CHALLENGING. You’re focused on your next test and not on your future. That is why it is important to stay aware of your long-term goals, such as connecting with a practice to join once you graduate.
Here are the five ways to make sure that happens, even if you’re still a student.
1. Shadow different doctors
While in school, identify priorities and make sure you are not majoring in minor subjects that don’t relate to your priorities. I set a goal for shadowing two doctors a quarter while I was in school, which made for a long list.
Eventually I ended up working for one of the doctors I shadowed, and I learned a ton in the process about different techniques and how different practices work.
2. Join social media groups
Once you start to recognize the type of practice you may want to connect with, look for a social media group with members who can teach you about that style of practice.
Join the group, then take a moment to see how the group operates. When you engage with the group, work to build your reputation as a student who provides insight and value. This will help you stand out from the crowd and make it easy for you to approach the individuals you are interested in working with.
3. Find office work while in school
Before chiropractic school, I worked as a massage therapist, and I had a lot of opportunities to work in different chiropractic offices while I was still attending school. I sacrificed many weekends in order to make this work, but it was worth it in the long run.
I got to see behind the scenes and learn about the tools that different doctors were using to run their practice. If you have never worked in a chiropractic office, it can be easy to convince yourself that it isn’t hard. Actually working in an office will be a reality check and help you organize your thoughts on everything it takes to succeed. You will learn, and this knowledge will make it easier for you to assess practices you may want to work for, and to ask intelligent questions at your interviews.
4. Consider a podcast or other outlet
The best decision I made while in school was to start a YouTube channel and a podcast related to chiropractic. I did almost 100 interviews with doctors from all over the country.
This, more than anything, educated me about what I was looking for and the practices I wanted to become a part of. It also refined my understanding of chiropractic and made it easier for me to connect with offices because of the credibility I gained from starting such a big project.
5. Look for job opportunities
It is never too early to start looking for a job. The more you know about what is out there, the more likely you are to choose a practice that is a good fit for you.
There are many online resources you can use to find jobs. It is also likely that your school will have a classifieds section you can use to connect with doctors and learn about different options for employment.
The hardest part about connecting with a practice is making time to do it while you are in school, but the payoff will come after graduation.
Noah Volz, DC, is a recent graduate of Life Chiropractic College West and now practices at ProActive Chiropractic in San Francisco. Find him at proactivesf.com or seek out the DC2Be Revolution Mentorship group on Facebook.