Archive for June, 2010

Medical and Chiropractic Researchers Joining Efforts

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010
Palmer Chiropractic News

Palmer College of Chiropractic, Loyola University, Hines VA researchers and Dr. James Cox work together to understand Cox distraction procedure for neck pain.

In a ground-breaking study, medical and chiropractic researchers are joining efforts to study the effects of a form of non-surgical treatment for neck pain, more specifically Cox distraction manipulation. This study is one of three projects that are part of a four-year, $2.8 million grant awarded in 2008 to the
Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research (PCCR), headquartered on the Palmer College of Chiropractic campus in Davenport, Iowa. The grant is from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine to establish a multidisciplinary Developmental Center for Clinical and Translational Science in Chiropractic, and the principal investigator is Christine Goertz, D.C., Ph.D., who also serves as Palmer's vice chancellor for Research and Health Policy. Co-leaders of the Cox distraction manipulation project are M. Ram Gudavalli, Ph.D., PCCR, and Avinash G. Patwardhan, Ph.D., Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine and Edward Hines Jr., Veterans Affairs Hospital.

This study is in progress and funded through May 30, 2012. It combines the efforts of medical doctors, chiropractors, biomechanists and clinical researchers, in order to document the effects of the Cox distraction chiropractic procedure on neck pain and develop sham and active treatment parameters for conducting clinical studies.

lateral cervical xray marked

The project, titled Cervical Distraction Sham Development: Translating from Basic to Clinical Studies, consists of three main parts. After completing the pilot studies, the formal basic research study began in March 2010 on the Cox distraction procedure for neck pain at Edward Hines VA Hospital and Loyola University Stritch School of Medicine. This study is a collaborative effort between researchers at these facilities, researchers from Palmer College of Chiropractic, clinicians who perform this technique in their practices, and Dr. James Cox, the originator of the procedure.

"As the manipulation procedure is performed, we are measuring the variability between four different clinicians trained in this procedure by measuring the loads and the controlled displacements of the table using a basic science approach as well as a clinical approach," said Dr. Gudavalli from Palmer. "According to practicing doctors of chiropractic, this chiropractic procedure has provided relief for musculoskeletal conditions such as neck pain. However, there is a need for studies that provide information on the biomechanical characterization of such therapies, the biomechanics of normal and pathological joint and muscle systems, and the development of new technologies that study such biomechanics in real time. In other words, what physiological effect does the procedure have that is responsible for its clinical successes?"

The results of this study will aid in the planning and development of controlled procedures in the clinical setting, and test the validity of delivering the controlled procedures by conducting clinical studies and obtaining patients' perception on the controlled intervention. This knowledge has the potential to guide the future conduct of clinical research in this area and impact training of students and doctors in the chiropractic profession.

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Palmer Media Relations: Lori Leipold, Media Relations; Palmer College of Chiropractic
Phone (563) 884-5726; fax (563) 884-5225
College web site at:

Occipital Bone Atlas Axis Cervical Vertebra

Thursday, June 24th, 2010

What a great way to make use of your plastic spine models that you likely have in your chiropractic office. This image of a human occipital bone, first cervical vertebrae, and second cervical vertebrae, was made by placing a plastic spine model on a solid color surface (blue or green works well) and converting the surrounding colors to black to produce the image shown here.

From top to bottom (viewing from the posterior) is the occipital bone, atlas vertebra (commonly referred to as C1), and the axis (commonly referred to as C2). Three sets of nerves exiting between the bones are also shown.

occipital bone atlas 2nd cervical vertebrae

occipital bone – atlas cervical vertebrae – C2 – spinal nerves

Images like the ones shown here can come in real handy for use on a chiropractic, orthopedic, or neurological website or blog. There are many image editing programs where you can easily add arrows, annotations, and other information. It makes it easier in explaining bone structure, nerve function or whatever it is you’re trying to get across. Plus you won’t have to rely on those 15th-century images scanned from an anatomy textbook. As an example I have posted this one I created in about a few minutes.

atlas lateral mass axis spinous process

Atlas Lateral Mass – Axis Spinous Process

It’s real easy to add arrows like the ones shown above so that you can label different parts of the spinal anatomy. I’m reminded of when we were in chiropractic college and had to memorize every individual bump and ridge on every bone of the human body. You can’t see the dens (an important structure) of the second cervical vertebra (C2) on this image, but the lateral masses of the atlas vertebra (C1) appear very nicely.

Nearly every chiropractor knows the atlanto-occipital area features predominately in symptoms of tension like headaches, often a result of prolonged inappropriate posture, like sitting all day at your computer. There are no ligaments shown in the above images but the model being used showing bone and nerve should be enough to get educational material across. Unnecessary pressure on those nerves is not a good thing.

