Career Development

5 lessons from 5 years in practice

As most doctors of chiropractic know, the fifth year in practice is a big one. It is the year you either start to see yourself as part of the profession or you prepare to move on to another. As I reflect on my first five years in practice, I’ve thought of several lessons I wish I had learned earlier. Here are five key practices that a new doc should know right out of school.

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Given the increasing cost of tuition at chiropractic schools, launching a solo practice straight after graduation can be a financial burden for the new DC. Instead, getting an associateship can be a viable option. The new grad can gain valuable experience while still managing to earn a small income.

An associateship can be a great way to jump-start your career.

Given the increasing cost of tuition at chiropractic schools, launching a solo practice straight after graduation can be a financial burden for the new DC. Instead, getting an associateship can be a viable option. The new grad can gain valuable experience while still managing to earn a small income. New DCs often have an unrealistic opinion of what they can offer an employer. Enter any associateship with an open mind and remember that your employer has valuable experience that you can learn from.


Learn marketing on a budget

Efficiently marketing your chiropractic practice on a budget

Most chiropractors say they are in the business of healing. But they are really in the marketing business. When you build your brand in your community, you spark referrals. The more you market, the more profitable your business. Even so, some chiropractors think “marketing” is a dirty word. But the fact is you are indeed in marketing because everything you do requires establishing your value to create a long-standing customer relationship.


General terms like low-back pain, neck pain, and sciatica do little to define the nature of the injury. Therefore, consider using a functional musculoskeletal assessment system to better assess, classify, and treat muscle and joint related injuries.

Mastering the musculoskeletal assessment

Too often, manual therapists label a patient’s condition in a way that does not provide adequate information about the nature of their dysfunction. Terms like shoulder impingement, tennis/golfer’s elbow, osteoarthritic knee pain, and even more general terms like low-back pain, neck pain, and sciatica do little to define the nature of the injury. Therefore, consider using a functional musculoskeletal assessment system to better assess, classify, and treat muscle and joint related injuries.


The Cs to success are are a set of key qualities that make the difference between those who are just “proficient” and those who really “prevail”

The Cs to success

The “Cs” are are a set of key qualities and characteristics that make the difference between those who are just “proficient” and those who really “prevail” as they start their career in our profession. They are the difference between the DCs who are merely good enough to practice and those who achieve, lead, impact, earn, and influence at their highest potential. The latter group prevails by achieving and experiencing at the level they dreamed of—whatever that may be. As you read, do a self-check and determine which factors you are strong in—and which may need some “adjustment.”