Take it from an expert: there has never been a better time to pursue a career as a chiropractor.
“Chiropractic has come a long way since I started, 40 years ago,” says Dr. Mark Kemenosh, who operates a dynamic practice of five locations in southern New Jersey. Back then, chiropractors worked on the fringes. They had devoted patients who benefited greatly from their work. But the rest of the medical community kept its distance – and insurance payors didn’t even consider supporting treatment.
A seat at the table
Things have changed. Chiropractors have evolved and adopted evidence-based practice, embracing science and research. They refer patients to medical or surgical care, when needed. Most importantly, their patients experience real world, measurable results. That track record of success has brought others in the medical community around to seeing the value in chiropractic care.
“Today, we have a seat at the table. We’re a key part of the team, we work hand-in-hand with surgeons and other medical doctors, athletic trainers and physical therapists,” he says.
No longer focused solely on the neck and spine, today’s chiropractors treat every part of the musculoskeletal system – relieving pain, reducing stiffness and improving mobility to promote healing and maximize performance.
“The rewards are immediate and come nearly every day. We help people do better on the athletic field and in daily life. They feel better and gain new perspective on their capabilities. We help them optimize their health and perform at a higher level. We do it all naturally, without surgery or medications,” he said.
Like any healthcare career, it demands commitment. Chiropractic school is four years, following four years of college. Young people interested in the sciences, health, medicine and how the body works are good candidates. Of course, you need the skills and determination needed to study science in college and get good grades.
Chiropractors in training spend a lot of time on anatomy and physiology, so an interest in how the body works and moves is a big help. Many chiropractors are athletes or have athletics in their background. (Rugby is huge in chiropractic school.) Dr. Mark says almost all are interested in health, wellness and preventive medicine and tend to be very active.
Lots of opportunities
Chiropractic is specializing more, too, with post-graduate certification and training in many different areas, like sports, neurology, rehabilitation and workplace and occupational health.
You can have your own business or work for someone. You can even work in corporate – some bigger organizations, like Google and professional sports teams have their own chiropractors on staff. “You can go in any direction you want,” Dr. Mark says.
Dr. Mark says the most important requirement is that you like people, like being with them and helping them, one on one. “Chiropractic is hands-on healing. It can be life-changing. That’s pretty awesome.”