If you think you’d like to use images like this on your blog or website let me know, I may post an entire set with and without labeling.

Continuing Education and Running Reno

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

By Michael Dorausch, DC

Ask any chiropractor that’s sat for 12 hours or more doing continuing education and they’ll likely tell you they’d rather be doing something else, especially since most chiropractors tend to take continuing education courses on weekends. Earlier in June I was in Reno Nevada for the California Chiropractic Association annual convention and chiropractic relicensing seminars. It was a three day event which featured quite a few opportunities for relicensing hours which translates into sitting for long periods of time inside a hotel casino conference room. I get stir crazy when inside for long periods of time and not getting to breathe outside air. Fortunately I traveled with my iPhone and running shoes.

paved path along truckee riverPaved path along the Truckee River – Reno Nevada

The event was at the Grand Sierra Resort, which is real close to the Reno airport and adjacent to the Truckee River. I found this semi-paved path running alongside the river which was easy to get to from the hotel (only a few hundred yards away). The pathway starts around 2nd Street nearby a sign that says Welcome: The city of Sparks.

established in 1905

It is a short path but taking a walk or jog along it beats sitting all day inside the casino and/or conference rooms. The river is actually quite pretty in areas, and I managed to pause my work out long enough to take photos of the river and landmarks seen along the way for two different runs I did while in town.

Truckee River Reno NevadaTruckee River Reno Nevada

Like I said, the path is kind of short  and I wanted to get some miles and so I decided to head out  can see some scenes around the Reno area. I don’t recommend running on the streets with your earbuds in but I sure do love running with my iPhone. With it I’ve got a map, compass, Nike training, and ability to take photos that mark location. Almost makes running more fun than it already is.

I headed out on a 6 mile loop from the Grand Sierra down 2nd Street towards downtown Reno. I turned onto Virginia Street near Harrah’s Casino and fortunately parts of the street were closed for a car show (makes it easier for running in the middle-of-the-road). I paused to snap a photo of the neon Reno street sign and headed on down the road.

Biggest Little city in the worldReno – the biggest little city in the world

Also right there on N. Virginia St. I noticed that the Silver Legacy Casino had its established date at the Hotel Casino entrance. I find it interesting how many things I how found over the years that were established the same year.

established 1895 Silver LegacyEstablished in 1895 – Silver Legacy Casino

Guess what else was established in 1895? That’s right chiropractic fans, according to historical reports, DD Palmer made the first chiropractic adjustment on September 18 of 1895. Seeing this sign I figured it was a good time to make the loop back to the hotel and continue on with my weekend of chiropractic education. I like how I could be just running along and happen to come across a sign that says established in 1895. Don’t see much of that where I live in Los Angeles, since my neighborhood was pretty much marshland during those days.

Life University places third in 2010 Division 1 Rugby Championship

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010
Life Chiropractic News

Marietta, Georgia -- Over the June 5-6 weekend, Life University reached the final four of the Division 1 Men's Rugby Championship. After losing by three points in the semifinals to eventual national champions, Las Vegas, Life University regrouped and dominated Palmer College 61-17 in the consolation game.

Dan Payne, Life University's Director of Rugby said, "I couldn't be more proud of a group of players. We bounced back from a disappointing, very close, loss on Saturday with great emotion and enthusiasm. It has been a special experience for everyone involved with this group of student-athletes."

Life University Running Eagle Rugby

The Life University men's rugby team finishes the season with a record of 20-1, with the only loss coming in the national semifinals. Having recently been voted "Rugby Club of the Year" by Rugby Magazine, the leading rugby periodical in the United States, Life University continues to be the class of college rugby, boasting two elite rugby teams in SuperLeague and Division 1. Life University is getting ready to add a third team this fall which will participate in the inaugural season of the Rugby Premier League, which will feature well-known colleges and universities such as Tennessee, Texas A&M, Notre Dame, Army, and Ohio State.

Rugby is one of the fastest growing sports in America. Rugby's popularity in the metro Atlanta area is evident by the fact that 23 Georgia high schools currently field boys teams and another five field girls teams. American football is actually a derivative of rugby, the two sharing many similarities in terms of objectives and scoring ? but rugby does it without pads!

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Life University is a four-year undergraduate and graduate school accredited by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) the Council on Chiropractic Education (CCE), and the Commission on Accreditation for Dietetics Education (CADE). The mission of Life University is to empower the student with the education, skills and values needed for career success and life fulfillment, based on a vitalistic philosophy. Life University is located at 1269 Barclay Circle, Marietta, Georgia 30060.

