Dale Friar, D.C.
Helping More Students Choose a Chiropractic Career
Regardless of what type of practice chiropractors choose, Dale Friar, D.C., understands that doctors need to bring their unique interests to their work. Friar, whose specialty is family and wellness care, has hosted career nights at his Coastal Disc Center and Sweetgrass Chiropractic in Mount Pleasant, SC. He dedicates time to promoting chiropractic and recruiting students because he wants more and more young people to make the decision early on to pursue a career in chiropractic.
That was not the traditional path to a career in chiropractic when Friar made his career decision. “I had a life-changing experience as a young man with chiropractic. A man who mentored me gave me direction and kept me on the right career path,” Friar says, acknowledging that he was one of only a handful in his class who had gone directly from high school to college and then to chiropractic college. “When I graduated in 1982, the average age of my classmates was well into the 30s. Chiropractic was a second career for many.”
Now, he says, more students choose chiropractic as their first career. Friar feels it’s important for young people considering chiropractic to know their options. He wants them to understand that it can be challenging and require great focus to open a practice and be successful right away. But he also wants them to know how rewarding their work can be if they prepare well for their success. That’s why he’s willing to devote his time to career sessions and allow prospective students to shadow him as he works. “I’ve had so much fun and enjoyed 26 years in practice that I want to share that experience with others, help struggling teenagers who are trying to figure out what they want to do in life,” Friar says.
He wishes every chiropractor would find ways to give back to the profession that he feels so passionate about. “If I were able to pass along only one piece of advice to those in the profession and those training to go into the profession, it would be this: Be a teacher. Doctor means teacher. You have to teach and educate in your practice on a daily basis. We feel in my office that we have to earn the right on every visit to get to care for that patient again.”
What he has found is that when he’s done a proper job of educating the patients, they place a high value on what he is doing for them. Because of that, he says, “When the pain goes away and they are feeling good, they don’t go away.” In other words, they get it.
The key to success is being passionate about what you do, Friar says. “It’s good to remember that the patients are there because you have a service they need that is valuable for their health. No matter the subject the patient brings up for discussion – whether it’s sports, the weather, politics, religion – I come up with an analogy that brings it back around to health, wellness and chiropractic.”
When Friar talks with prospective students, he emphasizes that they don’t have to decide right away on a particular specialty or know what form they want their practice to take. Post-graduate training will dictate what you do on a daily basis. “You can go wherever you want to go once you get out of school,” Friar says, explaining that it’s easier to start off in a family practice and decide where your specialty is, then go there.
“You may decide that you want to specialize, become a geriatric, pediatric, sports or animal chiropractor – but the great thing is, you can do all of those things within a family practice. I get to do it all.”
It’s clear that chiropractic is not a “one-size-fits-all” profession. There are many paths to success, each requiring only one thing: a passion for serving humanity by delivering quality and life-changing chiropractic care.