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A Career Change to the Chiropractic Profession

06 Apr 2017

Benjamin Loh (better known as Ben) was ready for a change in career after over ten years of lecturing in Media / Communications. He chose to study chiropractic as he was always interested in studying something related to healthcare. His interest in this healthcare profession started when he visited a chiropractor for treatment for a sports injury. Following this decision, Ben enrolled himself into IMU’s chiropractic programme in 2011 and completed his exams in December 2014. He recalls fondly of his time at IMU.

“Joining IMU was a learning experience in itself, academic as well as socially, relating to people younger than I am. To break out of my comfort zone, I joined senior-junior Orientation Week and met people from Dentistry and Medical programmes as welll. I managed to make a lot of friends and still keep in touch with a few of my classmates until now.

Spine I was also inspired to see some of them (as well as my classmates) participate in sports and stay fit. I did try waking up early in the morning to go for a walk around the Bukit Jalil park or Vista area, but gave up after a few attempts. One thing that caught my attention was watching a few dance performances during my years at IMU. I guess this bug caught my interest and in fact, I also participated in a group dance performance in one of the Chiropractic Senior-Junior nights. This is something I have never done in my life! Under the IMU Chiropractic programme, we had to complete a few hundred clinic hours under supervision (forgot the exact number of hours). This helped me have a feel of what working in a clinic would be like. I also treasure the evidence-based approach at IMU as it has helped me evaluate what treatment options are safe, critically examine the evidence for health supplements, etc.” Ben currently has two clinics – one in Seapark, and the other in Kayu Ara / Damansara Jaya. Currently, he is the only chiropractor at the clinic. “For the moment, I have quite a lot to handle, so I don’t have any ambitious plans such as setting up a chain of clinics!”

“A typical day at work for me would involve treating patients and discussing with my Front Desk staff on any upcoming activities. My initial difficulty when starting the clinic was that I thought more like a practitioner than as a business owner. For instance, I assumed that all I needed was to deliver effective treatment and patients would come in. The truth is that without marketing, it is very difficult to survive, especially since many chiropractors are in the Klang Valley area. Another point is that you need to provide training to your Front Desk staff, just telling people what to do is insufficient.”

A source of inspiration and motivation for Ben is a distant relative, Prof Lee, who studied veterinary science in Taiwan many years ago, but could not find a job in Malaysia as the degree was not recognised. So, he went on a roundabout journey that led to further studies in Ethiopia and finally secured a scholarship to Australia. Prof Lee had a long on/off battle with lung cancer in the last ten years, and finally succumbed to it last year.

For those considering chiropractic as a career, Ben’s advice to them is “You must have the interest in helping people recover from back pain and / or sports injury. Do take the time to visit clinics as early as during Year 2 of your programme so that you can get an idea of what working in a chiropractic centre feels like.”


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