California Chiropractors Darrel Crain and Damon West
Dr. West was quite the class clown, and he was also quite a photographer and artist. He rendered this drawing of a kid stoned out on class 2 narcotics while we were attending chiropractic school. Damon practices in Sacramento California and Darrel practices in San Diego. Next up we have four more California Chiropractors, except that now Dr. Russell (chiropractor on the far right) has moved to Seattle and is practicing in the state of Washington.
From left to right: Chiropractors George Khoury, Gavin Carr, Scott Sawyer, Russell Kun
Dr. Khoury practices in Livermore California and he has participated in provided tips on living better in Planet Chiropractic articles of the past. Dr. Gavin Carr practices in the Palo Alto area of Northern California but I’ve seen him most in the desert of Arizona. Dr. Scott Sawyer practices in Santa Cruz, which isn’t that far from Palo Alto, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Russell Kun use to practice in the San Lorenzo area of northern California but he moved to Seattle Washington. He’s practicing in the Capitol Hill area and is a graduate of Life Chiropractic College West.
A question from Rebekah regarding chiropractic salaries and schooling… I just read your article and it was very informative and helpful. I am considering going to chiropractic college, however, because of my financial situation I want to research into all the requirements needed in order to graduate successfully and begin a career. Right now I am taking college courses at a community college part-time and working part-time (I am paying for school). I know that I would have to get a school loan to go to chiropractic college, but I thought I should ask you how you paid for it all with no savings, because I am pretty much in the same boat. I have a few grand in the bank, but I’m planning on getting married soon (1-2 yrs) and will have to pay for that as well! Any advice on how to make it financially would be fantastic.
Thank you for the feedback Rebekah, hopefully I’ll have some answers for you. The situation you describe is nearly identical to the one I was in when I started chiropractic college. Understanding your financial situation is one of the most important steps you can make towards being successful in practice. It’s far better to plan ahead rather than just jump in emotionally and trust that things are going to work out. It’s nice to have that trust, but it’s far more solid with a well worked out plan, as well as a backup plan, should the situation arise.
I did the same thing, I took courses at a community college part-time and worked part-time, as I was paying for school on my own. I believe community college classes cost more now than they did in the mid-1990s, but it’s still a better bet in my opinion, vs. going for a four year bachelors of science degree.
Not all US chiropractic schools require a bachelors of science degree in order to receive a doctorate of chiropractic degree. That being the case, I don’t see where it would be essential (except for someone’s ego) to invest the extra time and money in getting such a degree. A bachelors of science may come in handy if you plan other postgraduate school training, but that’s not our discussion here.
What I would do (and did): Find out precisely what course work is required for entry into the doctor of chiropractic program at the school you’re choosing to attend. Complete as many of those courses as possible in a community college program, and work part-time as many hours as you find you can, in order to balance your educational life with your family life. That can be tough, and since you mention a plan to get married in the next couple of years, I’d say it’s something you should be discussing with your future spouse and make sure they are on board with your life/educational decisions. You’re going to want to revisit those discussions with your significant other regularly throughout the years in order to maintain your relationship. Trust me, I’ve been through this, and I’ve seen far too many chiropractic students that were in relationships through chiropractic school, end in divorce or separation at graduation.
I certainly won’t try to fool you and say it’s easy, but in my practice today, I see numerous students studying to be attorneys, medical doctors, chiropractors or other, and they manage to somehow balance the studying, work, and family life. It’s not without stress, but they make it through, and that’s the long term goal.
When you enter chiropractic school full time your part-time employment will likely end unless you can find work late nights or on weekends. Either way it’s going to be tough because coursework in chiropractic school gets increasingly difficult semester after semester. I’ve known chiropractic students that have worked in chiropractic offices while going to school, worked as bartenders, worked in restaurants (evening hours), and done a number of other activities for employment. Think weekends and especially think of situations where you could still be studying or learning more about chiropractic while you’re working.
How are you going to do it? A lifestyle assessment is in order. I personally wouldn’t plan on buying or leasing a new automobiles while attending community college or while in chiropractic school. That’s one of the things I’ve seen far too many students do (in all sorts of career training). I think it’s more a result of marketing and wanting to fit in versus anything else. I drove the same car (it was five years old) during chiropractic college, and even for a few years after chiropractic college. It was probably 2002 or 2003 before I bought my next vehicle, and that was at an auction on eBay, rather than buying new from a dealer. As a side note, I sold that same vehicle some four years later, for about $300 less than I purchased it for. What I’m getting at, is be smart and don’t just buy stuff for the sake of doing so.