If you would like more information about Life University Rugby, the Division 1 Championships or Life University, please contact: Craig Dekshenieks at (770) 426-2833

Pro Photographers in Your Office

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

By Michael Dorausch, DC

I emptied an online folder today that I was canceling a yearly subscription on. I found some photographs in there that I had not seen since they were uploaded back in 2006, which motivated me to create this post (can’t just let photos sit on the hard drive). I use chiropractic photos regularly for marketing, postcards, news articles, etc. I’ve had photos that I’ve taken appear in magazines, newspapers, numerous websites, and even CNN. While I consider myself a hobbyist and amateur, I know the importance of having good quality photographs available for others to use. You cannot always take your own photos, and if you want good quality stuff, my experience has shown that hiring professionals is well worth the investment.

Chiropractic Care Los Angeles California2006 Photo Shoot – Los Angeles, CA – ADIO

Chances are (especially if you’re practicing in a place like New York City or Southern California), there are numerous professional photographers that are already clients in your chiropractic practice. I’m fortunate that several professional photographers are regulars in our office (and there’s probably three times as many video professionals), so when the need arises, I’ll typically ask for advice on hiring. Back in 2006, I had a world-class photographer offer to do several photo shoots in the practice on a weekend (these photos are from that shoot). The rewards have been tremendous.

Chiropractic Education Los AngelesTop Chiropractic Schools Los Angeles

There’s been the frustrating situations where chiropractors have used pictures of me for designing their websites (don’t you think you’d want a photo of yourself on your own site?) but there’s not much point chasing them down and bitching about it (although none have asked permission or offered a link to any of my chiropractic sites). End rant.

Even though these photographs are now four years old, there’s plenty of opportunities to still use them today. We’ve also gotten a really great system down for shooting photography and video in the office. We have had video crews as large as two dozen people, and we’ve done photo/video shoots with individual photographers. The office itself has been used several times now for other businesses to shoot video as well. I like to think we’re a good neighbor to the social media and Web community.

Los Angeles California Chiropractic AdjustmentHands-On Chiropractic Adjustment

A photograph like the one above could be used by many a chiropractor, especially if they want to photographically demonstrate chiropractic technique or a chiropractic adjustment such as a lumbar spine side posture setup. We’ve had chiropractors occasionally e-mail, asking if they can use photos, but more commonly we receive inquiries from other website owners, journalists, news agencies, and such. We’re perfectly happy with that, and we do whatever we can to accommodate the needs of content creators seeking good-quality chiropractic images.

I don’t mean to infer that there are not great photographers outside of Los Angeles and New York. Thanks to the Internet and social media, I’ve met scores of great hobbyist and professional photographers, living all over the world. Getting a pro-quality photo shoot done inside a person’s chiropractic office (or any small business for that matter) is probably far easier than you may think. Keep your local photographers employed, schedule a small business photo shoot this summer.

California Chiropractic Exposition and Convention

Thursday, June 10th, 2010

By Michael Dorausch, DC

I’m heading off to Reno Nevada for the 2010 CCA Annual Chiropractic Convention at the Grand Sierra Resort and Casino. I’m excited about the many hours of chiropractic continuing education being offered, and I’m even more excited that those hours are free for existing CCA members. I’ve already been to half a dozen chiropractic conferences or seminars since the beginning of January this year, but I often find myself strolling around with a camera taking photos (like DCS Orange County photos), and chatting it up with other chiropractors. Sometimes you have to sit in the classroom and get things done.

California Chiropractic ADIOCalifornia Chiropractic

I’ll still be out and about with camera and digital recorder, but only during times I’m not getting hours for my own license renewal. The diversified adjusting classes look real promising, hoping they cover some good chiropractic adjustment technique. Bring your business cards, as I plan to do a few chiropractor business card posts when I return from Nevada. It’s a nice way to get some free chiropractic marketing for your practice, but if you don’t have your business cards handy, it is going to be more difficult to include you.

We’ve had a flood of e-mails already this morning on yesterday’s post regarding automating chiropractor listings. All the chiropractors that have e-mailed with updated office information, staff is adding it to the database, but don’t expect an e-mail reply (they may not respond to everyone). Instead I suggest you check your city and or state listing to see that information is accurate and up-to-date. If you are sending information this week, allow about 30 days before it appears online.

We’ll be doing some user testing (I’m bringing a laptop) with random chiropractors while at the event this weekend, to see how well they handle the chiropractor admin interface. What I didn’t mention in the news article yesterday was that chiropractors will be able to (unless it becomes a major headache) modify their own address and phone number information after creating a user account. About freaking time. All righty then, if you’re in Reno for the weekend festivities, be sure to say hello.

Parker College Provides Chiropractic Care during South American Games

Thursday, June 10th, 2010
Parker Chiropractic News

June 10, 2010 (Medellin, Colombia) -- Seven Parker College student interns from the student abroad program in Colombia and their faculty chiropractor joined the Olympic health care staff in the 2010 South American Games by providing chiropractic care for the country of Colombia where they made history by becoming the champion of the games for the first time. The games which took place in March were held in Medellin, Colombia including 15 competing countries for two weeks in 42 sports.

