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One of the main concerns raised when I talk to colleagues and clinic managers is the small pool of associates to recruit from.

My colleagues and I at the Society for the Promotion of Chiropractic Education (SPCE) have been working hard to develop new chiropractic programs across the country. This will increase the number of chiropractors in the UK, which must be a good thing for the profession (by increasing the pool of associates) and will also even the geographical spread of the profession. However, for these programs to be successful we need more young people to choose chiropractic as a career – or we run the risk of diluting the same number of students across a wider number of programs.

One way of doing this is to encourage careers departments in secondary schools to include chiropractic in their options for students. I’ve had some success doing this by giving talks in local schools – the SPCE can help if this is of interest to you - but it is not always easy to gain access to the schools or to find the time to do it.

Another approach that can return tangible results may be to offer a form of work experience to local schools or students. Schools are always looking for real experiences for their students, and the chance to observe in a clinic for a few hours is greatly valued. Having a student observing for a couple of hours can trigger a real interest in the job, it is certainly good PR as they will talk about it to family and friends (which may encourage new patients), and it may result in a longer term professional relationship through training and - who knows - potentially a new associate for you on graduation.

I’ve had several individuals watching me in practise who have gone on to qualify as chiropractors. Some work experience was arranged through schools, some through a patient with a child of the right age. In every case it has been a rewarding process for both me and the student.

My personal request to you today is to consider what you can do to help to grow the number of students entering our profession. If you wish to speak to me, or my colleagues at the SPCE about this further, please get in touch.


Peter Dixon

DC, FRCC, NICE fellow 2019-2023
Director of The Society for the Promotion of Chiropractic Education (SPCE)


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