What was your career goal when you started at Oakwood?
Upon entering Oakwood, my career goal was to become a medical professional. However I was not quite certain exactly what area of medicine I would pursue. I had a love for the sciences, a trait which was recognized and fostered by my mother early in life.
What was your major?
While at Oakwood, my major was Biological Sciences. I chose biology as my major because a biology degree would prepare me for entry into several areas of medicine. The Biology Department at Oakwood is renowned for preparing future medical professions and I know I chose the best undergraduate institution.
How did you decide to go into chiropractic medicine?
I prayed for guidance and out of evil came good. I was involved in a motor vehicle accident. I sought chiropractic care at that time and was intrigued by the modality of chiropractic care. One Friday afternoon, I attended a science club meeting at Oakwood where I met Mr. Mackel Harris, Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic’s recruiter for minority students. It was at this time that I made my decision to attend Chiropractic School. There are over 60,000 chiropractors in the United States. This is a male dominated profession. However the number of blacks in practice account for only one percent in the entire country.
Can you describe your professional journey post Oakwood?
My bachelor’s degree from Oakwood College adequately prepared me for success in pursuit of my doctor of chiropractic degree. I had to work hard and make many sacrifices to achieve success. Through it all, I never lost sight of my vision neither did I compromise my faith or personal principles for success. I have thoroughly experience thus far. I have gained a sense of fulfillment and satisfaction in restoring health and wellness as well as helping to improve the quality of life of members of the community I serve one patient at a time. I find the autonomy of private practice exhilarating!
What exactly does a chiropractor do?
The word chiropractic mean done by hand. It is a natural healing modality of health care. A chiropractor is a physician who specializes in removing vertebral subluxations in order to restore proper alignment to the body through spinal manipulations which allow the body to heal itself. Chiropractors also utilize various forms of supportive therapies such as physical therapy, massage therapy and acupuncture. I utilize a lot of physical therapy in my practice and plan to introduce acupuncture in the future.
What are some of the pros and cons of life as a chiropractor?
Like other doctor’s chiropractors enjoy the prestige that is associated with being a doctor such as social and civic prominence as well as tremendous earning potential. Another added bonus is that chiropractors now enjoy reciprocity in all 50 states. There are no longer individual state boards. The role of a chiropractor maybe sometimes misunderstood. Public education seems to be needed to dispel some of the misconceptions about the modality of care and how we fit into the general scheme of things were health is concerned.
Can a chiropractor prescribe medications?
Chiropractors do not utilize medication. Chiropractors use natural forces to allow the body to heal itself. We know that pain is the body’s way of communicating to the individual that there is something wrong. Chiropractors get to the core of the problem by placing a force into the patient’s body which will increase the immune system and enhance endorphins which allow the body to heal itself. We do not believe in using traditional medicines example pain killers, but some chiropractors utilize nutritional supplements as part of their treatment plans.
Where do you currently work?
My maternal grandmother has bequeathed the legacy of entrepreneurship. From her, I became acquainted with the challenges and pleasures of autonomy and independence in business ownership. I am the founder and CEO of Abundant Living Chiropractic Center LLC in Loxahatchee, Florida an accomplishment of which I am justly proud. I am gaining a wealth of experience in my field, networking with other chiropractic professionals and at the same time I am learning to manage a successful private practice, serving the community and getting much satisfaction from working with my patients and their families. I hope to open another office in the not too distant future.
What’s the path to becoming a chiropractor?
A current student would need a minimum of three years of undergraduate education preferably in the sciences. Once undergraduate studies are completed, the chiropractic curriculum takes approximately 3 ½ to four years to complete. There is no residency but I would encourage new graduates to work under an experienced chiropractor before going into private practice if they are so inclined. At present, there is no pre-entrance for chiropractic profession. However there is discussion concerning the implementation of the CCAT for future admission into chiropractic colleges nation-wide.
What are good resources for students interested in learning more about chiropractic medicine?
I think that one of the best resources for students interested in learning about chiropractic medicine is to see what the profession is all about first hand. I would suggest that interested students shadow a chiropractor. Another helpful resource could be visiting one of the chiropractic colleges, researching chiropractic online and speaking with people who received chiropractic care to glean from them their feelings about the care they received and the results of their treatment.
What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?
My hobbies are singing, traveling and community service. While at Oakwood, I was a member of the Aeolians. I have worked with the praise team at First International SDA Church in Jacksonville, Florida. Presently I am singing with the Sanctuary Choir at my home church Daughter of Zion SDA Church in Delray Beach, Florida. I am also a guest soloist at other churches. I have traveled extensively and I have worked at several health fairs and community events.
Can interested students contact you with questions?
Certainly! It would be my pleasure to be able to guide perspective students in this great field of health care. I can be contacted by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or by phone 561-223-3340. Prospective students can also view my website abundantlivingchiropractic.com
Dr. Stacy- Ann Smith D.C. is a native of the island of Jamaica. During her time at Oakwood she was a member of the world-renowned Aeolians. She continues to minister in song regularly at religious and community events.