Student interns Terry Lea, Robert Cox, April Holly, Edward Newsome, Joseph Passanante, Eric Phipps, and Victoria Wirtz treated the Colombia athletes that competed in 42 different sports, under the supervision of Dr. Sarah SantoDomingo '07.

Parker College faculty doctor and student interns at Olympic Villa during South American Games
Photo: Parker College faculty doctor and student interns at Olympic Villa during South American Games

The South American Games are a multisport event that develops between the South American countries belonging to the Sports South American Organization (ODESUR). The games included participation from 15 nations including Netherlands Antilles, Bolivia, Panama, Suriname, Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador, Paraguay, Uruguay, Aruba, Chile, Guyana, Peru, and Venezuela.

The group of interns participated in the opening ceremony parade walking among the Colombian athletes with 41,000 spectators at the Atanasio Girardot Stadium.

During the games, the interns evaluated and adjusted athletes at two different stations. Some of the interns were also invited to attend boxing, skating, and shooting competitions so that they could treat them during the games. The medical staff at Medellin was very impressed with the results and has decided they want to bring chiropractic to their local athletes in Antioquia.

The interns also caught the attention of the a media and were interviewed by Teleantioquia, a local TV channel, as well as the official games website.

Parker College faculty doctor and student interns at Olympic Villa during South American Games
Photo: Intern Terry Lea treating boxing gold medalist Oscar Negrete

"It was definitely a great experience for these young interns," said Dr. Santo Domingo. "The people made them feel welcome and the athletes responded very positively to the care. They felt excited and grateful for the wonderful opportunity of being part of the Colombian Delegation. They wore the blue and gold uniform with pride and supported the athletes at their competitions."

Dr. Fabrizio Mancini, president at Parker College of Chiropractic and a native of Colombia, also attended competitions and took time out to spend with the students. They all witnessed Colombia making history and winning 372 medals.

About Parker College of Chiropractic Located in Dallas, Parker College of Chiropractic is one of the country's leading educators of healthcare professionals with an international student enrollment. Founded in 1982, this private, non-profit educational institution prepares men and women to become doctors of chiropractic. For additional information about Parker College of Chiropractic, visit the college's website at

Automating Chiropractor Listings

Wednesday, June 9th, 2010
By Michael Dorausch, DC

How do you rank top chiropractors and give all local chiropractors a chance to be in the number one position? Some people could care less about how others rank, as long as their business ranks number one, when it comes to organic search results. What we've been seeking to do with the chiropractic directory pages that appear on Planet Chiropractic is to ensure that all chiropractors have an opportunity to be in that number one slot when people come searching for chiropractors in a particular area. Starting with the state of California, we are testing several formats for listing information, so chiropractors be on the lookout for changes to come to your cities and state listings.

Directory listings continue to be free, and a modified inclusion form for new chiropractors is in development for summer release. Take a look at Chiropractor Ventura to see what is in the works (screenshots below).

Chiropractor Ventura

Looking at the screenshot shown above, I've highlighted five different chiropractic office addresses in the Ventura California area. We are testing a script that automates five listings but we'd love to be presenting 12 listings for each standard city. There is another model in the works for large metro areas. We've tested five listings, we've tested seven listings, we've tested three listings, single listings and 12 listings. I like 12 chiropractic results since it provides the most information, although I scanning study showed users focused their attention on the first three listings shown on the page.

Chiropractor Ventura

The fact that people are drawn to the top 3 listings on a page affects the other chiropractors appearing in the dataset (not necessarily in a positive way). Traditional directories run listings in alphabetical order, or by who pays the most, or a combination of both. What we've accomplished with a randomized listing system is the ability to pull from a list of chiropractors that may practice in a particular region, delivering varying results on an individual user basis, daily basis, weekend basis, etc. The awesomeness of this is (and we didn't realize until it was being tested) bringing up results in the top slots for chiropractors open on weekends, when people search on a Saturday or Sunday. That's good for user experience.

We have been doing this on the Chiropractic Schools Review pages for a few years now, so that all chiropractic schools in the United States receive equal presentation on the homepage, none of the schools pay for positional placement. Now that we have a way to implement a similar engine for Doctor of Chiropractic listings, we're motivated to rock 'n roll the new features.

With office information being listed in no particular order, the number one listing could become the number five listing, the number three listing could become the number two listing, etc. Thanks to all the chiropractors who participated in helping us test listings, and endured the numerous phone calls from my staff, your efforts are much appreciated.

