Regardless of what country you relocate to, there will be differences in practicing between countries. This could be your chiropractic practice itself, or your life outside of the clinic.
The culture in the UK could well be different from the culture in your home country. The food is different, the weather is different, and it’s very multicultural too. That’s one of its biggest attractions.
Bristol as a city is all of those things, as well as being well connected to other cities and countries. Bristol airport lets you hop over to cities in Europe for a weekend if you choose to, and the train lines are great for travelling around the UK.
As far as practicing in the UK goes, there are certain questions that people tend to ask.
Are the patients different?
In our experience, patients are patients all over the world. There can be differences between them, but these tend to be cultural.
People in Singapore will differ culturally, with different likes and dislikes, from say people in Holland. However, the problems they bring into the clinic are pretty much the same: low back pain, neck pain, headaches, long-term chronic conditions, and accident-related issues. But, most importantly, they have a desire to find a better way of dealing with their problems.
What is a typical clinic like?
We can only speak for ourselves, but our clinics are modern and contemporary. We like open spaces with lots of natural light. We believe that your working environment should be a pleasure to work in. It should be about health, not disease.
Which words feel like a healing space to you?
Community vs Quiet
Air Doors and Walls
Is it possible to get chiropractic on the National Health Service?
In the UK, general healthcare is free at the point of delivery. It can be possible to get chiropractic care on the NHS, but it isn’t common. There are a few places in the UK, but they are few and far between.
The main reason is Chiropractors tend to prefer the freedom and independence of private practice. This means that most chiropractic patients are fundamentally buying private healthcare.
Have you spotted any trends over the last few years?
We have noticed that there is a growing demand for a different kind of healthcare; something more natural, less invasive. In the past, almost everyone came in because of some of pain or problem. Nowadays, the average age of our patients is falling as people are looking for ways to stay healthy.
This is fuelled by a number of things. In particular, we are all living longer, we are retiring later, and we have different expectations from past generations. I remember speaking to someone who lived through the last World War and success for him was just staying alive, having a roof over his head and food on the table.
Preventative healthcare and quality of life were alien concepts to him and were just for ‘the wealthy’. Now, that’s all changed. Today, a person can expect to live much longer than a person born 40 or 50 years ago. It’s also not just about the headline figure, it’s about quality of life.
People will say they’d like to live to be 100, but only if they still have their health. Otherwise, what’s the point? No one wants to be a burden on their family. So, the trend we are seeing is people obviously want a solution to their problem, but it is followed by a search for something they can do in their lives to stay healthy and well.
How hard is it to be a successful Chiropractor in the UK?
An adaptable, proactive DC will thrive and prosper in almost any environment. Our advice is that if you really want to succeed, you need direction and a good team around you.
There are two types of people who do particularly well with us:
- People who have a few years’ experience but who feel stuck. They may have done some mentoring in the past but have had limited success. They often feel frustrated and are not enjoying their work. They find our coaching programme to be a game changer. It takes them to the level they want both professionally and personally. In particular, being part of a supportive, successful team is a great bonus.
- The other group are experienced DCs who have a strong skillset and excellent people skills. For this group, we offer an opportunity to join a team set up for high volume and success.
To these candidates, there is no limit to the numbers they can see per week.
What kinds of chiropractic philosophy will I find in the UK?
Probably the same you will find anywhere else in the world. There are Chiropractors who treat pain, others do sports injuries, others use many different therapies and modalities, and there is a whole chiropractic movement that emphasises natural health through chiropractic.
Willow is a part of that movement.
We know that the public is looking beyond drugs and surgery; they are looking for natural solutions to their problems. We are here to meet that need with safe, effective, vitalistic chiropractic care.
Our advice would be to get clear on your own philosophy first (which you can read about here) and seek out a work environment that is congruent with that. Do you want to work with ultrasound machines, laser equipment or needles? What about doing therapy or counselling?
We don’t. Our patients come to us to get a fantastic adjustment. That’s what chiropractic is about for us. There are some useful questions in our blog here.
Are there any chiropractic conferences in the UK?
Yes, the one we recommend though takes place in Malaga, Spain. ChiroEurope is the premier conference for Chiropractors in the UK and Europe.
What is the best part about being a Chiropractor in the UK?
People go to chiropractic school because they want to help people. They want to make a difference, have an impact, and use their hands to provide natural healthcare. Working in the UK is the perfect place to do that and have a great work-life balance.
In the right job, you can be successful without burning out. You can be the Chiropractor you want to be. To us, being a Chiropractor means using the power of the chiropractic adjustment to help people. We tell the chiropractic story and adjust what needs adjusting.
How popular is wellness care in the UK?
Every Chiropractor is different. For us, we recommend chiropractic care for life. We also recommend eating fruits and vegetables for life, drinking water for life, exercising for life, and breathing for life.
Our job is to help our patients enjoy a better quality of life. Period.
Any other suggestions?
You can find a job in the UK. The challenge is finding a job that gives you the support you need to reach your goals, and it’s not about numbers. Those are just a by-product. Look for a job where you will be joining a strong, positive team that has the support you need to grow, and a philosophy that speaks to you.
Visit clinics if you can, shadow and chat to their current team. Make sure you are asking the right questions. If you would like to know what questions to ask, get in touch, we will be happy to tell you.
If you are considering relocating to another country to practice, Vaida, our Head of Talent, has written a very useful blog.