Hey y’all! A student new to the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) program asked if I had any advice for people just starting in trimester one. Of course I do! First, RECOGNIZE that this is a doctoral program; it will be academically rigorous. However, you have been a student most of your life at this point. You already know if you are a good tester, master procrastinator or curve blocker, and you can plan accordingly.
I want to discuss what goes on outside of the classroom, because much of what you will learn in the next four years happens at student club meetings over the lunch hour, weekend seminars and professional development conferences. Therefore, my biggest piece of advice is to get involved with extracurricular activities. Here at Cleveland University-Kansas City, we have 20+ student-led organizations with focuses ranging from music, pediatrics, sports, and of course, various adjusting techniques. Clubs help students build relationships with people here at Cleveland, but also members of the local community. Access to those networks can lead to lifelong friendships and even job opportunities post-graduation.
I have met amazing doctors and fellow students whom I will never forget through my involvement with the Student American Black Chiropractic Association. SABCA is the student chapter of the nationally recognized ABCA, founded in 1984 by Dr. Bobby Westbrooks, a Logan University alum. He saw not only a lack of diversity within chiropractic, but also in the access of the African American community to the benefits of chiropractic. Attending conferences and meeting people who look like you, and who have/are endeavoring to walk the same path as you, is empowering beyond measure.
Participation in student clubs has also been a way for me further other hobbies, like traveling. With the SABCA, I have been able to explore Houston, Atlanta, Davenport (Iowa), St. Louis and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Additionally, I have been able to shadow D.C.s in those cities, and discuss in-depth topics such as cost of living, scope of practice and other useful information.
This is helping me to narrow down where I want to practice, but also how. This hands-on experience visiting with doctors and hearing about their successes, failures, accomplishments and regrets, is not something that can be taught in a classroom. For this reason, I wholeheartedly believe that if you come to Cleveland and all you do is attend your scheduled classes, you have done yourself and the profession a disservice.
Karly Jones is a CUKC campus ambassador and student blogger sharing personal experiences and perspectives. Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about CUKC.