So you are about to Graduate and become a Chiropractor. Time to head back to the home town and work with the Chiropractor that got you interested in being a Chiropractor right?
Well maybe not.
You have a great opportunity which doesn’t come around very often. You can literally go anywhere in the world (with some exceptions) and try out life in another country whilst getting paid.
Or you could be a Chiropractor seeking a change. Maybe your bored, frustrated or just interested in a new direction. Maybe life changed direction on you without your consent. Well, some time abroad may help.
But surely it’s hard to move to a different country?
Well a little background I grew up (from the age of about 4) with half my time spent on the beaches of Spain just south of Barcelona and the other half on the mean streets (always wanted to use that phrase but actual the streets were very friendly) of Jacksdale (yes it was that small) in Nottingham, England.
I’ve also lived in:
- Wales (5 years)
- Ireland (2 years)
- And the good old U S of A (18 months)
Which is where I’m writing this now.
Changing country always sounds hard but it’s very easy. Let me give you an example.
I’ve been in America for 18 months now and I came here by accident. I came for a 2 week vacation to Florida so my wife and her kids could reenter the UK (they’re American) with their new visas.
The visa process went wrong then hurricane Irma arrived and that started my and my English children’s process of moving to America with just 2 weeks of vacation clothes and some small electronics (laptop and iPhones etc) we haven’t been back.
That experience taught me 2 things. One there is boldness in just arriving and saying ok I’m here and two, you don’t need much stuff to move. Anything you do desperately need can be bought there or shipped to you later.
And that’s with kids, clinics and mortgages and all that complicated stuff that we acquire as we go through life. If you are a young New Grad (I was a middle of the road age New Grad) then you may find it even easier because you may not have acquired all those responsibilities yet.
With that in mind, why would you want to practice abroad?
There are many reasons but I’m going to give you just 5.
1: To immerse yourself into another culture.
If you visit somewhere on vacation you don’t really experience it, you just see the Disney side of it. The tourist sections but you don’t embed yourself into the culture.
One of the biggest difference I saw growing up was as a child in Sitges (Spain) I would walk with the whole of the town along the seafront at 1am-2am every Friday and Saturday after dinner (yep, thanks to siesta it’s that late).
It never was risky or felt unsafe as grandmas where walking, babies and kids all over. It was just safe you didn’t even question it.
But in England, we lived on the same street as a night club and you’d never go out at 1am, it wasn’t safe (maybe they were mean streets after all).
Also in Spain, everything was Manana (tomorrow) and dinner took like 3 hours and everyone came and I still don’t know who paid half the time.
That level of involvement doesn’t come from a vacation you have to be part of the landscape, the town, you have to be one of them.
2: To learn a new language
It’s no surprise that immersion is the best way to learn a new language. And if you want to get fluent in a language then it’s a no brainer to move to that country.
You may be worried about not being able to communicate with your patients but that can be a blessing. People love trying to teach and so teaching their Chiropractor bonds them to you and they enjoy seeing you.
It also makes the day more fun as they make fun of your misplaced words and the fact that you accidentally said you married a beautiful goat (actually happened).
Another not often mentioned benefit is that if a patient feels worse they are far less likely to complain as they already like you and have pity for you and will likely put it down to a misunderstanding.
3: You will get more job interviews if/when you come back.
Your resume will look awesome with that year working in Ireland, Germany or Peru and you’ll get let’s of employers interviewing you because they always wanted to do what you just did.
A lot of people are hired based off their employer’s thoughts of if they want to work with them. If they’ve got a thousand questions to ask you then they want you there so they can ask you.
“Welcome to the dream job, now tell me again about Guatemala”
4. The market is uncrowded.
Besides America, Canada and some parts of the UK (I’m looking at you Bournemouth and Glamorgan) Chiropractic is really really really underdeveloped. If you want to experience patients flooding in off the streets to see you, then you need to be where there is a high demand and a low supply.
If you are from the countries listed above (America, Canada, and the UK) a year or two abroad will just be refreshing as you’ll be treating all the time and marketing hardly any time.
Some of the countries where you can experience this sort of practice tend to be countries like Spain, Peru and the rest of the Latin American countries.
If you are from one of the low Chiropractic supply countries (Latin America, Spain and etc) spending time in a high supply less demand country (America, Canada etc) can teach you the marketing skills that they use to draw patients in. When you go back to your country you’ll have high demand and also know how to pull in more patients for that multimillion Practice you want. Just see what Liam Schueble (link) did with Peru???
5. Because it’s about life, not Chiropractic.
At the end of the day Chiropractic is a profession, the best in the world, but still just a profession. I find it hard because I self attribute to being a Chiropractor. If someone asked me what I was, I’d say a Chiropractor. It’s the first thing that comes to mind even before father (do you think I should be worried) and I think most of us feel this way.
But being a Chiropractor has a reason besides itself, which is to provide for you and your family and friends. Provide what?
Life is my answer and life has been shown to be far happier with experiences instead of with things. An experience will give you and your family far more happiness than a new car, house or boat.
So if you really want more happiness the research says you need more experiences. Living abroad means you have them every day.
Wanna be happy, I’ll see you at the beach
If you want to see the top five places to work abroad see our blog post here
if you want to have a more in-depth review if the top 5 reasons to work abroad then check out the Instant Chiro podcast