Kinesio Taping Seminars Southern California

Monday, June 7th, 2010
By Daria Belov

Kinesio Taping is a corrective taping technique that incorporates a proprietary tape. According to the manufacturer, Kinesio tape has no chemicals or medication in it, it is a mechanical tape. Kinesio Taping Seminars are taking place at the Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCUHS) the weekend of July 17 and July 18. Early bird registration is $499 (by June 18) and regular registration is $549 (by July 2). The event is taught by a certified kinesio taping instructor and certified athletic trainer.

The weekend seminar is taking place in SoCal, members of the California CCA should mentions so when registering. The following comes from those putting on the classes at SCUHS.

Kinesio Taping Seminars KT1 & KT2
Dates: July 17, 2010 11:00AM - 8:00PM & July 18, 2010 8:30AM - 6:30PM
Location: Southern California University of Health Sciences
16200 Amber Valley Dr. Whittier, CA 90604

Take the official seminar training for the #1 in Elastic Therapeutic taping used by professional athletes & the Olympics!

Kinesio Taping is the premier corrective taping technique that uses the proprietary Kinesio Tex tape. Kinesio tape is a mechanical tape that has no chemicals or medication in it. The tape features the unique Kinesio Pattern that creates lift when applied to the skin. Kinesio Taping is a powerful tool to relieve pain & enhance existing treatment modalities.

Early Bird Registration: $499 by June 18
Regular Registration: $549 by July 2

Seminar is instructed by Certified Kinesio Taping Instructor Jayson Goo ATC, MA, CKTI

KT1 & KT2 are required prerequisite courses for KT3 & CKTP certification

For more information contact Richard S. Cheung D.C., ATC (626) 398-3838 (Limited seats available, register now!)

Jayson Goo, ATC, MA, CKTI, is a Certified Kinesio Taping Instructor and Certified Athletic Trainer. He graduated from the University of Hawaii and earned his Masters Degree in human performance with a specialty in corrective therapy from San Jose State University. He became a Certified Kinesio Taping Instructor in 1998 and has since taught in the US, Asia, & Europe. For the past 25 years, his main responsibility has been concentrated around the UH athletics programs.

Seminar Registration Form in PDF format can be downloaded here... Kinesio-Taping PDF Registration.

How to iPhone Chiropractic X-Rays

Saturday, June 5th, 2010

By Michael Dorausch, DC

This is both for chiropractors and chiropractic patients. Those of you that are chiropractors who take x-ray, chances are you have already done some experimentation with digitizing analog x-rays. The most common technique I’m aware of is to place the analog x-ray on a on a lighted viewbox, turn the flash off on the camera, focus and hold very steadily, and snap your photograph.

Everybody has different techniques, but I’ve found that having lights off in the room, and not allowing too much light coming in around the x-ray (meaning the film should cover the entire viewbox) help to get better quality images. However, I discovered an easier way for myself to make “digital copies” of my x-rays using my iPhone. If you haven’t already done so, this simple technique may come in handy.

Chiropractors Right-Hand X-Ray

The photograph shown here is an x-ray of my right hand (it’s the same one as seen in this hand x-ray). It’s nothing amazingly special (except that it’s my hand) but it was taken with my iPhone. I think it’s a pretty good quality image, and that’s what I’m getting at. Many people have complained that their iPhone lacks a flash for taking photos, but in the case of photographing x-ray film on a viewbox, it’s perfect for the task. Not only did I get a good quality image with a single camera click, the phone automatically stores location data as well. Basically, if you upload the photograph to a site that can read the EXIF data, it will include location. That can come in handy.

AP Lumbar Spine X-Ray

I’m showing another x-ray for an example, this one is a close-up on an anterior to posterior lumbar spine x-ray. Like the hand x-ray taken above, I took this photo with my phone. What I had mentioned yet, is that for both images, I did a conversion to black-and-white before uploading (should have done that with this cervical spine x-ray). That’s fairly easy to do with nearly any photo software. I noticed converting from color to black and white helped increase the contrast on the photo. While x-rays themselves appear to be black and white, chiropractors know that sometimes the film appears to be in shades of blue or shades of amber (for contrast, the x-ray shown here includes shades of greenish blue). This simple conversion helps pull out the color and makes for a better quality image (in my opinion).

Lateral Lumber Spine X-Ray
Lateral Lumbar Spine X-Ray

Here’s one more image, an x-ray of the lumbar spine taken from a lateral position. The image is not as good on contrast as the hand shown at the top, but that’s based more on the soft tissue surrounding the vertebrae and lack of contrast on the original analog film. I already mentioned it’s easy to photograph an x-ray using one’s iPhone, I also mentioned that the image will include location data as well. This can come in handy for the person visiting a doctor’s office or health care providers facility, who wants to make a quick copy of their x-ray or x-rays. Don’t forget the black-and-white conversion, here’s one showing amber tones, I don’t think it looks as good as B&W.

