Like many other students earning their doctor of chiropractic degree, I grew up going to a chiropractic physician. My mother, who had been in a car accident, experienced an amazing recovery and took our family to the same chiropractic physician from that time forward.
Through my physician's care, I realized that being a health care practitioner is one of the best ways you can help people. Like my mother, so many other people have had their lives changed by the treatments they received from their doctors. While there were many fields to choose from in health care, there were certain things that set this field apart for me, and that's why I chose to pursue a degree in chiropractic medicine.
1. I want to treat patients naturally.
When I started looking for a career, I knew I wanted to help people. For me, chiropractic medicine was the best way to do that. From my own experiences with chiropractic physicians, I discovered the wide range of benefits that patients receive from a completely natural approach.
Today, these kinds of treatments are more important than ever. The medical community has had to address the opioid epidemic in the United States along with the problems that can arise from frequently prescribed antibiotics. So that's why chiropractic treatments such as spinal manipulation, nutritional counseling, physical rehabilitation, etc. can be so beneficial.
Rather than simply prescribing medication for pain, chiropractic physicians work on treating the root cause of the problem. This often means treatments are longer lasting and have fewer side effects. Overall, patients also receive a better and less invasive experience.
2. Becoming a primary care physician means I can practice more broadly.
When I looked into chiropractic schools, I learned that they are different in many aspects — particularly in their philosophy about the profession and the curriculum they teach. Chiropractors differ in their approach to treatment, as well. Some only adjust the spine, while others focus heavily on physical therapy and acupuncture. I realized that the school I chose to attend would set my path for the rest of my career.
For National University of Health Sciences, chiropractic medicine is a comprehensive health care profession. Students are taught to become primary care physicians with a thorough training in diagnosis and treatment. The curriculum focuses on the complete health care of a patient, not merely specific issues or symptoms.
Becoming a primary care chiropractic physician meant that one day I could run my own practice, treat a wider variety of patient conditions and make my own medical decisions. I could also have more control of the treatments that I believe are best for my patients.
3. Science-based curriculum is crucial.
I learned early on that I had a mind for science. In undergraduate school, I excelled in my science courses, so it was important to me to choose a school that placed a large emphasis on science.
When I came across NUHS, it quickly became clear that their program is based on sound science and clinical research. The basic sciences phase of the curriculum includes coursework that is similar to a MD or a DO education. For example, we have coursework in physiology, neurology, and pathology. We also learn anatomy through full cadaver dissection in the gross anatomy lab. This means that I not only would be getting the same foundation as a traditional physician but would also be able to speak the same language as those in other health care fields.
Going to NUHS also meant I could train with leading faculty experts actively involved in the newest and latest in chiropractic medicine research. The school also publishes three academic journals including the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. These items helped lend credibility to the type of curriculum the school could offer me and also helped ensure that I would become a great doctor to my patients.
4. Integrative learning means more career opportunities.
As more people become interested in complementary and alternative medicine treatments, chiropractic physicians can expect to interact with medical doctors and other health care practitioners. Whether you're discussing previous treatments received by particular patients or trying to obtain referrals, the ability to work integratively with other health care providers is key.
By attending National University, I am able to gain this experience even before I graduate. We study in the classroom with students from other health care programs and treat patients collaboratively at the campus clinic.
Having multiple programs on one campus also means I can more easily earn additional degrees to further expand my scope of practice. National University offers various programs that compliment a doctor of chiropractic degree including programs in naturopathic medicine, acupuncture or massage therapy.
5. An education in health care requires the right facilities and tools.
To be best prepared for the health care landscape ahead, it was important for me to attend a school with quality facilities that supported hands-on learning.
At NUHS, we have access to the latest technology including SMART boards in the classroom, a state-of-the-art gross anatomy lab, phlebotomy lab, and a biochemistry lab with modern technology. The Learning Resource Center at National University of Health Scienes is one of the largest medical libraries in the area too. It includes the Anatomage Table, an advanced digital visualization system that helps support our medical anatomy education. In the Training and Assessment Center that uses digital recording technology, we also have the chance to work with "standardized patients" to develop clinical and communication skills.
After my review I realized that National University of Health Sciences could provide me a superior education in all these important aspects. Because I chose to study chiropractic medicine here, I’m not only able to become a well-rounded chiropractic physician but I am also better prepared for the over all future of health care.