The Symbiotic Relationship Between Our Colleges and Our Future

With the cost of a student’s professional education running about $150,000, plus undergraduate loans, the expense of opening a practice, overhead and personal expenses, we, as educators, must insure the success of our future doctors. The statistics should be 200 doctors graduate, 200 doctors open a practice and succeed. Not just for the sake of the doctor, but for the success of chiropractic. That would be the ideal; but can it be achieved? Yes, it can be achieved and, more importantly, it must be achieved.

As a profession, we are on the brink of greatness, provided that our future doctors are more equipped for success and leadership as well as becoming doctors. Our curriculums must prepare our future doctors on many levels to be successful in the real world

The immortal words of the late Rodney Dangerfield, “It’s a jungle out there,” describe what I experienced when I entered the real world. I was far from prepared, and it took a lot of time, energy, prayers and money to succeed. Three decades and many causalities later, I still hear the same battle cry from the newly graduated doctors. “It’s a jungle out there,” an ever changing jungle with new challenges aimed at our profession on a constant basis. Practicing today, compared to when I graduated in 1976, is much different. But, the old adage “the more things change the more they stay the same” is true in this case; prepare the doctors to develop the right character, instill leadership and success principles and watch them conquer the world. What good is it to give our doctors a great education, which prepares them to pass the boards and the state exams, but does not prepare them to succeed in practice?

Look at the impact this is having on our profession. The more doctors we send out into this jungle unprepared, the weaker our profession becomes. Many doctors in our profession are just barely making it, and some, sadly, have given up. I say it’s time that we prepare our future doctors for success so that, when they leave school, they will make a huge impact on our society. God knows we need it.

Let’s not leave this important part of a doctor’s education out of their chiropractic curriculum.  Let’s realize that developing a student into a professional is a process that requires time. Becoming a doctor is a process that starts the day they enter school and master many years later. It’s not about jamming 10 billion facts into an already stressed mind. It’s about teaching them leadership skills, building their character using encouragement and enthusiasm, preparing them to enter the role of doctor when they graduate and ensuring their success.

This should be the back-bone (no pun intended) of the curriculum, and should start the first semester and build so that, when this doctor walks out of an institution, he/she will know how to start a practice, make it a success, and influence and impact the world. With their success, the assurance of our success is guaranteed. They are more likely to refer future chiropractors to their alma maters, and, when colleges ask for contributions from their alumni, they will not have to ask twice.

If we want our profession to flourish, our institutions must prepare our future doctors to succeed, no matter what the circumstances. The rest will be “history.”

For more information on Dr. Cima and the many books he has written, you may visit his web site at

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