Chiropractor to IONM

In healthcare, sometimes a career change can provide the mental boost someone needs to avoid burnout, learn new skills, tackle new challenges, and meet new people. One healthcare career transition that has gained some traction at SpecialtyCare is the move from chiropractor to surgical neurophysiologist. There are around 30 former chiropractors who have found a new home in the operating room here at SpecialtyCare.

Dan Filipkowski, DC, CNIM, D.ABNM, made the career leap after running a private chiropractic practice for nine years. Although he loved being a chiropractor, “there was always something missing,” for him. IONM was not on his radar though; in fact, he had never heard of it. But a conversation with a colleague led him to research the role of a neurophysiologist and he learned what a great career transition this could be.

Similar Foundations

There are some common threads among chiropractors and neurophysiologists that help make the transition smooth, according to Filipkowski.

“In chiropractic school, the coursework prepares you with a solid understanding of human anatomy, in particular, anatomy of the spine,” he said. “This extra focus on spinal anatomy, coupled with courses in neuroanatomy was extremely helpful in transitioning to the operating room.”

Filipkowski said the mental and physical demands of running a practice can make a career change appealing for many chiropractors. This was true for Jodi Parsons, DC, CNIM, who also ran a private chiropractic practice with her husband for more than 10 years. When the demands of the business were starting to take their toll, she started exploring her options and ran across the field of IONM.  Jodi is now a surgical neurophysiologist II serving on our Delaware IONM Team.

“I find that chiropractors are exceptionally qualified for IONM,” she said.  “We already have the anatomy and physiology foundation. We are skilled clinicians and are able to perform exams and have a full and complete working knowledge of most diagnoses and conditions. We bring to the field an ability to read and understand imaging and to fully comprehend what the surgeon is doing and hoping to accomplish during a procedure.  Not to mention, we are very comfortable speaking with other medical professionals and we can communicate clearly and professionally with the surgical team.

IONM Offers an Exciting Career Ladder

There is also a great career ladder to climb for surgical neurophysiologists. Filipkowski moved into a clinical manager role and then into operations, currently serving as Director of Operations for the SpecialtyCare’s Northeastern region, something he describes as a “welcomed challenge.”

“The flexibility and variety of work is what I love most.  The role allows me to stay focused on clinical patient care while extending my circle of influence. I have the opportunity to work with surgeons, hospitalists, and our own executive management; as well as continuing to work directly with our SN’s.  The role is broad-reaching and continually challenges me to learn and improve.”

And Parsons loves the new daily challenges she’s experiencing in her new role.

“I am still learning and expanding on my experience and knowledge base,” she said. “Just when I think I’m comfortable, a new case or a new procedure, or a new patient presentation comes along to shake me up and keep me on my toes. I find that very exciting.”

SpecialtyCare is Hiring

Ready to reignite YOUR passion with a career change? We’re ready to talk to you! Become a surgical neurophysiologist with SpecialtyCare and take advantage of some incredible benefits, including generous paid time off, 401(k) with matching funds, tuition reimbursement, professional development and membership allowances, certification test preparation, and support.

We are the industry leader in IONM services across the country, taking part in over 110,000 cases each year. We provide to over 450 hospitals nationwide and support more than 1,700 surgeons. If you would like to become a surgical neurophysiologist, our training program is top-notch – formally recognized by ABRET and recently awarded the Malcolm Knowles Award.