An Interview with a Chiropractor
Dr. Randi-Lee Joy,
The Massage and Treatment Clinic
Dr. Randi-Lee Joy has always been interested in the human body, working with her hands, and helping people. In high school, she saw the work of a Chiropractor and realized it was a combination of her interests in one career. With that realization, she to post-secondary school for a Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics followed by four years of chiropractic college. To augment her knowledge, she also obtained a Doctorate of Chiropractic.
In this interview, we’ve worked with Randi to capture what her job is like and how she got to where she is today. If you are considering a career in chiropractic or like the idea of having your own private medical practice, this is a great resource to get an inside look at how one person is living that life. We also invite you to watch Randi’s “Day in the Life” video for even more insight.
What are your main tasks?
I treat patients throughout the day with different hands-on techniques. Following each client visit, I do notes/paperwork for each patient called SOAP notes which explain how they are feeling, what is bothering them, positive test through palpation and orthopedic testing, what the diagnosis is, and what specifically I did for the treatment for that day. I also do some reception, both billing and booking appointments as needed.
What services do you provide?I provide chiropractic adjustments, spinal manipulation, joint mobilizations, soft tissue therapy, exercise and physical modalities.
What is your salary range?
Most chiropractors make between $80,000 and $200,000 CAD per year. However, I work part-time so I can stay at home with my infant daughter two days a week. Considering this part-time schedule, I make about $40,000 to $50,000 CAD.
What education is required for this position?
You need at least 3 years of an undergraduate degree to be accepted into chiropractic college which is another 4 years. Most people have 8 years of education leading up to being a chiropractor. I have my Bachelor of Science in Human Kinetics, my chiropractic college licence/certificate, as well as a Doctorate of Chiropractic.
What experience or other requirements are needed for this position?
I would recommend doing some science or kinesiology program where you learn your basic anatomy and physiology of the human body. Working or interning in a clinic would also be a great experience to learn the ways of the clinic life.
What tools are used in your work?
I use my hands, my body, an activator, physical therapy machines (IFC, TENS, Cold Laser and Ultrasound), heat packs and ice packs, and a treatment table – preferably a chiro table with drop pieces which assist in certain adjustment techniques.
What skills are useful for the job? Palpation skills, business skills, marketing skills, communication and people skills.
What is it like?
What is your workplace like?
What are your work hours like?
I work a variety of shifts from 4 hours to 7 hours long depending on the day. I am able to create my own hours usually as I am considered self-employed or an independent contractor.
What is the workload like?
I am busy with patient booked after patient. At one clinic, I get a half hour lunch and at the other clinic, I work through the hours with no lunch break.
Describe a typical workday.
I come into work, set up my treatment room, grab any patient files I need, then I treat patients for 30 to 60 minutes sessions. The one-hour assessments are for new patients. I usually do my patients files at the end of the day which can take me 30 mins to an hour depending on how busy I am. Depending on the patients, I may have to do car accident paperwork or talk to insurance companies during the day as well. I also write letters/notes to employers or doctors for the patients.
What is next for you? I always love taking new courses to keep up my continuing education.
What is your story?
I have always been interested in the human body and wanted to work with my hands and help people. I saw a chiropractor and wanted to be one since I was in high school.
What has been the biggest obstacle in your career?
It takes time to build a patient base so the first few years you don’t make very much money while you pay back your student loans. You take on a lot of student debt as a chiropractor.
What is your passion?
I am passionate about helping others get healthy and feel better.
What is your favourite task?
Providing treatment for my patients and talking to them.
What would you change about your career?
I wish we worked with doctors or in hospitals more.
Career Advice for Future Chiropractors
What are useful traits for being considering becoming a chiropractor?
Good communication and listening skills. The ability to multi-task.
Advice for someone interested in chiropractic?
Do some research on all the different schools out there. Also, ask yourself if you want to own your own business or be your own boss one day.
How will this career evolve in the next 5 (or more) years?
Hopefully working more closely with doctors for co-management of patients and more integration into the healthcare system.
Provide your top career tip.
I would suggest taking a Kinesiology Degree before going to chiropractic school. Also, shadow a chiropractor for some time or work in a clinic so that you can see the work for yourself.
Provide your top job hunting tip.
Know how you want to practice and talk people who work at clinics that fit your style. Talk to the person hiring but also ask to shadow the chiropractor for a day or two to get a good feel of the clinic.
What career do you want to see next?
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