I am very grateful to be a Chiropractor. I am very grateful that I am very clear of what my responsibility is to the patients. I am very clear of my vision for Chiropractic. I am very clear of my vision of my life (for the next few years at least.) I am very clear that I am not in control of the outcomes of my life or anyone else’s. I am very clear that I can only change myself and no one else. I am also clear that the decisions that I make and how I live my life is a much stronger statement to the world than anything that I say. I am clear that I do have choices and make many choices every day that effect my life and the lives of many people around me.
I try to be as honest as I can with the people in my life, this includes my patients. I base the answers to all the questions that they ask me on a way of thinking that is different than most. I think like a chiropractor, from above, down and inside out and I share this outlook with them. The more I share it, the more they get it, the more they want to be around me because they can feel the anchor that I have that is connected to truth. They feel the love that I have for them. They experience the commitment that I have for them. They are no different than the other people in my life. They are an extension of the family of people that I choose to have around me. I am not afraid of them. I am honored by their presence in my life even though sometimes I don’t feel that way at the time.
If I keep the big vision in the forefront of my mind then I get base my decisions on this vision. I can test my decisions on this scale. Will the decision bring me closer to good or further from my usefulness. Am I playing god or am I trying to live in harmony with my world? Am I remaining humble? These are all questions that I continue to pose in my mind so that I can be of the most usefulness and stay on track.
I want to make a difference in the world and I don’t think that I am much different than you – or anyone else. My human-ness touches your human-ness and the patient’s human-ness. That is what a relationship is. My truth touches your truth when I allow you close enough to touch me because that is who I am.
Gratefully yours, Sharon
The weather is starting to get nice – get out and get recharged!
March 18 – Focus in the Pocono’s (www.focuschiropractic.com) March 25 – Fired up Philosophy in Long Island April 1 – I will be speaking in New Jersey at the ANJC Salted Knot. (www.anjc.info) May 4-7 I will be speaking in Atlanta at Life Source. (www.life.edu)
Chiropractic Employment BLS: Chiropractors held about 53,000 jobs in 2004. Approximately 58 percent of chiropractors are self-employed. Most chiropractors are in solo practice, although some are in group practice or work for other chiropractors. A small number teach, conduct research at chiropractic institutions, or work in hospitals and clinics.
Thoughts: There will always be work for chiropractors that desire to practice chiropractic. I have nothing to back that up with other than to make a comparison that there will always be work for musicians that desire to make music, there will always be work for artists that desire to make art, and there will always be services for those desiring to serve. In Los Angeles, it seems as though many doctors have retired, passed on, or moved to other areas. As I see it, there is lot’s of opportunity. There is equally lots of challenges to face as we continue to witness changes in insurance reimbursement, rising costs of living, building and employee expenses, etc. Deciding whether to be in solo practice, group practice, or working for others should be ones personal choice. I’d like to point out that this is not unique to chiropractic. The entire healthcare industry is going through considerable change, and change is good.
BLS: Many chiropractors are located in small communities. However, there still often are geographic imbalances in the distribution of chiropractors, in part because many establish practices close to one of the few chiropractic institutions.
Thoughts: Don’t open up down the street from me! No really, many new communities in the US are emerging. Planning and preparing for those geographic imbalances and varying distributions of chiropractors can prove to be advantageous to the person with their eye on the target.
Chiropractic Job Outlook BLS: Job prospects are expected to be good for persons who enter the practice of chiropractic. Employment of chiropractors is expected to *grow faster than average for all occupations through the year 2014 as consumer demand for alternative health care grows. Because chiropractors emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyles and do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery, chiropractic care is appealing to many health-conscious Americans. Chiropractic treatment of the back, neck, extremities, and joints has become more accepted as a result of research and changing attitudes about alternative, noninvasive health care practices. The rapidly expanding older population, with its increased likelihood of mechanical and structural problems, also will increase demand for chiropractors.
Thoughts: Expect to work hard. Stay committed, disciplined and focused. Unless you live under a rock you are aware that consumer demand is growing. The most stunning evidence I personally have of this are the nearly ten years of logged search results from planetchiropractic.com which are revealing some very interesting patterns of what “conscious Americans” seek.