The same goes for going out entertainment wise. Sushi dinners in local Los Angeles restaurants can cost you an arm and a leg if you order lots of Toro tuna. Even buying beer like Heineken or Corona in a restaurant can run you nine dollars per order, when ordering in higher end places. That’s not to mention the $14 mixed drinks (that’s not really too high, it’s more the norm).
I’m not saying you can’t go out to dinner whatsoever, but these things should be strongly considered while attending chiropractic school, and during the first couple of years out of school. Going out for Chinese food or Mexican food can be a lot less expensive than going out for sushi or to a steakhouse. It’s great to celebrate your wins in school with your significant other, and it’s a great idea to set aside some time for each other each week as well. Can you handle going out to dinner once or twice a month? Some people will find that difficult to do while others will have no problem not going out to dinner. I’d find a balance that works for you in your situation, and one that your spouse/significant other is happy with as well.
Spouse support can save the day. My significant other was extremely supportive of me while in chiropractic school. In fact, she’s been supportive of nearly everything I’ve done, even when I’ve done things that ended up costing me money or setting back my career/education. Support is important, but you have to set clear goals and guidelines for what you seek to accomplish.
Can you work through school? And if so what kind of work can you do that won’t interfere too much with your studying? That’s a great question to get answered. You may not know the answers now, but you lighten the load by having finances available (even if it’s just to cover your rent and food while in school).
Limit Your Travel. It may be easy for some to think that they won’t have to travel at all in chiropractic school but I find that to be unrealistic. Again, you are going to want to celebrate your wins, and spend time with your loved ones. Make sure your vacations (they will mostly be short) are affordable and enjoyable.
I know this doesn’t answer all of your questions, but if you put things in perspective, and be realistic about your goals/dreams, I think you can do it.
planetc1.com-news @ 7:04 am | Article ID: 1275573911
I receive questions via email about chiropractic schools and chiropractic salaries more than any other topic related to the field. I took the time to answer a particular question today (Doctrine Degree and Chiropractor Intoxication Manslaughter) but the reality is I have hundreds of questions remaining unanswered that are growing stagnant. I do hope to get more of the emails answered but I find it takes about 30 minutes per email to provide a good reply. It’s a losing battle when 10+ queries come in daily.
While looking for information on a question asked today, I found quite a few news and blog posts I had not organized, which may contain answers to some of the regular questions coming in. Consider this post a related posts starting point for various questions I’m receiving.
6 different chiropractors make suggestions on choosing a chiropractic school. I thought that was a good one, I like the idea of getting opinions from other chiropractors, so answers are not coming from me alone.
Sometimes it’s a straight question, Can You offer Advice about Chiropractic Schools? I’ve been answering some of these questions for years, but many of the basics have not changed, it’s worth a reread for those considering chiropractic as a career.
In most cases, the subject line received via email becomes the post title, in this particular case it was a… Question Concerning Chiropractic Schools. I reread that post myself, information still stands, research chiropractic schools and attend the one that most suits what you’ll be seeking in becoming a successful chiropractor.
How about some atlas vertebral art?
Sometimes I ask the questions, like… Did your Chiropractic College experience Suck? If your life sucks, I doubt chiropractic college is going to magically make things better. And anyways, you don’t have to had liked school in order to be successful in practice, at least not that I am aware of.
In 2006, an aspiring chiropractor named Melissa emailed me and she had several questions, I think I gave some pretty good answers (I especially like the 10 Year Chiropractic Success Plan).
Not many questions answered in the 10 Years After Chiropractors Graduation post but at least I’m getting closer to doing a 15 years after article. The reminder for myself here was keep in touch with old classmates, it can come in handy when you need someone to talk to in the later years. They have been there too, they know what you are going through.
Choosing to become a chiropractor is not an easy decision and in answering Questions About Practicing Chiropractic I mentioned I don’t think anyone should jump to the decision. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking chiropractic school is easy. Same goes for the advice that running the business is easy.
Not all students are 21 years old, some choose Chiropractic as a Mid Life Career Change. I did my best to answer based on what I’ve seen at chiropractic schools and the chiropractors I’ve met who entered the field as a 2nd or 3rd career.
