Chiropractic Practice: Right Out of School
There are many options for how to begin your chiropractic practice journey. One of the best things about a chiropractic career is that you can design your future. Some graduates work in chiropractic clinics with more seasoned providers, in interdisciplinary clinics, or in large health systems. Some graduates specialize: working in clinics that focus on chiropractic neurology and brain injury, sports performance and rehabilitation, and more.
Many graduates open their own practices: embracing the flexibility and excitement of working for themselves. We talked with alum Zeynep Tuzcu, D.C., ‘21 about what it was like to open her own chiropractic practice.
Creating a Space to Fit Her Mission
Dr. Zeynep opened Evren Chiropractic in Minneapolis right after graduation. She wanted to create a space where every patient feels heard and included, particularly people of color and the LGBTQIA+ community, who have been historically mistreated within the medical field.
Dr. Zeynep also specializes in trauma-informed and consent-based care, working with patients recovering from varying emotional and physical trauma that deeply impact their pain and their overall lives. “I haven’t been able to find a clinic that operates with that specific mission,” she shared. “So I just decided to make it.”
The First Year: Building Her Chiropractic Practice, Her Way
Evren Chiropractic recently celebrated its one-year anniversary. Dr. Zeynep is happy with the success she’s had during the first year. She is balancing making chiropractic care accessible (with accessible pricing and a sliding scale), ensuring she has ample time to spend with patients, and making a supportive living.
“I see maybe 20-30 patients in a good week and I’m totally comfortable with that. I’m very happy with what I’ve created. I get time to rest, I have control over the schedule,” she explained. “But I’m also wearing all the hats. Not only am I the chiropractor, I’m also the HR gal, the finance person and the marketing person. It’s a lot of work but I wouldn’t have it any other way.”
She’s built up a community of about 200 patients through word of mouth and social media referrals during her first year. Rather than hustling to see more patients each week, or sell expensive packages, she’s focused on serving patients in a safe space. “I very much operate from the mindset of ‘the money will come,’” she shared. “Every dollar that I make goes right back into the business.”
Accessible, Integrative Care
Dr. Zeynep wants to play a role in shifting the narrative around chiropractic practice. “It’s not boutique healthcare. Everybody needs it,” she said. “Of course, it’s for managing pain, but it’s also preventative care and will ultimately save you money.”
She explains to patients that starting with conservative care like chiropractic can help you avoid expensive tests and medications. “Why not use this as a first line of defense? I feel like that’s my role, to help people understand their bodies better and value their bodies more.”
She’s also a strong advocate for accessible, integrative care. “I feel like integrative care is really just collaboration amongst providers to make sure our patients are getting the best care possible,” she said. “It takes a lot of vulnerability to do that type of collaboration because you have to admit you don’t know everything, and that’s okay.”
Dr. Zeynep got her first taste of working this way as an intern at the Integrative Clinic of Minnesota (ICM) and Salvation Army during her time at NWHSU. She still regularly refers patients to an acupuncturist with whom she interned and has built a strong network of other providers since then.
“We absolutely need to co-manage with other providers,” she explained. “Almost every single one of my patients I have in acupuncture or massage, or I’m talking to their naturopath or I’m talking to their primary. I think that’s super important.”
Looking to the Future
Long-term, Dr. Zeynep hopes to open a wellness center, where practitioners across disciplines work together in a shared space to facilitate accessibility. Beyond that, she seeks to have a positive impact on her profession, as well as the Minneapolis community.
“I just want to see the community continue to shift their perspective around chiropractic,” she shared. “I want to treat so many more patients, not for the sake of making more money, but for the purpose of patients getting the care they need and deserve.” Dr. Zeynep said she “wants people in Minneapolis to know they have a provider on their side.”