WHY CHIROPRACTIC? All one has to do is read this statement again… “Because chiropractors emphasize the importance of healthy lifestyles and do not prescribe drugs or perform surgery, chiropractic care is appealing to many health-conscious Americans.”
Yes, the older population is rapidly expanding and some in medicine are laying claim to that occurrence. Someone find me a single adult that desires to live their last 20 – 30 years of a potential century of life on this planet in a diaper, a wheelchair, dependent on drugs, hooked up to a dialysis unit, dragging an oxygen tank, or who knows what else. Is that the definition of health? Is that ones desire for longevity and quality of life?
Simply, a chiropractic lifestyle is the antithesis of a non-chiropractic lifestyle. It is in direct contrast or exact opposition to a dis-eased or disorderly lifestyle. Philosophically it is known as the idea that A cannot equal not-A. Chiropractic cannot equal not-chiropractic. Similarly, medicine cannot equal not-medicine. In practice, chiropractic and medicine are at polar opposites from one another.
*BLS defines “Grow faster than average” as an “increase of 18 to 26 percent.”
Chiropractic Earnings BLS: Median annual earnings of salaried chiropractors were $69,910 in May 2004. The middle 50 percent earned between $46,710 and $118,280 a year. In 2005, the mean salary for chiropractors was $104,363, according to a survey conducted by Chiropractic Economics magazine.
Thoughts: God Bless America. Let’s not even discuss all the joy one potentially experiences as a doctor of chiropractic, that’s for another article. Just for sake of numbers let’s assume you are the average DC earning $69,910 per year. Don’t go thinking you are going to retire after 7 years of practice. However, if you GO TO WORK for 30 years you would have potential earnings of $2,097,300. That is based on median earnings.
BLS: In chiropractic, as in other types of independent practice, earnings are relatively low in the beginning and increase as the practice grows. Geographic location and the characteristics and qualifications of the practitioner also may influence earnings. Self-employed chiropractors must provide their own health insurance and retirement.
Thoughts: Again, planning is critical to success. Plan to practice and practice your plan.
Source: U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics Office of Occupational Statistics and Employment Projections
For nearly twelve years I have been answering questions from persons interested in more information regarding chiropractic and chiropractor schooling requirements. I am not offering advice on which schools to attend, not in this article. I have not been paid by any 3rd party for any of the content I am providing here. The information you will read here is the most current and accurate data (that I know of) regarding this topic. The majority of source information for this topic comes from the Occupational Outlook Handbook (2006) which is published by the U.S. Department of Labor – Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Rather than make assumptions, spin data and provide false information, I have posted the text exactly as I received it, thanks in part to the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). This provides us with a true source of reliable information. To further clarify, I have used the term BLS (for Bureau of Labor Statistics) to differentiate from my own comments which are preceded by the term Thoughts.
My own personal thoughts and insights are in part based on my experience of 12 plus years being in direct contact and communication with several thousand doctors of chiropractic who are in the field practicing, relationships with three current chiropractic college presidents, numerous post graduate professors, educators, practice management consultants and mentors.
Before we address this topic let me say that I have been there. I attended and graduated chiropractic college. I attended pre-chiropractic college. I’ve taken State and National boards. I struggled, I saved, I borrowed, and I paid my own way through school. I did so no differently than thousands of other DCs I interact with regularly. In future articles we will get into more specifics and details of chiropractic schooling and practice. The purpose of this article is to bring you the most recent data on the topic of chiropractic practice.
So just what is the United States Department of Labor currently saying about the practice of chiropractic?
Chiropractic: Bureau of Labor Statistics Advice about Chiropractic Schools
Significant Points BLS: Job prospects should be good; employment is expected to increase faster than average as consumer demand for alternative health care grows.
Thoughts: I have met, spoken on the phone, or communicated via email with far too many students, potential students or recent graduates that I believe are in some sort of “fantasy land.” A DC degree does not entitle anyone to a salary anywhere. Job prospects should be good, but expect to go to work.
BLS: Chiropractors must be licensed, requiring 2 to 4 years of undergraduate education, the completion of a 4-year chiropractic college course, and passing scores on national and State examinations.