It’s not the kind of thing I’d recommend for clinical study, or method of transporting film so that a radiologist can write a report, but it is a quick and easy way for a consumer to have a copy of their x-ray film (with the original never leaving the office).

Imagine that was your hand x-ray and a doctor had just put it up on a viewbox to show you that your fingers were not fractured. You could take a quick photograph with your iPhone (no worry about flash) and have a pretty nice copy lickety-split. Now you can take that same image, and e-mail or text it to someone that may want to have a look at it. Lets say for example your significant other is a chiropractor or orthopedic doctor and you are on the other side of the country thinking you may have broken one of your fingers. Let’s just say I have first-hand experience in such situations.

Southern California Chiropractor Photos

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010

By Michael Dorausch, DC

They may not all be Southern California chiropractors, as they are chiropractors nonetheless, and the photos were taken in Orange County California (which is southern for those of you who have never been to this part of the world). Let’s start with chiropractors Darrel Crain and Damon West. They are both graduates of Cleveland Chiropractic College in Los Angeles, and the three of us were classmates in chiropractic school.

Chiropractors Darrel Crain and Damon WestCalifornia Chiropractors Darrel Crain and Damon West

Dr. West was quite the class clown, and he was also quite a photographer and artist. He rendered this drawing of a kid stoned out on class 2 narcotics while we were attending chiropractic school. Damon practices in Sacramento California and Darrel practices in San Diego. Next up we have four more California Chiropractors, except that now Dr. Russell (chiropractor on the far right) has moved to Seattle and is practicing in the state of Washington.

Chiropractors George Gavin Scott RussellFrom left to right: Chiropractors George Khoury, Gavin Carr, Scott Sawyer, Russell Kun

Dr. Khoury practices in Livermore California and he has participated in provided tips on living better in Planet Chiropractic articles of the past. Dr. Gavin Carr practices in the Palo Alto area of Northern California but I’ve seen him most in the desert of Arizona. Dr. Scott Sawyer practices in Santa Cruz, which isn’t that far from Palo Alto, and the San Francisco Bay Area. Dr. Russell Kun use to practice in the San Lorenzo area of northern California but he moved to Seattle Washington. He’s practicing in the Capitol Hill area and is a graduate of Life Chiropractic College West.

Considering Going to Chiropractic College

Thursday, June 3rd, 2010
By Michael Dorausch, DC

A question from Rebekah regarding chiropractic salaries and schooling... I just read your article and it was very informative and helpful. I am considering going to chiropractic college, however, because of my financial situation I want to research into all the requirements needed in order to graduate successfully and begin a career. Right now I am taking college courses at a community college part-time and working part-time (I am paying for school). I know that I would have to get a school loan to go to chiropractic college, but I thought I should ask you how you paid for it all with no savings, because I am pretty much in the same boat. I have a few grand in the bank, but I'm planning on getting married soon (1-2 yrs) and will have to pay for that as well! Any advice on how to make it financially would be fantastic.

Thank you for the feedback Rebekah, hopfully I'll have some answers for you. The situation you describe is nearly identical to the one I was in when I started chiropractic college. Understanding your financial situation is one of the most important steps you can make towards being successful in practice. It's far better to plan ahead rather than just jump in emotionally and trust that things are going to work out. It's nice to have that trust, but it's far more solid with a well worked out plan, as well as a backup plan, should the situation arise.

Female Chiropractor Demonstrates Chiropractic AdjustmentI did the same thing, I took courses at a community college part-time and worked part-time, as I was paying for school on my own. I believe community college classes cost more now than they did in the mid-1990s, but it's still a better bet in my opinion, vs. going for a four year bachelors of science degree.

Not all US chiropractic schools require a bachelors of science degree in order to receive a doctorate of chiropractic degree. That being the case, I don't see where it would be essential (except for someone's ego) to invest the extra time and money in getting such a degree. A bachelors of science may come in handy if you plan other postgraduate school training, but that's not our discussion here.

What I would do (and did): Find out precisely what course work is required for entry into the doctor of chiropractic program at the school you're choosing to attend. Complete as many of those courses as possible in a community college program, and work part-time as many hours as you find you can, in order to balance your educational life with your family life. That can be tough, and since you mention a plan to get married in the next couple of years, I'd say it's something you should be discussing with your future spouse and make sure they are on board with your life/educational decisions. You're going to want to revisit those discussions with your significant other regularly throughout the years in order to maintain your relationship. Trust me, I've been through this, and I've seen far too many chiropractic students that were in relationships through chiropractic school, end in divorce or separation at graduation.

I certainly won't try to fool you and say it's easy, but in my practice today, I see numerous students studying to be attorneys, medical doctors, chiropractors or other, and they manage to somehow balance the studying, work, and family life. It's not without stress, but they make it through, and that's the long term goal.

