Welcome, everyone, to a special edition of WWB. Several weeks ago, I had the pleasure of having a student come into the office to shadow me for the day. At the time, he was just a few weeks away from starting chiropractic school in South Carolina. After seeing his growing passion for the profession, I asked him if he would do me a favor. You see, I think it would be a great thing for you all to experience, second hand, just what a chiropractic student goes through during his/her education. It is a journey with many peaks and valleys, but it's not something many if any of you have ever really heard about. You see what medical doctors and lawyers go through, as it dramatized on TV all the time. What does a Doctor of Chiropractic go through? You're about to find out...

Pre-1st quarter blog

My name is Josh D’Alessandro. I am about to embark on the journey of what is Chiropractic School. I was born in South Bend, Indiana and moved to Mooresville, North Carolina about eight years ago. After graduating from Lake Norman High School, I attended UNC Wilmington and received a Bachelor’s degree in Biology. All of my family and friends can tell you that I am a huge sports fan and health freak. I love playing baseball and exercising whenever possible.

So, how did I get into Chiropractic? Ever since I was little, I knew I wanted to help people. I always figured I would be a physical therapist or a medical physician of some sort. As I began my second semester of my freshman year at UNCW, I was still much undecided of both my future profession and my major. At that point, I was on the Pre-Physical Therapy track and just wasn’t sure about it. Trying to get involved as a freshman is a very important thing in order to make friends and meet new people at college. I was constantly going to meetings and seminars about different stuff to broaden my horizons. One night, a local chiropractor in the Wilmington area by the name of Dr. Dan Maggio put on an information seminar about Chiropractic. From that night on, Dr. Dan changed my life.

Whether he liked it or not, he became my mentor, haha. Now, I heard about chiropractic before. I always thought it was for car accident victims and people suffering from lower back pain. I had absolutely no clue that chiropractic was about health and wellness. After listening to Dr. Dan for 60 minutes, I immediately fell in love with the philosophy. By taking anatomy courses in high school, and being on the pre-health track already, I already had some knowledge of the way the body works. However, I had no clue that the spine is where I would become so interested in. From that night, I was hooked. Dr. Dan offered a free consultation which included x-rays. More curious about the profession and how he helps people, I went along with the consultation. I always thought I was a healthy guy; by constantly exercising and playing sports, my spine is perfectly normal, right? I was way off. My spine had incorrect curves in all three areas of my spine, especially my cervical spine. When weighed on two separate scales to see the respective body weight on my left and right side, I believe there was a 35 pound difference favoring my right side. This evaluation was very eye-opening to me. I immediately started receiving chiropractic adjustments the next day. Within a matter of weeks, my spine was no longer curved incorrectly and there was only a two pound difference between my left and right side. While receiving these chiropractic adjustments, I began sleeping better at night, working out/exercising more efficiently, and paying attention better in the classroom. I started preaching about the wonders of chiropractic to all my friends and family. I couldn’t stop talking about the philosophy and all that it had done for me.

When I decided that I wanted to be a chiropractor at the end of my freshman year of undergrad, it did not take me long to figure out where I was destined to be. After learning about the history of chiropractic, I contemplated attending Palmer College in Davenport, Iowa. But, Sherman College was too appealing. At the time, the name of the school was Sherman College of STRAIGHT chiropractic. This was the only chiropractic college in the entire nation recognized as a “straight chiropractic” school. The name is what stood out to me. Seeing that they weren’t afraid to be different, and how they embraced the straight philosophy was all I needed to see to send my application at the end of my sophomore year. From Wikipedia: “D.D. Palmer founded chiropractic in the 1890s and his son B.J. Palmer helped to expand it in the early 20th century. It has two main groups: "straights", now the minority, emphasizes vitalism, Innate Intelligence and spinal adjustments, and considers subluxations to be the leading cause of all disease; "mixers" are more open to mainstream and alternative medical techniques such as exercise, massage, nutritional supplements, and acupuncture.” A lot of today’s chiropractic schools are more medically school based and do not have as strong of a passion when dealing with chiropractic principles as Sherman. When Sherman changed their name from Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic to just “Sherman College” for accreditation reasons, I was slightly confused. However, after visiting Sherman on Career Day and personally experiencing the focus, passion, and success; I knew Sherman is where I needed to be to the best chiropractor.

My pre-school thoughts consist of both excitement and nervousness. The fact that I will be with the same fifteen or twenty people for about thirty hours per week sounds great. I am looking forward to building many relationships with my fellow classmates. The nervous part comes into play when dealing with the course load and time management. I got through undergraduate pretty easy. I had to study a lot more than the average Biology student, but I put in the work and got the job done. I am aware that I am going into a doctorate program and it will be very challenging and stressful. However, every chiropractor and chiropractic student I have ever talked to has told me while it is challenging, it is definitely “doable.” That reassurance is always helpful to hear. I am going to have to put a lot of time in and am ready for the long haul. At the same time, another piece of advice that every Sherman student has told me through Career days and tours is that “the time flies.” It seems like yesterday I was moving into my freshman dorm to begin college. Now, I am a freshman all over again. But, the light is at the end of the tunnel and in three and a half years, I will be able to change people’s lives on a daily basis. That makes all the hard work and nervousness and anxiety worth it. Thank you for listening to my story, and I cannot wait to write again in three months to tell you how my first quarter as a Chiropractic Student turned out. Wish me luck.

“I can do all things through him who strengthens me.”
Philippians 4:13