Meet Kaleb Dahlgren – a third year Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) student and survivor of the Humboldt Broncos bus tragedy. After a long recovery with chiropractors supporting his resilient return to good health, Dahlgren was more determined than ever to pursue his dream of becoming a chiropractor.

He was eager to learn how chiropractors use evidence-based care and clinical expertise to diagnose and treat issues impacting the body’s movement. Dahlgren has been gaining the expertise and knowledge at CMCC to treat patients with spine, muscle, joint and the nervous system (referred to as the neuromusculoskeletal, or nMSK system) issues without surgery or medication.

THE DEMANDING PATH TO BECOMING A CHIROPRACTOR

The path to becoming a chiropractor is a demanding one. It requires dedication, perseverance, and an extensive amount of specialized training and education. Aspiring chiropractors like Dahlgren must complete four years of chiropractic college in addition to their undergraduate education.

Dahlgren’s friends and family were surprised to learn that chiropractic education includes more than 4,200 hours of rigorous post-graduate education and training. “Being in the clinic fits in to the [more than] 4,200 hours of  training that we have,” says Dahlgren, “and we have certain learning criteria that we need to meet each year.”

Dahlgren (right) with Sports Specialist Rehabilitation Centre co-owner Dr. Paolo De Ciantis

In addition to the in-clinic experience, chiropractic education and training encompasses clinical assessment, diagnosis, pain management, preventative care, biomechanics and more.

Dahlgren and his peers are participating in labs and learning how to administer a variety of chiropractic treatments using the latest in chiropractic education. They are also gaining practical, real-world experience in established clinics.

Chiropractic students become nMSK experts during their four-year program.

GROWING THROUGH INTERNSHIPS TO BECOME A CHIROPRACTOR

Dahlgren is well on his way to realizing his dream of becoming a chiropractor. He is looking forward to graduating in 2025. As an intern, he recently shadowed both a chiropractor and a traditional Chinese acupuncturist at the Sports Specialist Rehab Centre in Toronto. Chiropractic interns expand their knowledge of the chiropractic scope of practice along with the scopes of other practitioners they shadow. This adds to the knowledge they can offer while providing patient care. This experience also enables chiropractors to work more collaboratively with other practitioners.

“I have this opportunity to be able to shadow different professions and expand our understanding…about other professions, how they have different scopes, and what their treatment is like,” says Dahlgren.

Clinical internships are invaluable in bridging the gap between theory and practice. It’s where chiropractic students apply what they’ve learned in real-world settings, gaining confidence in their abilities, and refining clinical skills.

“I’m super excited and grateful for this experience,” says Dahlgren.

Top image: Kaleb Dahlgren (right) with Taiju Hashimoto, registered acupuncturist.