This APA style Q&A was designed by doctoral students interested in pursuing the chiropractic field. The interviewer interviewed two practicing chiropractors but to protect their privacy, we will refer to them as Dr. A and Dr. B, respectively. This sample interview contains questions and answers related to starting a career as a chiropractor, opening up a practice, what it takes to be successful, and advice for chiropractic students.
Interview with two practicing chiropractors
Dr. A is a U.C. Berkeley graduate and has practiced for 15 years. She is trained in chiropractic neurology, nutrition, and acupuncture.
Dr. B also has 15 years of experience and focuses on helping patients relieve pain with the intention of reducing the need for pain medications. He manages several offices in the Greater San Francisco Area. His chiropractic knowledge combined with his business savvy led him to consult other chiropractic practices on marketing their businesses.
Starting a career as a chiropractor
How did you attract your first patients when starting your practice?
Dr. A: I built my practice by networking with other doctors. Also, because I have a degree in Chiropractic and Acupuncture, I was able to meet new patients through my clinics and internships.
Dr. B: I started practicing with a licensed chiropractor after completing student clinics within six months. I built my patient base through his contacts.
Describe your practice now.
Dr. A: My practice is all about holistic care. I specialize in neurology and nutrition and use applied Kinesiology to target trigger points. Chiropractic manipulation is complimented by my acupuncture program.
Dr. B: I have been in practice since 2001. Now I work three days a week and oversee five practice locations in the Bay Area. I focus on Wellness and health maintenance care. Marketing through social media is one of my passions.
How long did it take you to get to this point?
Dr. A: I started practicing in 2003 and got my practice fully off the ground after getting licensed in Acupuncture in 2006.
Dr. B: I graduated in 2001 and had my student loans paid off within six months.
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The chiropractic business 101
What percentage of your practice is insurance versus cash? Acute care versus family wellness? Do you see a lot of kids in your practice?
Dr. A: Most of my practice is cash-based but I do accept insurance, especially for workers comp care. Though I’m primarily a wellness practitioner, I do focus on acute care for those kinds of treatment plans. Kids are a huge part of my practice… Education about health and wellness must start early. I am a member of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association.
Dr. B: 80% of my practice is in cash. I focus on a wellness model but practice acute care when it comes to accidents. For example, I use cold laser therapy, and those treatments are typically compensated through insurance. I do treat children occasionally.
How do you educate your patients? How do you market to them? How do you retain them?
Dr. A: We focus on health management through our website, videos, and pamphlets. Getting our patients involved in their health management keeps them coming back.
Dr. B: I use social media as the prime model of outreach. I have an active website blog and an eMagazine. I retain my patients through education. As a wellness practitioner, my practice is built around delivering preemptive care and lifelong balance.
Success in the field and advice for future chiropractors
What has made you successful to date? Do you have any regrets? If so what are they? If you had to do it over, how would you do it differently? What is the one piece of advice you would give this chiropractic student?
Dr. A: I have no regrets. Bringing my patients to a state of homeostasis is my passion. This is what has made me successful. That kind of genuine care and compassion shows in everything I do. Advice: Be your best self and success will follow!
Dr. B: I have been successful because I know how to connect with the community. I have no regrets. One piece of advice: Stay up to date on the newest treatment modalities and publish, publish, publish!
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Both doctors begin their career around the same time period and provide meaningful insight into the chiropractic field. Both started as interns, and grow their practices in different ways: one through word-of-mouth and the other through social media and internet marketing. Neither doctor has regrets as they continue to heal and help their community.
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