Dr. Shannon Ruff, Class of 2018
Practice Specialty: Animals
During her undergraduate studies, Dr. Shannon Ruff knew she wanted a career in healthcare, but she struggled to find a direction that truly aligned with her interests, abilities and personal philosophy.
Multiple internships had given her clarity on fields she DID NOT want to pursue, but the path forward remained murky until Sherman alumna Dr. Allison Gardner spoke at a club meeting for future healthcare professionals on Ruff’s undergraduate campus.
“As Dr. Gardner spoke about subluxations and innate intelligence, I immediately felt that I had found what I had been searching for all these years,” Ruff said. “I began shadowing her in her office and quickly knew this was where I belonged.”
Two Passions Make One Career
As a lifelong animal lover, veterinary school was an option Ruff briefly considered and rejected just as quickly because it was not suited to her professional ethos. The two interests converged during Ruff’s first year at Sherman College, when she attended a presentation on equine adjusting at Lyceum, the college’s annual homecoming and continuing education program.
“Watching the fluidity of that adjustment and how the horse accepted chiropractic was awe-inspiring,” Ruff said. “And that is when I knew I needed to pursue animal chiropractic.”
Animal chiropractic requires special certification beyond the licensure requirements for a regular Doctor of Chiropractic. Only licensed doctors or students of chiropractic or veterinary medicine can become certified for animal chiropractic. Check this post for the basics about certification.
Students can pursue animal chiropractic certification concurrent with their regular chiropractic studies — a path Ruff chose to follow during her time at Sherman College.
“It can be overwhelming to balance both programs at the same,” Ruff said, “but it is doable as long as you plan ahead and are organized and prepared.”
Ruff’s favorite thing about being an animal chiropractor is being witness to what she describes as miraculous outcomes every day.
“It was a very long road to get here, but every time you are able to save another animal’s life through chiropractic care, it makes all the years of hard work worth it.”
· Chiropractic Careers: Animals
· Ensuring Critters Benefit from Chiropractic Care, Too, featuring Maria McElwee, D.C., ’14