Regardless if you are planning to work before going to chiropractic school, are planning to work during chiropractic school, or are going to load up all your debt until after graduation, please make serious plans towards paying off your chiropractic student loans. Don’t take it lightly and don’t just assume you’ll figure it out after you get into practice. No point going into business with a noose halfway tightened around your neck. You’ll have other things to be focusing on, so try and get the loan thing figured out in advance and do your best to keep debt to a minimum.
Finally, if you want to be successful, you have to get in the habit of Seeing Yourself as a Success. Nothing to do particularly with chiropractic schooling but I came across it today and thought it’s a mindset that would be beneficial to adopt.
Many inquiries regarding chiropractic practice and attending chiropractic school are hitting my e-mail inbox daily. My apologies for not always getting to all of the frequently asked questions about practicing chiropractic. As I have mentioned before, I’ll post some questions received, along with chiropractic employment resource summaries, in hopes of helping you find the information you seek. I received a question recently regarding chiropractic degrees and a question regarding practicing after having a manslaughter charge. I think it’s a great question, and I am seeking to get some answers myself, as you never know who might be in a similar situation.
Here is the question: I have a friend that is looking into becoming a chiropractor. His main concerns are of the following. If you don’t mind answering, I would greatly appreciate the help. Do you need a doctrine degree? Can you practice your license with a intoxication manslaughter on your record?
Excellent questions. Depending on the chiropractic school one is planning to attend, having a before entering chiropractic college will vary. Not sure if that’s what you wanted to know but I understand that some chiropractic schools require a bachelors of science degree (four year bachelors degree) before being able to begin a postgraduate chiropractic program.
Other schools don’t require the bachelors of science degree but they require nearly the same amount of college course hours in the basic sciences (or they may require the same amount of hours that it took to get a bachelors of science degree).
Some chiropractic schools offer the ability to receive a bachelors of science degree while studying for the postgraduate Doctor of Chiropractic program, that’s an option available at select chiropractic colleges and universities across the United States. If you’re looking to go that route, I would check with each school individually, to find out what degrees they have to offer.
If your question on a doctrine degree is referring to the Doctor of Chiropractic title, then yes, in the United States all practicing chiropractors must have graduated from a national boards recognized chiropractic school. If the student went to school outside of the United States (I hear it’s far more difficult to practice in the United States as a result) they will have to pass a minimum of one national board examination and may have to take as many as three written chiropractic examinations and one clinical/practical oral examination.
Details vary from state to state but I believe most states in the US are going to be rather strict about letting chiropractors begin practice without proper chiropractic national exam transcripts and the passing of state board and or ethics examinations.
When it comes to vehicle manslaughter or drunk driving situations that resulted in death, loss of drivers license, imprisonment, or all of the aforementioned, there may be greater concerns than graduating with a chiropractic degree.
The first hurdle to get over may be simply getting into chiropractic college. While someone may have the credits available, if there’s going to be an application for student loan funding, and that funding is denied due to a state or federal manslaughter charge, getting the money to pay for ones chiropractic education could become rather difficult.
There’s also the issue of federal fingerprinting before becoming licensed to practice anywhere in the United States. A person may have graduated chiropractic school, receive their bachelors degree, have a doctor of chiropractic graduate diploma, and still get tripped up by the federal government during the fingerprinting and crimes history process.
I can’t say for sure that someone could or could not get into chiropractic school with a DUI Manslaughter on their record. I just personally think that the fingerprinting process for a particular state (mandated by the federal government) could be far more difficult. On the state level, the individual may want to consider practicing in a state that is lenient on such restrictions.
Some states are extremely tight on allowing new chiropractors to become licensed, and other states are fairly easy to get licensed in by comparison. I have no idea why (maybe too many chiropractors), just what I’ve heard from chiropractors across the USA.
If your friend is serious and really wants to be a chiropractor, I would check three things: 1) Ability to receive financial aid with a manslaughter on record; 2) ability to get into chiropractic school with that same record; 3) ability to pass a federal fingerprinting profile for eligibility to be able to practice chiropractic in a particular state.
I can’t give specific yes or no answers but if it were my situation I would pursue it and see what options I had. You never know, it’s likely a situation somebody has experienced before. If I get additional information, I’ll update this post and make a note of it.
planetc1.com-news @ 10:09 am | Article ID: 1275412218