Steps to becoming a chiropractor

Dr. Anthony Galante graduated from National University of Health Sciences and has been a practicing chiropractor for over 20 years. He is a licensed Chiropractic Physician and a licensed Certified Chiropractic Sports Physician. Algonquin Chiropractic Center was founded in 1997 in Algonquin and moved to the new location at 2210 Huntington Drive North in Algonquin in 2005.

Algonquin Chiropractic Center is a chiropractic clinic that specializes in correcting Disk Problems, Sciatica, Spinal Stenosis, and Herniated Discs. Examinations and treatment procedures on the spine can be used to correct many common ailments of patients. We also offer both massage therapy and physical therapy. The clinic provides clients with a drug-free alternative to health care and wellness throughout Algonquin and Lake in the Hills. Chiropractic treatment can be used to correct low back pain, neck pain, leg/arm pain, migraine headaches, tension headaches, whiplash, and work injuries.

As a high school senior a hard hit landed me hard on my right hip. The next day my mild, chronic low back pain was much worse. So much so, my mom took me to her chiropractor. A few weeks later, I felt better than I have in years! This experience, along with two other back injuries and a few family health issues secured the fact that I wanted to be a chiropractor.
It was 1988 when I started chiropractic school, since then everything has changed.
Now you may need a bachelor’s degree to be accepted to a chiropractic college, not so in 1988.
No one even heard of managed care in the 80’s, insurance actually paid for most services. Now, you have to be “in-network” and higher deductibles and co-pays place most of the financial burden on patients, just how the insurance company wants it.
Here are a few points to consider should you want to pursue a career in chiropractic.
1. Chiropractic education. Four years at under-grad and 3-5 years at chiropractic college. Chiropractic college is intense. 20-30 hours per trimester, constant testing, boards, review classes, technique clubs, the list goes on. Plan on staying in a lot of weekends and having little social life.
Then you have to pay for all that education! Many I graduated with had student loan debt over $100,000. Today it may be over $200,000. Are you ready and able to handle that debt load?
2. I read a stat in the early 1990’s that 60% of graduating chiropractors are not practicing within 5 years of graduation. I believe that number is higher. Many I graduated with are high school teachers, construction workers, heck one time the cable guy came to my house and told me he graduated from chiropractic college! Unlike other professions, graduating does not guarantee you will be successful.
3. After graduating do you want to open your own practice (requiring more loans), work for an established doctor (don’t get paid very well), work in a multi-disciplinary clinic or hospital? Each has its pros and cons.

Would I encourage people to go into chiropractic?

That is a personal choice where you have to weigh the financial and time constraints of schooling with the career opportunities available after graduation versus career opportunities in other fields.

To help you see what chiropractic is like in the “real world,”
visit numerous practicing doctors’ offices, ask to speak with the doctor and shadow him or her for a day. Doctors will be happy to do it; I had a student shadow me a couple months ago.

Visit the American Chiropractic Association’s website as well as your state’s association’s website. Visit several chiropractic schools’ websites and schedule on campus tours. Then, you can make an informed decision.

The one trait you must have is a strong desire to improve the quality of people’s lives without the use of drugs or surgery. People get into chiropractic to help people; any other motivation will result in failure.

Good Luck!

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