Extracurricular Preparation Overview
Preparation for chiropractic school involves engaging in experiences that develop and demonstrate skills in communication, leadership, community service, research, and familiarity with the profession. What you do with your time helps define who you are in your application. Schools will learn what you care about and who you are through experiences that align with your interests and goals. Keep in mind that activities complement your coursework, but will not compensate for low grades. Both are important!
- Keep a record of all hours and experiences — document contact information and reflections on each activity.
- All activities should be completed during your undergraduate study.
- Try to complete activities consistently throughout the school year.
- Be intentional and deliberate in planning your experiences, so you are prepared to apply when the time comes.
Shadowing & Chiropractic Experience
Shadowing should be one of your first experiences as a pre-chiropractic student. Observing chiropractor in action will help you gather the information you need to commit to the profession fully. Shadowing requires professional dress and conduct.
Chiropractic experience is very important in your application. Most students gain this experience by shadowing a general chiropractor for more than a semester.
Competitive applicants shadow at least 2 different chiropractors.
Because you are preparing for a healthcare profession, it is important to have volunteer experiences that demonstrate a consistent and long-term commitment to serving others in your community. Look for service opportunities in your community, on campus, or in a humanitarian setting. Volunteer activities need not be medically related but should be meaningful to you. Quality of the experience is more important than quantity.
As a chiropractor, you will be a leader in many ways. Professional schools admit students who have experience making and recognizing the consequences of their decisions. Leadership involves teamwork and builds solid communication skills. Examples of leadership could be mentoring, tutoring, society presidencies, student government, in a job, coaching, or church callings.