Becoming a doctor of chiropractic will give you a tremendous sense of accomplishment, yet the success of your chiropractic practice will be mainly up to you. What type of chiropractic practice is best for you? How long does it take to establish a chiropractic practice? How do you prepare while in chiropractic school? What resources and strategies will help ensure long-term career success?
These three success strategies will help you find the answers you need as you work toward becoming a doctor of chiropractic.
1. Get Familiar with the Types of Chiropractic Practices
Becoming a doctor of chiropractic is a great career choice, and you'll want to decide on what kind of practice you want.
About half of all new chiropractors open their own practice. Those with a strong entrepreneurial drive may want to go solo, or form a practice partnership with classmates. Other new chiropractors choose to become an associate in existing chiropractic practices or become independent contractors in a group practice or other health care entity.
Many associates go on to establish their own practice once they have an insider's view of how a chiropractic business operates and know where they want to establish a practice.
Remember, there is no ideal practice type because every new chiropractor has a distinct personality and preferences. So, while you're in school, take time to talk to faculty members and alumni about their work experiences. Opportunities to join an existing or expanding practice often result from a faculty member's recommendation, a relationship formed at an alumni or networking event, or as a result of an internship experience.
2. Deploy the Time and Resources Needed
Experts who have experience coaching new chiropractors say launching a new chiropractic practice involves as many as 50 steps and often takes from four months to a year. Each step is part of a carefully developed business plan designed to avoid mistakes that can slow down – or interfere – with the success of a new practice, especially during those early years.
The lesson here is to make smart decisions that protect the three-plus years you've spent becoming a chiropractor. That means capitalizing on available resources. There are many time-tested principles for operating a business. A chiropractic practice is, at its core, in the business of providing excellent health care services to as many people as possible.
When business courses are available at your chiropractic school, be sure to include them in your course schedule! Also, it's never too early to check out companies that specialize in helping new chiropractic practices succeed. There are many options to choose from. One place to start can be found here.
3. Follow Time-tested Principles
Evidence-based research results are leading patients to choose chiropractic's non-invasive, non-pharmaceutical approach to health care as their first choice for musculoskeletal pain relief. However, this good news must be coupled with smart business practices.
Steps for a successful business include:
- Developing a written business plan
- Choosing a physical location that has the population demographics you want to reach
- Starting with a "right sized" office, then expanding as budget allows
- Securing adequate operational funding
- Having business systems in place
- Becoming known in your community – via promotion and community involvement.
For more strategies about establishing a chiropractic practice, check out the resources available at the American Chiropractic Association (ACA) website. Another informative option is through the online learning center web page provided by the National Chiropractic Mutual Insurance Company (NCMIC).
Becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic at CUKC
Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is a private, nonprofit, health care focused university in Overland Park, Kansas, a suburb of nearly 190,000 people within the Kansas City metropolitan area. Overland Park is a city known for its livability, family friendliness, and plentiful housing options.
In addition to offering a Success Strategies program for all chiropractic students, CUKC is the first U.S. chiropractic college to have two Force Sensing Technology Tables (FSTT) in the on-campus Technique Simulation Lab. FSTT™ improves students' mastery of effective adjustment techniques by displaying and recording the amount of adjusting force being applied.
Get in contact with our advising team here to learn more about becoming a chiropractor. You can also download a new, free ebook: Your Complete Guide to the Chiropractic Profession.