A article that appeared recently on CareerBuilder.com states the following: "80 percent of today's 76 million baby boomers plan to keep working in the future, and more than half of them are interested in pursuing new careers, according to a Merrill Lynch survey."1 The article discusses the opportunities available to these boomers, including the ability to work part time at a new career.
The article finishes with a list of "20 of the best jobs for baby boomers working part time." This list is apparently "based on information from the U.S. Department of Labor." What makes this list intriguing is that most of these part-time career opportunities involve a considerable amount of additional education, not to mention licensing exams.
As we would certainly assume, chiropractors made the list, along with registered nurses, pharmacists, clinical psychologists, medical lab techs and other health care providers. Each profession listed included the "annual earnings" and the "annual openings." Overall, doctors of chiropractic had the second highest annual earnings (behind pharmacists) and the second lowest annual openings (behind audiologists). Here is the health care provider portion of the list, ranked by annual earnings:
Annual Earnings: $87,160
Annual Openings: 23,000
Annual Earnings: $67,940
Annual Openings: 3,000
Annual Earnings: $56,360
Annual Openings: 17,000
Annual Earnings: $53,640
Annual Openings: 215,000
Annual Earnings: $53,040
Annual Openings: 1,000
Medical/Clinical Lab TechsLicensed Practical/Vocational Nurses
Annual Earnings: $46,710
Annual Openings: 21,000
Annual Earnings: $34,650
Annual Openings: 105,000
While the accuracy of this information may be in question, this is still what is being presented to the public. Needless to say, the impression is that doctors of chiropractic are somehow less valuable than pharmacists and in much less demand than almost every other health care profession. We are grouped with registered nurses and psychologists, rather than with MDs and DOs. You probably don't like this impression. Well, neither do I.
However, like it or not, this is how the people at CareerBuilder.com seem to see us. (This same article also can be found on Newsday.com.2) What does this tell us about our need to market chiropractic as a health care profession? It tells us we have a lot to do to overcome a stigma that we are second-class doctors, and that there are plenty of us to go around.
The good news is that we are considered a very viable profession for someone who wants to work in the health field, specifically as a second career. This suggests that the "weird factor" some people used to perceive about chiropractic is no longer an issue. This is truly good news.
No longer is chiropractic an obscure health profession that has to be explained. People know who we are and they know what we do. The job that remains for all of us is to give consumers the information that will elevate public opinion about our value and increase the demand for chiropractic services.
- Dehne S. Deferring Retirement? Best Part-Time Gigs for Baby Boomers. Posted on CareerBuilder.com.
Click here for more information about Donald M. Petersen Jr., BS, HCD(hc), FICC(h), Publisher.