Paving the Way to Practice (Part 2)
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Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Paving the Way to Practice (Part 2)

ACA NextGen members offer their best advice to chiropractic students.

In Part 1 of this two-part blog post series, several of ACA’s NextGen members shared the best advice they received as students, as well as what they want you to know now. We decided to take it a step further and ask our NextGen members about their experiences to date with life and practice, post-graduation.

Once you begin practicing, you’ll begin to realize things that may not have even crossed your mind while looking for your first job. Here is what ACA’s NextGen members wish they had known before graduating and entering the workforce:

 

Don’t be so hard on yourself—you’re not going to be an expert overnight. Take student clinic as an opportunity to try out different methods and see what works for you. Don’t get stuck in one way of doing things or one way of practicing early on; fill your tool belt with some variety.

Morgan Price, DC

 

It is okay to struggle. When you think you have it all figured out, something will come along to remind you that learning every day
to better yourself and your practice is one of the most important aspects of being a sought-after doctor.

Nichole Cavins, DC

 

Look into things like the cost of living in an area, and perks like malpractice insurance or CEUs, mentoring, or room to grow in the practice. 

Elizabeth Moos, MS, DC

 

 

I wish I would have learned more about business, marketing, social media use, finances/taxes, and public speaking.
I also wish I had read double the amount of research that I had as a student. Podcasts have now become my best friend for all of those things.

 Rebecca Warnecke, DC

 

 

Try to figure out what different types of practitioners do before you graduate from chiropractic school,
so that you can begin to refer to them as soon as it is necessary. Most importantly, know how you can work together to best serve your patients.

Sarah Graham, DC

 

 

There is an insane amount to know about the human body and about treatment.
You won't know everything right away, so take your time. Do your best every day with the patient you have in front of you.

Bryan Kent, DC

 

 

 

Before you walk across that stage and enter the “real world,” make sure you take an inventory of your relationships and your well-being.
Did you make conscious choices to stay connected to the friends that turned into family over the last four years?
Have you taken the time to thank the loved ones that supported you and sacrificed for you to reach this mountaintop accomplishment?
Are you centered in life–emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually–and ready to embark to an even more demanding journey?

Maithy Ta, DC

 

 

 

***

No matter what stage you’re at in your career, there will always be room to learn and grow. Here are the most important lessons NextGen members have learned during their first few years of practice:

 

Establishing yourself in the community is worth more than any kind of advertising. I work out with powerlifters because I want to understand what they go through and I want them to trust me, even though I am by no means a powerlifter. I volunteer my time to co-teach a class for the county and their youth athlete coaches to talk about emergency preparedness. Instead of always looking for what people can do for you, ask them how you can help them first.

Morgan Price, DC

It is okay to move on. If you have a patient base, big or small, it is acceptable to make a move for you and only you. When you help a patient grow to value the benefits of chiropractic care, they won't hesitate to find another doctor they can connect and continue care with. If we all continue to strive for greatness in practice and clinical relevance, it will create continuity for patients as they transition between providers.

Nichole Cavins, DC

Growth takes time. Be patient with yourself and keep moving forward.

Elizabeth Moos, MS, DC

During my first year of practice, I learned that I still had an INFINITE amount to learn about the chiropractic profession and health care overall. This only encouraged me to strive for a better world of health care, honest and ethical practice, and a better world for my patients. Be the change you wish to see!

Rebecca Warnecke, DC

The connections that you make take time to build up, and the seeds you plant in your first year likely won't produce for a few months. Fear not! All your hard work will pay off eventually. I highly recommend walking around to the other businesses in your area to get to know the people there. Be a patron of theirs and they will return the favor! At the end of the day, there is no short cut to doing the leg work. I've found networking to be one of the more surprising aspects of being a chiropractor that I enjoy!

Sarah Graham, DC

Treat the person in front of you, not the pain. The patient’s experience is SO important. They want to be heard, they want to be seen, they want to know that you care. Your relationship with the patient will determine the outcome as much or more than the treatment you provide. 

Bryan Kent, DC

You are going to be wrong, lost, and scared more than once. Don’t be afraid to utilize your resources and ask for help. Don’t do yourself the disservice of thinking you should know it all or that you do know it all, because there will be a patient that challenges you. It’s important to admit when you need help, whether it’s in the form of a referral, a second opinion, or the enlistment of a fellow doctor who has more experience. Be honest with yourself and with your patients and they will respect you more for it. Allow yourself to grow from that experience.

Maithy Ta, DC

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Author: Sienna Shoup
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