Monday, September 15, 2008


As exciting as that word sounds, full of possibility and potential, it makes me cringe. I fought through 3 long years of professional school to reach graduation. 3 trimesters a year, 9 total, carrying between 29 and 35 credit hours EACH trimester. A 4 year medical school education (almost to the T,) but squashed into 3 years. My whole family came from New Mexico to see me graduate. My wife's family drove in from out of town as well. It was a glorious ceremony, full of pomp and circumstance, and the keynote speaker was truly noteworthy. And now, you can call me doctor, an accomplishment anyone would be proud of.

Of course they waited until we had completed 6 trimesters to clue us in on the school's market research that shows 4 out of 5 graduates are no longer practicing at 5 years after graduation. Had I heard THAT little detail during recruitment weekend, you can bet I wouldn't have started. But at Tri 6, (and $120,000 in debt,) one doesn't quit. One finishes what they've started.

And had they mentioned the modest $60,000 per year starting salary for a new graduate DC was actually more like $30,000 per year (or less) for the DFW area, I might have questioned the student loan debt to potential income ratio. I'm no genius by any stretch, but a $225,000 degree to make $30,000 per year is NOT what you call a good return on your investment. The job I quit to come to school paid more than that, and only required a GED. For those of you keeping score at home, no, $30,000 a year is not enough money to make the monthly payment on $225,000 of student loans.

Why are things this way? A combination of factors would be my guess.

The low salary is a result of the proximity of the school. The market is flooded with desperate graduates who will do anything to say they have a job. Even take a salary they can not possibly live on.

The high failure rate probably is due to the residual of the AMA's directed, intentional, and systematic attempt to stamp chiropractic out. (Yes, it was documented, and chiropractic won a large lawsuit against the AMA because of it.) Yet the misinformation around chiropractic still exists today, perpetuated by those that haven't taken the time to look into chiropractic at all.

The fact is science supports chiropractic principles. Human physiology supports the benefits of the chiropractic adjustment. Meaning simply the mechanics of how our bodies work proves chiropractic true. The research shows that chiropractic works. Now that science is moving toward evidence based research, and letting go of the almighty double blind trial (which is nearly impossible to conform chiropractic to, how do you give a placebo adjustment??).

Regardless, there are still those uninformed who blindly trust what others have told them, and haven't checked things out. There isn't a day that goes by that I don't hear someone ignorantly trash on chiropractic, using the same tired arguments that have been refuted time and time again.

It's unfortunate.

And it's why I'm back in school to become an RN.

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