How Chiropractors Can Find the Job They Love and Reach Patients in a Whole New Way
When I look back on my decision to become a chiropractor, there were a lot of people who nudged me in the right direction—often without knowing it. The first was my father, a medical doctor. I knew I wanted to be in a similar profession where I helped people, but the traditional medical path didn’t appeal to me. But because of my interest in sports, physiotherapy seemed like it might be a fit. However, upon volunteering at a clinic, I found the experience too dull. It had some of the impact I hoped to achieve, but didn’t spark that fire inside of me.
The second person who led me down the chiropractic path was our team chiropractor on my university track and field team. She helped us with our sprint and run mechanics, and I was blown away by how she could help us run faster with her skills. I had always looked for a field exactly like chiropractic, but didn’t know that’s what it was called. I’d heard about chiropractors, but I never really understood what they did. But, when I saw firsthand the immediate impact it could have, especially in an area like sports, I knew this was what I wanted to devote my life to. That team chiropractor’s name was Paula Vanderburgh, and to this day, I don’t think she knows how big of an impact she’s had on my life.
Getting My Feet Wet
Now that I understood that being a chiropractor was how I wanted to devote my life, I went to Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College. Then, when my formal certification (4 year Doctor of Chiropractic degree) was complete, I was out in the real world. But chiropractic is different from being a family doctor, where you start a clinic and are instantly busy. Once you graduate in my field, it’s like you start your own business—you need to build from scratch and pave your own way.
At the start, I had three internships to thank for honing my dream, my career path, and the way I practice chiropractic medicine. The one that stands out for me, with my deep love of sports, was when I worked within the Toronto Blue Jays' sports chiropractic team. Not only did I get to be part of some incredible moments—like being in the clubhouse at Roy Halladay’s last game—but I also learned so much about my field and what interested me just through observing these professionals.
An important piece of advice I can give to new chiropractors is to have a variety of diverse experiences. If you can, try to observe as many chiropractors as possible, even before you graduate. But definitely, in those first few jobs, work in a diverse set of roles so you can understand what you love, and just as importantly, what you hate. If you find what you love early on, you get to spend the rest of your time doing it.
The Power of House Calls
After working various other jobs over the years, in 2011 I finally started my own practice within a larger facility. Because of my diverse sports background, my practice treats patients with neuro-musculoskeletal dysfunction. And while most of my work is at the office, one area that I can reach even more people is through house calls.
I’m not overwhelmingly busy with house calls, but they provide a ton of value to my patients and to myself. I first started with house calls just for family or friends who couldn’t make it to the office inside normal office hours. But as my practice grew, I also needed to be flexible for those patients who were outside of my social circles. House calls allow me to reach those patients who need my help, but can’t, for various reasons, make it into my office.
I’m a firm believer that house calls are a terrific way for new chiropractic grads to start their careers. For them, house calls can be like their own practice on wheels. It offers new doctors the flexibility to build their own schedule, but also to see patients who are underserved because they can’t go to a clinic.
With house calls, there’s also no overhead. If you work at someone else’s clinic, you should expect to pay about 30-50% to the person or people who own the clinic (the range is based on several factors). But if a new grad were to only provide house calls, they’d keep that money for themselves. There are obviously initial costs involved—like equipment—but beginning with house calls is an exciting opportunity for someone just starting out.
Making the House Call Better
One service that I’m excited about in the medical field is MediSeen. It’s an interesting platform because of the opportunity it provides to doctors and how easy it is for patients.
For doctors, using MediSeen allows you to break out of the monotony that can happen when you’re at the office all the time. House calls are a change of pace because the doctor is in a new environment every time. It can also allow you to take on even more patients and add flexibility to your schedule.
For patients, house calls also jump on a new trend: the desire to have services come to you. Everyone loves the convenience of Uber or food delivery, and MediSeen taps into this new wave through top medical professionals who will visit you in your home.
House calls are an exciting opportunity for new and old doctors alike. And while I generally love treating patients at the office, I’m very optimistic about what the future has in store for house calls. And I’m even more optimistic that it provides a tremendous experience for new doctors to find what they love, so their job never feels like work. Perhaps house calls will send new doctors off on exciting new paths, like my dad and Dr. Vanderburgh did for me.