Thoughts: Focus on your education, pass your exams, get your license. You won’t do anyone any good in the U.S. without it.
BLS: About 58 percent of chiropractors are self-employed.
Thoughts: I am self employed so you can count me in the majority. I love having my own office but it may not be right for you.
BLS: Earnings are relatively low in the beginning, but increase as the practice grows.
Thoughts: Earnings may be relatively low to non-existent in the beginning. Just like in starting any business. A successful chiropractor has some sort of business plan to allow them to continue living within their means while they grow their practice.
Training, Other Qualifications, and Advancement BLS: All States and the District of Columbia regulate the practice of chiropractic and grant licenses to chiropractors who meet the educational and examination requirements established by the State. Chiropractors can practice only in States where they are licensed. Some States have agreements permitting chiropractors licensed in one State to obtain a license in another without further examination, provided that their educational, examination, and practice credentials meet State specifications.
Thoughts: Take your exams and prepare to get your license as early as possible. Upon graduation from college is not the time to go on permanent vacation. You may have to continue working at your part time job (if you had one) or remain living at home with parents, roommates, friends, or whatever it was you were doing. While you are in school (or even before) give some serious thought as to where you may want to practice. Take exams and create a plan to become licensed in all your preferred states.
It’s not uncommon for example to be licensed in New York and Florida, or New Jersey and Florida, or Nevada, California and Arizona. If I was a chiropractic student in Texas I’d consider getting licensed in that state and would then get licensed in the state I planned to live and practice in.
BLS: Most State boards require at least 2 years of undergraduate education; an increasing number are requiring a 4-year bachelor’s degree. All boards require the completion of a 4-year program at an accredited chiropractic college leading to the Doctor of Chiropractic degree.
Thoughts: The idea is that there will be more schooling instead of less. 4+4=8
BLS: For licensure, most State boards recognize either all or part of the four-part test administered by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. State examinations may supplement the National Board tests, depending on State requirements. All States except New Jersey require the completion of a specified number of hours of continuing education each year in order to maintain licensure. Chiropractic associations and accredited chiropractic programs and institutions offer continuing education programs.
Thoughts: New Jersey is DEFINITELY a state I would consider getting licensed in. I say this because there are some fine chiropractors there and the state has probably the best professional mentoring network I know of. Florida, Michigan, Pennsylvania, New York and Texas have strong groups of doctors that work together. This is one of those things you typically don’t think about while in school. My experience has taught me that fellowship is EVERYTHING in becoming and maintaining success as a doctor of chiropractic. There is no better way to learn something than to teach it to others. Similarly, the cooperation in working together to accomplish shared goals results in outcomes that are beneficial to ones self and beneficial to all other group members.
BLS: In 2005, 15 chiropractic programs and 2 chiropractic institutions in the United States were accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education. Applicants are required to have at least 90 semester hours of undergraduate study leading toward a bachelor’s degree, including courses in English, the social sciences or humanities, organic and inorganic chemistry, biology, physics, and psychology. Many applicants have a bachelor’s degree, which may eventually become the minimum entry requirement. Several chiropractic colleges offer prechiropractic study, as well as a bachelor’s degree program. Recognition of prechiropractic education offered by chiropractic colleges varies among the State boards.
Thoughts: 10 years ago I may have said much of the prerequisite education was nonsense, I don’t feel that way today. Notice that BLS talks of “prechiropractic study” and not “premedicine study.” I still believe most medical study taught to chiropractic students is a waste of valuable education. Medicine as health care is a completely different system from chiropractic and should be taught to those planning to practice medicine. I believe we run into problems and create confusion when we do otherwise. That being said, psychology, social sciences and humanities are very valuable studies to the DC. The sciences such as physics and chemistry are equally important. Today, I am thankful for the very solid prechiropractic education that I had. Like many others, at the time I thought “what does this have to do with being a chiropractor?”
