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Choosing a Doctor of Chiropractic Degree Program
One of the most important things you can do is learn to use critical thinking to understand the major difference between chiropractic schools. Often, prospective students do not even know the right questions to ask.
Here is a list of ten most critical areas that will help you differentiate the differences between the schools. Life West recommends that you focus on asking questions about these topics which will help you develop a well-researched rubric and get you thinking critically while comparing schools.
The Top-10 Areas to Research When Comparing Schools:
- Well Rounded and Integrated Education: Chiropractic education continues quite a few critical elements. Graduates need to be great scientists, who know and understand the workings of the human body. Graduates also need to be fantastic adjustors, skilled thought leaders and great communicators, with the know how to operate a business. None of these elements can be skipped or underplayed.Life West believes in the integration of all the facets of chiropractic, (science, technique and philosophy) without insulting or ignoring any aspect of the education. All elements are present, all the time, at the highest possible level.
- Real World Business Skills: Most chiropractors eventually go into private practice. That means you need to learn to become a great business person. Business is stressed as part of the curriculum because we know that your success upon graduation relies on more than book smarts and adjusting. Look for a well-balanced and rigorous business education which incorporates both the hard skills of business (like writing a business plan and securing a loan) along with the important soft skills (like managing staff and managing patients). Be sure to check that the faculty is well qualified and experienced enough to teach these essential skills.
- Leadership: Leadership in education is more than looking at some administrator from afar. You want to choose a chiropractic college which values leadership and teaches leadership to the student body. You will learn from what you see modeled for you.At Life West you will learn (and see) leadership in action in the chiropractic profession, both from within the school administration and student body but also readily available to you from outside sources. All the top leaders in chiropractic show up at Life West, all the time, because they love the way our students like to show up as leaders.
- World Class Clinic: Clinic is a key part of a chiropractic education. You will want a clinical experience which prepares you for real world practice and allows you to take everything you learned in the classroom and use it with patients.The Life West clinic experience emulates the real world and allows you to develop both confidence and skills, all in a technologically advanced setting (check out our MRI machine). Your faculty mentors in the Life West health care center are exceptionally experienced faculty who know their stuff and are still in active private practice.
- Option to Get Done Fast: Life West offers an accelerated curriculum to students who enter with high academic qualifications. Qualifying students can complete chiropractic school at Life West in just three years (12 quarters). That saves you both time and money! Plus, the faster you finish, the faster you can move on the fun part: go into practice and change the world!
- Culture: Have you ever heard the saying “The best way to improve yourself is to surround yourself with the people you most want to be like?” You are going to need to ask yourself: What do you want to be like? Who do you want to become?Life West has a culture which both values and teaches personal development (via seminars, a student retreat called Life 101, etc). We believe that who you are is a crucial part of your success equation and we help you to become the best YOU that you can be.
- Amazing Sense of Community: You will be very immersed in the culture of the chiropractic college you choose. You will want to choose a school which surrounds you with people who inspire and support you. Chiropractic school is a very intense time for most people. You will want to walk into a well-developed support system.Life West has a unique community in which everyone helps each other and pulls together (faculty, staff, classmates, upperclassmen, etc). That might sound obvious, but that is NOT what happens everywhere else.
- Chiropractic Philosophy: Chiropractic philosophy matters to you, because your WHY matters. Philosophy is the part of your education that puts all the pieces together and allows you to make a real difference by helping people think differently. People have to be prepared to think in new ways in order to change their lives. Your ability to communicate the philosophy will prepare them. If you really want to affect a change in the world, this is a vital part of your chiropractic education.At Life West, chiropractic philosophy is a cornerstone of your education. Not only will you have world class instructions from top chiropractic philosophers, but you will also benefit from having this part of your education well integrated throughout all your coursework beginning in your very first quarter.
- Top in Chiropractic Technique: You absolutely MUST choose a school which gives you a truly excellent ability to deliver the chiropractic adjustment. This means you need to be taught a wide variety of techniques and learn them at a very high level. Chiropractic techniques are the fundamental tools of the chiropractic profession.Life West teaches 13 techniques in the core curriculum, offers several techniques that are taught at NO OTHER chiropractic school, and graduates doctors with high levels of confidence and competence because they learn technique early and often.
- High Chiropractic Board Scores: Board scores give you a sense of how well a school will prepare you to fully comprehend the scientific underpinnings of a great chiropractic education. It is important to remember that this ONLY tells you how well students do on a test, which is NOT the complete story of academic quality. However, it is a good thing to consider.Life West students do very well on national boards. This shows strong academic rigor of our program, especially in the sciences.