Growing up, the book Pride and Prejudice helped broaden my perspective on how I viewed those around me. It follows Elizabeth Bennett as she learns the error of making hasty judgments, heightening her understanding and acceptance of the differences in those around her. I am certain that you have encountered a few awkward moments when someone learned that you were in school to become a chiropractor. A close friend told me that when he proudly told his parents that he was going to chiropractic school, his dad told him that he was smart enough to be a “real doctor.” It was heartbreaking.
These incidents can cause a myriad of emotions or even cause you to question your decision to be a chiropractor, especially when they come from your closest friends and family. After all, they were your greatest source of influence from childhood to adulthood. It can feel hopeless at times. Your love of chiropractic comes from a place of passion, and it can be aggravating when you encounter people who disregard your feelings because of their own prejudices.
We are not the only ones who feel this way. In fact, our patients who kindly suggest chiropractic treatment, feel the same pressure and negativity. Recently on Facebook, I saw someone recommend chiropractic to a mother with a colicky baby. I love seeing recommendations from patients to seek chiropractic care, however, her post started with “I know this sounds insane, but have you considered taking her to a chiropractor…?” It breaks my heart when I see a recommendation for chiropractic start off sounding like an excuse or apology.
Just like the book, changing another person’s perspective takes time, compassion, a little bit of tolerance, and a whole lot of patience. The strength of your desire to help others through chiropractic is evident by your very presence on campus. You will meet many people who have little knowledge and strong feelings about the holistic approach of your chosen profession. Remember that good old calm conversation is the key to understanding. Be willing to open your heart and hear the source of their fears and concerns. Be slow to dismiss their feelings (even if they are unfounded), and give them permission to change their minds. Invite them to a class about posture, a tour of the campus, or a campus clinic. Be compassionate and meet them where they are.
Chiropractic is widely known around the world, but still very misunderstood. Sometimes it takes showing someone a glimpse of your world for them to see the logic and benefits of your chosen profession. You won’t expand the minds of everyone you meet, and that’s okay. This is your calling and your journey, but sometimes it’s nice to have some friends along for the ride. It’s up to you to convince those around you that you are headed in the right direction.
Kristi Hudson is the Director of Business Relations and Administrator of the ChiroHealthUSA Foxworth Family Scholarship. Since 2010, she has worked with state associations, COCSA, F4CP, and the CCGPP to provide educational awareness on changes within the profession. As of February 2016, ChiroHealthUSA has donated over $1,000,000 to support the chiropractic profession. To apply for the scholarship, go to chusascholar.com.