Case study

Chiropractor — Monika Dobrowolska

Monika studied for a Masters of Chiropractic at AECC University College in Bournemouth and the Welsh Institute of Chiropractic. Discover what she enjoys about her job as a chiropractor

Why did you decide to become a chiropractor?

I come from a medical background, as both my parents are doctors. I always knew I wanted to work in healthcare and I thought I would go into medicine, but after seeing my parents work long hours I knew I didn't want to be a GP. I wanted a better work/life balance.

I visited a chiropractor regularly when I was a child, which really helped me at the time, and eventually after some research I decided that chiropractic was the direction I wanted to go in.

How did you get your job?

Getting my job was so easy. As graduation drew closer, chiropractic clinics from all over the country were approaching my university to advertise jobs. There is demand for chiropractors in UK and only a handful of students.

As there were so many options available to me, I was able to spend time shadowing a few of the chiropractic clinics I was interested in, to really make the right choice. This was a fantastic position to be in - none of my friends were so spoilt for choice when they graduated.

There are chiropractic clinics all over the country, so I was able to find a job in the right location. I also have a specific interest in sports chiropractic, so wanted to choose a clinic which specialised in this area.

What's a typical day like?

My day-to-day role is spent in my clinic with patients. My role is very hands on, and I will spend most of my day speaking with patients, talking through their concerns and their different treatment options. Later we may have follow up treatment sessions, where I talk through the treatment with my patient to ensure they have the best care. This one-on-one patient time makes up the majority of my day. The remaining 10% is dedicated to admin tasks.

I have a second side to my role. Outside the clinic I work with sports teams and athletes on-site at their training grounds. I support them to improve their performance and help them with any injuries. This has led to some amazing experiences as I am able to travel and attend sporting events with my teams.

Having two sides to my chiropractor role keeps it interesting.

What do you enjoy about your job?

Job satisfaction is the best part. The amount of people who get better after I have worked with them is more than I ever imagined.

Outside of work there are also lots of benefits. As a chiropractor I am self-employed, and the flexibility that this offers means I am able to manage my finances. I have a fantastic work/life balance, and this allows me to travel regularly.

It is a flexible career choice, which allows you to work for yourself and focus on an area that you're interested in.

What are the challenges?

The main challenge is the empathy you can feel when your patients are struggling. Over various sessions you get to know your patients really well and build strong relationships with them, so it can be hard to see them struggling with pain. This is an important part of working in a caring profession, but from time to time it can sometimes be hard on a personal level.

In what way is your degree relevant?

A course in chiropractic was necessary for qualifying as a chiropractor, and the degree prepared me well.

The course was intense and the amount of knowledge I gained was unbelievable. The course involved lots of hands-on experience, ensuring that I was safe to practice and was able to walk into the workplace with confidence.

What are your career ambitions?

I walked into the job I wanted straight after graduation; however in the two years since I've learned a lot and grown my skill set. Particularly I have grown as a clinician and learned a lot about working with my patients, and I have also found out more about my own interests within the field. I never thought I would want to work with pregnant women, for example, but I've discovered that's a part of the job I really enjoy.

I'm happy with how my career has progressed so far but the goal would be to eventually open my own clinic in the future.

How do I get into chiropractic?

If chiropractic is an area you're interested in I would advise that you go out and speak to various chiropractic clinics. Give them a call, speak to a chiropractor about what the job is about, and ask if you can shadow someone to get a feel for their day-to-day role. It's important that you speak to a variety of different clinics - not just one - as different chiropractors have different styles or specialisms, which might suit you better.

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