When you enter chiropractic school full time your part-time employment will likely end unless you can find work late nights or on weekends. Either way it's going to be tough because coursework in chiropractic school gets increasingly difficult semester after semester. I've known chiropractic students that have worked in chiropractic offices while going to school, worked as bartenders, worked in restaurants (evening hours), and done a number of other activities for employment. Think weekends and especially think of situations where you could still be studying or learning more about chiropractic while you're working.

How are you going to do it? A lifestyle assessment is in order. I personally wouldn't plan on buying or leasing a new automobiles while attending community college or while in chiropractic school. That's one of the things I've seen far too many students do (in all sorts of career training). I think it's more a result of marketing and wanting to fit in versus anything else. I drove the same car (it was five years old) during chiropractic college, and even for a few years after chiropractic college. It was probably 2002 or 2003 before I bought my next vehicle, and that was at an auction on eBay, rather than buying new from a dealer. As a side note, I sold that same vehicle some four years later, for about $300 less than I purchased it for. What I'm getting at, is be smart and don't just buy stuff for the sake of doing so.

The same goes for going out entertainment wise. Sushi dinners in local Los Angeles restaurants can cost you an arm and a leg if you order lots of Toro tuna. Even buying beer like Heineken or Corona in a restaurant can run you nine dollars per order, when ordering in higher end places. That's not to mention the $14 mixed drinks (that's not really too high, it's more the norm).

I'm not saying you can't go out to dinner whatsoever, but these things should be strongly considered while attending chiropractic school, and during the first couple of years out of school. Going out for Chinese food or Mexican food can be a lot less expensive than going out for sushi or to a steakhouse. It's great to celebrate your wins in school with your significant other, and it's a great idea to set aside some time for each other each week as well. Can you handle going out to dinner once or twice a month? Some people will find that difficult to do while others will have no problem not going out to dinner. I'd find a balance that works for you in your situation, and one that your spouse/significant other is happy with as well.

Spouse support can save the day. My significant other was extremely supportive of me while in chiropractic school. In fact, she's been supportive of nearly everything I've done, even when I've done things that ended up costing me money or setting back my career/education. Support is important, but you have to set clear goals and guidelines for what you seek to accomplish.

Can you work through school? And if so what kind of work can you do that won't interfere too much with your studying? That's a great question to get answered. You may not know the answers now, but you lighten the load by having finances available (even if it's just to cover your rent and food while in school).

Limit Your Travel. It may be easy for some to think that they won't have to travel at all in chiropractic school but I find that to be unrealistic. Again, you are going to want to celebrate your wins, and spend time with your loved ones. Make sure your vacations (they will mostly be short) are affordable and enjoyable.

I know this doesn't answer all of your questions, but if you put things in perspective, and be realistic about your goals/dreams, I think you can do it.

Schools and Salaries

Wednesday, June 2nd, 2010

By Michael Dorausch, DC

I receive questions via email about chiropractic schools and chiropractic salaries more than any other topic related to the field. I took the time to answer a particular question today (Doctrine Degree and Chiropractor Intoxication Manslaughter) but the reality is I have hundreds of questions remaining unanswered that are growing stagnant. I do hope to get more of the emails answered but I find it takes about 30 minutes per email to provide a good reply. It’s a losing battle when 10+ queries come in daily.

While looking for information on a question asked today, I found quite a few news and blog posts I had not organized, which may contain answers to some of the regular questions coming in. Consider this post a related posts starting point for various questions I’m receiving.

6 different chiropractors make suggestions on choosing a chiropractic school. I thought that was a good one, I like the idea of getting opinions from other chiropractors, so answers are not coming from me alone.

Sometimes it’s a straight question, Can You offer Advice about Chiropractic Schools? I’ve been answering some of these questions for years, but many of the basics have not changed, it’s worth a reread for those considering chiropractic as a career.

In most cases, the subject line received via email becomes the post title, in this particular case it was a… Question Concerning Chiropractic Schools. I reread that post myself, information still stands, research chiropractic schools and attend the one that most suits what you’ll be seeking in becoming a successful chiropractor.

atlas vertebra artHow about some atlas vertebral art?

Sometimes I ask the questions, like… Did your Chiropractic College experience Suck? If your life sucks, I doubt chiropractic college is going to magically make things better. And anyways, you don’t have to had liked school in order to be successful in practice, at least not that I am aware of.

In 2006, an aspiring chiropractor named Melissa emailed me and she had several questions, I think I gave some pretty good answers (I especially like the 10 Year Chiropractic Success Plan).

Not many questions answered in the 10 Years After Chiropractors Graduation post but at least I’m getting closer to doing a 15 years after article. The reminder for myself here was keep in touch with old classmates, it can come in handy when you need someone to talk to in the later years. They have been there too, they know what you are going through.

