Wednesday, January 25, 2017
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iStock-188147284-1.jpgMy decision to go into the healthcare field was simple: I wanted to help people. The real challenge, however, was narrowing down the many career options into the one that aligned best with my interests.

As I considered a career in health care, I took the time to learn about the future of the industry. I learned about the demand for complementary and alternative medicine was increasing and that, because of this demand, more alternative medicine practitioners could be found working alongside MDs in hospitals, clinics, education, and research. Encouraged by this, I also considered other aspects of becoming a natural health care practitioner.

Treating the whole person.

Growing up, I learned from my family the importance of good nutrition. I started reading nutrition labels at a young age and when possible, avoided pharmaceuticals. As I encountered my own injuries with running, I began researching and learning about alternative medicine — and its many benefits.

This research helped influence my desire to help people with several aspects of their health. In my career, I didn’t want to have just one specialty. I wanted to treat the whole person.

The physical, nutritional, and emotional aspects of a patient’s health all interact and influence each other. Therefore, I wanted to learn how to treat them all, and that way, I could be the most helpful to patients.

Spending more time with patients.

When I first became interested in the overall field of medicine, I researched careers that involved my interests in nutrition and exercise science. I looked into careers as a dietician or as a physical therapist. However, I found them to be limiting and unable to encompass the complete range of my interests.

It wasn’t until I started looking into alternative medicine that I learned I could combine my many interests. To learn more, I shadowed alternative medicine practitioners and noticed the better bedside manner they seemed to have with their patients. They took the time to learn a patient’s whole history. They didn’t simply diagnose a condition based upon their current symptoms; they also worked to find the underlying causes. And as a result, they generally spent more time with patients.

Be your own boss.

Not long after researching alternative medicine, I began envisioning my career in an alternative medicine field. After graduation, I would be able to go right into practice. I would have the chance to start my own business, which means I could be my own boss and control the volume of patients I saw.

By owning my own practice, I could also hire and work with additional alternative medicine practitioners, including massage therapists and certified acupuncturists. But most importantly, I would be able to take the treatment of my patients in the direction I thought best.

Why did I choose National University of Health Sciences?

After some more research, I decided the best field for me in alternative medicine was in chiropractic medicine. I was pleasantly surprised to learn how many different aspects of a person’s health were considered and taught in my chiropractic education.

At National University, education is based on sound science and clinical research. Chiropractic students learn to diagnose and treat people based on a patient’s complete health profile and history. Since chiropractors at NUHS are educated as primary care physicians, they have the opportunity to specialize in any area of their choice including veterinary, sports medicine, nutrition, women’s health, and more.

This video from the NUHS website perfectly articulates the school’s philosophy on integrative medicine, evidence-based science, and academic rigor, all of which helped to solidify why National University of Health Sciences was the right school for me.

The future is bright for integrated health care.

Since I have enrolled at NUHS, alternative medicine has continued to grow. People are beginning to realize that in many cases, pharmaceuticals can be avoided and are seeking natural, non-invasive care instead. In America, where there are so many chronic conditions, people are also starting to see how much cheaper it is to prevent recurring conditions.

The future in health care continues to evolve toward this type of holistic care. And if you’re interested in helping people through healthcare, there is no better time than now to join a field in complementary and alternative medicine.

Learn more about alternative health by subscribing to The Future of Integrative Health!

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Posted by Melissa Manilla

Melissa Manilla is a doctor of chiropractic (DC) student entering her seventh trimester at National University of Health Sciences. She grew up in Cleveland and earned her bachelor’s degree from Ohio State University where she majored in human nutrition and minored in exercise science. When she graduates from National University, she plans to work first as an associate before opening her own practice in the Cleveland area.