Hello Kris, I Googled “Ask a Chiropractor” and your name came up first. Here is my question- my son is a high school senior and he is a health nut. He is excited about chiropractic as a career. Recently, a family friend, who is a physical therapist told me to talk him out of it. He said that chiropractors struggle and that it is a difficult career. Every chiropractor I know is successful and happy in their career, so this is the opposite of my impression of chiropractors. What is your advice for a high school senior? Great career or a struggle? Thank you for taking the time to answer my question!
Tough one to answer as there are so many variables, but I’ll give it a go!
Chiropractors can be successful and happy in their career if they have the right personality. Confidence is paramount as we have to deal with a steady stream of patients, day in and out, who are often in a lot of pain and it’s down to us to get them better in a very ‘hands on’ way. We are constantly required to produce results, which can be stressful.
Another aspect of the job to consider is whether to work for yourself or someone else. If you work for someone then they may not pass on enough patients to make the job worthwhile (or they may be a great boss). If you work for yourself then that’s not an issue but then you aren’t just a chiro anymore, you are also a businessman, employer etc. with all the headaches that can bring.
A third consideration is that even though chiros are very well educated and highly qualified, we are often disparaged by MD’s, the press and the public who don’t realise how well trained we actually are. That can get demoralizing but the situation is slowly getting better.
I suggest that your son goes and ‘shadows’ a few chiros at their work so that he gets a better idea of the job. I often have youngsters observing me at work because they are trying to decide between physiotherapy, chiropractic, osteopathy and general medicine.
I hope this has helped to clarify things a bit.