Professional Path: chiropractic

Professional Path: Becoming a Chiropractor.

There are countless reasons why I chose to dedicate the last four years to becoming a chiropractor. I have always wanted to have a career in the health profession - helping people has always been important to me and this path seemed to be the best fit. I admit that the journey was very tough at times. Between moving across the country, becoming independent, dealing with the stress of an intense workload and several difficult exams, I found myself struggling at times to maintain a balanced life. However, the experience has taught me so many things and I would not change it for the world. This profession gives me the ability to help people using a holistic approach, while continuing to learn about something that I am very passionate about. It also gives me the freedom and autonomy that I desire.

A lot of people ask me about the education needed to be called a Doctor of Chiropractic. This varies depending on which school you choose to apply for, so make sure you look into the specifics of each school you are interested in. I chose the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, the only English speaking college in Canada. I chose this school because it has a great reputation, has a very high pass rate for Canadian Board Exams (over 90%), and I wanted to stay in Canada.

Before applying to CMCC, you need to be in good academic standing, with three years of undergrad completed. Currently, there are no pre-requisites, so if you are almost done that law degree and you decide it's not for you, you are in luck! I do suggest some background in human anatomy and physiology, otherwise you might feel like you are heading up the creek without a paddle. Applications are due October 31 of the year prior to attending. Applicants that have met the criteria have the opportunity to advance to the interview. Admissions has recently changed this to an online format so you can do the the interview in the comfort of your home. There are a series of questions to answer to the best of your ability, involving why you chose this profession, financial planning, your ability to handle such a high intensity program, and the dreaded ethics question. Tips: shadow a chiropractor or two so you understand the process, look into your financial situation (tuition is upwards of $23,000 per year), and maybe strategically place a spine model in view for the interviewers. Once you have successfully completed the above steps, and you have received a conditional acceptance (usually in mid-March), your final transcripts need to be sent in by May 31 prior to the fall you begin. Then the hard part is done - well at least until you begin the program!

The registration process involves submitting your final transcripts, a doctor’s note indicating that you are in good health, a negative tuberculosis test, and a current standard first aid certificate. Lastly, the first installment of tuition is required the summer prior to beginning classes.

The next four years will be the best, most rewarding, yet challenging years. The program tested my commitment and drive to be successful in something that I am so passionate about. It taught me so many life lessons about independence, time management, the importance of being surrounded by supportive people – plus, it forced me to learn how to do my own laundry!

Good luck with wherever your interests and heart lead you!

Ashley Fichter, DC