One of the interesting and surprising things to me about Cleveland University-Kansas City (CUKC) is that for a private, non-profit university, the students here come from diverse educational backgrounds. Although we all have different paths, we ended up together at CUKC. Some were nervous that their undergraduate degree could put them at a disadvantage when entering the Doctor of Chiropractic (D.C.) degree program, but nothing could be further from the truth. People with a variety of undergraduate degrees complete the D.C. program at Cleveland every year.
Students who earned undergraduate degrees in fields unrelated to science, or who started careers in other fields, often feel becoming a doctor of chiropractic may be out of reach. Even though I had a degree in a science field, I wasn't sure if my degree prepared me for the chiropractic program at CUKC. Thankfully, I had an advisor's help. I found that no matter what your background is if you put in the work, you'll be fine. But honestly, because of my own educational and professional background, I would be lying if I said I wasn't concerned when coming into the doctor of chiropractic program.
I always knew that I wanted to go into the medical profession, so when I went to Oklahoma State University, I got my B.S. in Biology and fulfilled all the pre-med requirements. While I wasn't considering chiropractic college at the time, this degree prepared me for the doctor of chiropractic program with its basic anatomy and biochemistry classes. I hadn't decided on chiropractic as a career yet because I honestly didn't even know what chiropractors did. I was not raised ever going to a chiropractor. In fact, it wasn't until the summer after I graduated college that I hurt my back and went to my first chiropractor. That was the first in a long series of events that led me to this profession.
After college, I moved back home to the Tulsa, OK area. I accepted a job as a transporter in a hospital. I took patients to and from their tests and procedures, and I checked them in and out of their rooms. While at this job, I got a lot of experience in patient care and I got to see a lot of behind the scenes activity in the hospital. I saw many patients in pain and just wished I could have done more to help them. I eventually transferred to a job in the lab where I ran a lot of blood samples. My work gave me a different viewpoint of the hospital and the healthcare system in general. I worked at the hospital for three years and started realizing that I didn't think that form of medicine was for me. So, after three years of seeing the medical field up close, and being treated by a chiropractor during that time, I decided to go back to school to become a chiropractor. And, of course, I chose CUKC!
I was worried that my time off from school would put me behind my classmates. Even though I had only been out of college for a few years, I was afraid that I had forgotten a lot of information and lost my discipline to study. But, once I started classes, I quickly began feeling like my time off was more of a benefit than a hindrance. I feel that the time I spent in the workforce helped me to mature more than I realized. My work experience allowed me to set better goals and to really go for them. I am motivated to work harder in my classes now than when I was in undergrad. I'm too motivated to let anything stop me from becoming the change in health care I envision for myself.
If you feel like you are at a disadvantage because you took time off, or you don't have a strong science background, or whatever other reason you can think of, try not to worry. The very thing that you think will be your weakness is what can set you apart and become your strength. To find out if Cleveland University-Kansas City is right for you, connect with an advisor today!
Lindsey Spreiter 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.