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Why CPD will improve you as a chiropractor

Chiropractic is a patient-centric profession. Our focus is on ensuring we provide the highest standards of care and treatment for our patients. In my view, this is one of the main reasons why we all need to invest time and effort into our Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

As chiropractors we need to keep up to date with the latest thinking and treatment methods to ensure we can provide the most effective support to our patients and offer the best available advice. Over the years, I have picked up invaluable insights and knowledge by attending courses, reading around a subject and learning from others.

A personal example of a CPD learning circle was patients attending my clinic for an MSK condition and mentioning they had developed vertigo. After researching around the subject, I attended a course on the diagnosis and treatment of benign proximal positional vertigo (BPPV). Subsequently, I am now able to offer advice and treatment to patients presenting this debilitating condition.

Recognising the bigger picture

Part of our job as a chiropractor is to look at the bigger picture to achieve better patient outcomes. CPD can often give you an understanding of the other aspects of patient care beyond simply focusing on treating the immediate problem. By taking an active part in CPD, I have the knowledge and confidence to try new approaches, such as encouraging patients to take charge of their condition rather than taking a passive role. My experience has found this approach helps improve patient outcomes.

Spread your mindset

Engaging with other health professionals and learning more about their areas of expertise and how they help patients is invaluable. As part of my CPD learning activities, I attend evening lectures given by orthopaedic consultants on the latest research into hip, knee, and shoulder surgery and/or joint replacement. This information gives me the confidence to advise and guide patients.

Of course, it is also important that we learn from the experiences of others in our profession. Chiropractors can be quite insular as many of us work alone in our practices. Interaction through CPD channels can therefore be beneficial. It is an opportunity to hear about specific patient cases and different experiences.

Planning ahead

CPD is compulsory but some registrants struggle to find the time in their busy working lives. Professional development often means taking time out from your practice, which can be difficult. To help get the most out of CPD it is a good idea to plan ahead. Identify areas of interest at the start of the year and decide what you want to learn. It’s also important to be realistic about what you can achieve.

Given the value of CPD and the benefits it brings to your patients and your practice, it is well worth making the time and effort. 


Top Tip: Don’t wait until the end of the CPD year to record your development activities. Keep a file or diary of CPD activities. This will help ensure you do not miss or forget a CPD activity.


David Dykes is the principal chiropractor for the Natural Health Centre a multi-disciplinary clinic based in Shropshire. He graduated in 2002 as a mature student. David is a Test of Competence assessor for the GCC.


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