BLS: Chiropractic programs require a minimum of 4,200 hours of combined classroom, laboratory, and clinical experience. During the first 2 years, most chiropractic programs emphasize classroom and laboratory work in basic science subjects such as anatomy, physiology, public health, microbiology, pathology, and biochemistry. The last 2 years stress courses in manipulation and spinal adjustment and provide clinical experience in physical and laboratory diagnosis, neurology, orthopedics, geriatrics, physiotherapy, and nutrition. Chiropractic programs and institutions grant the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic.
Thoughts: Nice to see that BLS lists manipulation and spinal adjustment individually and recognizes they are two separate things. Coursework may involve classes teaching manipulation of a shoulder, elbow, wrist, knee, or ankle which differs from spinal adjustment work. It is also important to take note of the fact that BLS recognizes chiropractic programs and institutions exclusively as granting the degree of Doctor of Chiropractic. The result is a separate and distinctly different educational, professional, licensing, and regulatory, experience from that of a doctor of medicine. The study of things medical does not a chiropractor make. As I read it, in no state in the US is a medical doctor qualified or licensed to determine the need for chiropractic care for any being, whether that being be human or animal. Common sense tells us the only exception would be a doctor who has a degree from a recognized chiropractic program or institution. In that case, they would have a DC degree.
BLS: Chiropractic colleges also offer Postdoctoral training in orthopedics, neurology, sports injuries, nutrition, rehabilitation, radiology, industrial consulting, family practice, pediatrics, and applied chiropractic sciences. Once such training is complete, chiropractors may take specialty exams leading to “diplomate” status in a given specialty. Exams are administered by specialty chiropractic associations.
Thoughts: You can spend the rest of your life in postdoctoral training. It is not necessary for anyone to do so but if you are passionate about being a chiropractor, chances are you’ll want to hang out with others and continue learning for as long as you can. After eight years, I still continue to go for monthly training in postdoctoral work. I believe doing so keeps you fresh and connected to what is going on in the world. Not mentioned above is postdoctoral study in philosophy. For example, the Palmer University system has a Diplomate in Philosophical Chiropractic Standards (DPhCS) program.
BLS: Chiropractic requires keen observation to detect physical abnormalities. It also takes considerable manual dexterity, but not unusual strength or endurance, to perform adjustments. Chiropractors should be able to work independently and handle responsibility. As in other health-related occupations, empathy, understanding, and the desire to help others are good qualities for dealing effectively with patients.
Thoughts: Well stated. Big chiropractors don’t make them better adjusters, nor are men better suited for chiropractic work than women. Empathy, understanding, and the desire to help others, in my opinion, are essential to a successful practice and life experience.
BLS: Newly licensed chiropractors can set up a new practice, purchase an established one, or enter into partnership with an established practitioner. They also may take a salaried position with an established chiropractor, a group practice, or a health care facility.
Thoughts: Success stories abound but failure and misery loves company. Before doing anything, newly licensed chiropractors had better have a plan of action and must act on that plan in order to succeed.
If you are sending chiropractic newsletters to your patients, practice members, and people in your community, Sunday and Friday are the best days to do so.
Emails sent on Sunday or Friday have the best chance of being opened, that according to a study done by marketing company eROI. According to the report, email read and click rates are the lowest during the middle of the week and the highest on Sunday and Friday. “What we are seeing in this trend is that business-to-consumer e-mails… performed better on Friday” said Ryan Buchanan, president and CEO of eROI.
The amount of email being sent may have some correlation to open and click rates. Excluding Saturday and Sunday, fewer e-mails were sent on Friday than any other day of the week. The highest volume of emails are sent on Mondays. The thought is that people are being inundated with mail on higher volume days and are more likely to delete or skip reading messages on those days.
Some interesting Email Statistics 1.2 billion active e-mail accounts worldwide in 2005 43.18% of spam sent in January of 2006 originated in the US 52.46% of January 2006 spam was drug-related source: eROI
If you are getting lots of chiropractic spam (or just spam in general) from marketers chances are they are “harvesting” your email address from your website. You can protect against website archiving programs and email collector programs by having your webmaster place an .htaccess file that is designed to block access to these programs. Our email link is above if you want more details.
planetc1.com-news @ 7:19 am | Article ID: 1142003979
I was browsing through the Planet Chiropractic Classifieds today and I noticed there were 112 active listings of practices for sale. While the majority of them (90) are in the U.S., it is great to see some offices getting listed that are in other countries. I was not interested in buying a practice but I thought I’d browse through and give a report on what is out there.