Choosing to become a chiropractor is not an easy decision and in answering Questions About Practicing Chiropractic I mentioned I don’t think anyone should jump to the decision. Don’t let anyone fool you into thinking chiropractic school is easy. Same goes for the advice that running the business is easy.

Not all students are 21 years old, some choose Chiropractic as a Mid Life Career Change. I did my best to answer based on what I’ve seen at chiropractic schools and the chiropractors I’ve met who entered the field as a 2nd or 3rd career.

Regardless if you are planning to work before going to chiropractic school, are planning to work during chiropractic school, or are going to load up all your debt until after graduation, please make serious plans towards paying off your chiropractic student loans. Don’t take it lightly and don’t just assume you’ll figure it out after you get into practice. No point going into business with a noose halfway tightened around your neck. You’ll have other things to be focusing on, so try and get the loan thing figured out in advance and do your best to keep debt to a minimum.

Finally, if you want to be successful, you have to get in the habit of Seeing Yourself as a Success. Nothing to do particularly with chiropractic schooling but I came across it today and thought it’s a mindset that would be beneficial to adopt.

Doctrine Degree and Chiropractor Intoxication Manslaughter

Tuesday, June 1st, 2010
By Michael Dorausch, DC

Many inquiries regarding chiropractic practice and attending chiropractic school are hitting my e-mail inbox daily. My apologies for not always getting to all of the frequently asked questions about practicing chiropractic. As I have mentioned before, I'll post some questions received, along with chiropractic employment resource summaries, in hopes of helping you find the information you seek. I received a question recently regarding chiropractic degrees and a question regarding practicing after having a manslaughter charge. I think it's a great question, and I am seeking to get some answers myself, as you never know who might be in a similar situation.

Chiropractor 123 Here is the question: I have a friend that is looking into becoming a chiropractor. His main concerns are of the following. If you don't mind answering, I would greatly appreciate the help. Do you need a doctrine degree? Can you practice your license with a intoxication manslaughter on your record?

Excellent questions. Depending on the chiropractic school one is planning to attend, having a before entering chiropractic college will vary. Not sure if that's what you wanted to know but I understand that some chiropractic schools require a bachelors of science degree (four year bachelors degree) before being able to begin a postgraduate chiropractic program.

Other schools don't require the bachelors of science degree but they require nearly the same amount of college course hours in the basic sciences (or they may require the same amount of hours that it took to get a bachelors of science degree).

Some chiropractic schools offer the ability to receive a bachelors of science degree while studying for the postgraduate Doctor of Chiropractic program, that's an option available at select chiropractic colleges and universities across the United States. If you're looking to go that route, I would check with each school individually, to find out what degrees they have to offer.

If your question on a doctrine degree is referring to the Doctor of Chiropractic title, then yes, in the United States all practicing chiropractors must have graduated from a national boards recognized chiropractic school. If the student went to school outside of the United States (I hear it's far more difficult to practice in the United States as a result) they will have to pass a minimum of one national board examination and may have to take as many as three written chiropractic examinations and one clinical/practical oral examination.

Details vary from state to state but I believe most states in the US are going to be rather strict about letting chiropractors begin practice without proper chiropractic national exam transcripts and the passing of state board and or ethics examinations.

When it comes to vehicle manslaughter or drunk driving situations that resulted in death, loss of drivers license, imprisonment, or all of the aforementioned, there may be greater concerns than graduating with a chiropractic degree.

The first hurdle to get over may be simply getting into chiropractic college. While someone may have the credits available, if there's going to be an application for student loan funding, and that funding is denied due to a state or federal manslaughter charge, getting the money to pay for ones chiropractic education could become rather difficult.

There's also the issue of federal fingerprinting before becoming licensed to practice anywhere in the United States. A person may have graduated chiropractic school, receive their bachelors degree, have a doctor of chiropractic graduate diploma, and still get tripped up by the federal government during the fingerprinting and crimes history process.

I can't say for sure that someone could or could not get into chiropractic school with a DUI Manslaughter on their record. I just personally think that the fingerprinting process for a particular state (mandated by the federal government) could be far more difficult. On the state level, the individual may want to consider practicing in a state that is lenient on such restrictions.

Some states are extremely tight on allowing new chiropractors to become licensed, and other states are fairly easy to get licensed in by comparison. I have no idea why (maybe too many chiropractors), just what I've heard from chiropractors across the USA.

If your friend is serious and really wants to be a chiropractor, I would check three things: 1) Ability to receive financial aid with a manslaughter on record; 2) ability to get into chiropractic school with that same record; 3) ability to pass a federal fingerprinting profile for eligibility to be able to practice chiropractic in a particular state.

I can't give specific yes or no answers but if it were my situation I would pursue it and see what options I had. You never know, it's likely a situation somebody has experienced before. If I get additional information, I'll update this post and make a note of it.