International How about practicing in Amsterdam!? “Where else in Europe can you practice immediately, without having to learn the local language? The practice is located in Old West, near the Leidse Plein close to all the action. The 4 year old practice features open adjusting, exam room with Subluxation Station, massage room, education room with brilliant Power Point presentation, kids play area and beautiful reception area.”
International Coastal Mediterranean Practice How much is 45K Euros? “Well established clinic with solid reputation. Turn key, excellent location, devoted staff, all cash practice. EU passport necessary. Doctor will train in proven system for easy transition. Enjoy the laid back, sunny Mediterranean lifestyle while practicing Chiropractic in a well run clinic. Doctor retiring. If interested, please remit telephone number and best time to call. This exciting opportunity will not last long! Serious inquiries ONLY!”
International Costa Rica This one comes with a house! “Live your tropical dream in sunny Costa Rica! Volcanos, hot springs, rainforests, waterfalls and Caribbean and Pacific beaches at your doorstep. All cash in home practice. No overhead, no stress and no taxes! Well established, referral based practice generates $50,000+ per year on 24 hours a week. Price includes beautiful four bedroom, three bath home plus maids quarters in the best part of San Jose.”
If I were to do it all over again I would strongly consider practicing in a country other than the US. If anyone is wondering where a good place to practice may be, send me an email and I’ll see if I can contact some DCs from the area and get some feedback.
Locally (Venice Beach, CA) I noticed that the chiropractor down the street from my house closed up. It’s a great beach location and would be a good fit for the right person. I don’t have rental info but can take a walk by and check it out. It’s only 4 blocks from the beach, is next to a nail salon, neighborhood is HIGH traffic, not much on parking, has hardwood floors. If you are interested let me know.
I pulled a few of the US ads that looked interesting.
United States Burbank, California (I love Burbank, it is a great city!) Successful Family Practice For Sale “57% Cash/self pay, 23% General Insurance, Only 2% Worker’s Comp, no managed care! Great upward potential, awesome patients, fantastic location, low overhead, fully equipped including x-ray. Must sell !! Doctor is retiring to be full time “Mom.”
United States Bellingham, Washington (Ahhh, Salmon Fishing!) Great Northwest Opportunity! “Bellingham, WA wellness practice for sale or looking for motivated associate to take over. Collected 140k in 2005 on 15hrs/wk, clean modern office, full spine xray, omni tables, all equipment is < 2yrs old, doctor must relocate."
Let’s see what is going on in Canada (Oh Canada Oh Canada La La La La La Canada)
“Kelowna Canada – British Columbia Amazing Community in Beautiful British Columbia Great location in Kelowna, B.C 3rd year of practice 200-250 office visits per week An amazing trained staff who loves chiropractic and love serving our practice members Growing community in the beautiful Okanagan Valley Marketing events planned and scheduled for the next year all you would have to do is show up and spinal screen and do talks in the community Subluxation Station (updated version) All office equipment and decor is part of sale including our tiger children’s adjustment table & pregnancy pillows etc. Amazing PVA most patients have been with us since we opened. Doctor will stay for smooth transition Moving to be closer to family Low overhead, amazing growth potential”
“Canmore Canada – Alberta CANMORE, AB – Fun, growing subluxation-based family practice for sale in the heart of the majestic Rocky Mountains in beautiful, booming Canmore, Alberta. 15 minutes from Banff and world’s best skiing. Gorgeous downtown location. Lots of kids and families. Low overhead. Incredible growth potential. Existing chiropractor moving out of province for family reasons.”
If you are looking to buy or sell a practice do take the time to browse through the listings. You can always get to the classifieds by clicking “Classifieds” at the top or bottom of every page on the website. Even if you are not looking to buy a practice I thought it was great to see what was out there. Maybe you’ll feel the same way.
Does someone want to email me with a good valuation system on figuring what a chiropractic practice is worth? Anyone interested in writing on some practice selling or buying related topics? Send me an email, link is at the top of this article.