Women Chiropractors Group Helps Empower the Profession

Members of Palmer and the WDC stand next to their sign at Homecoming 2018.When Cyndy Shaft-Toll, D.C., graduated from Palmer College in 1981, she realized she wanted to see more female doctors in the chiropractic profession.

“It’s hard to succeed when you don’t have a mentor or colleague who understands the challenges of being a woman in the chiropractic profession,” Dr. Shaft-Toll said. “I knew plenty of women chiropractors who weren’t succeeding in the way they wanted to. I thought I had to do something now.”

That something was creating an online community offering education and support that empowers all women chiropractors in technique, human resources, philosophy and life skills.

The group came to fruition after she was given the opportunity to develop and provide continuing education courses for the Michigan Association of Chiropractors spring convention. Dr. Shaft-Toll was contacted by more than half of the women who attended the C.E. courses about providing more opportunities and ways they could get in touch with other women chiropractors.

“I asked, if women aren’t as successful as their male colleagues and women are projected to be half of the chiropractic population over the next 10 years, how will the profession be able to provide enough chiropractic care?” said Dr. Shaft-Toll. “Who will give back to colleges, who’ll run research facilities and where will the future of chiropractic be?”

With help from her cousin and colleague Nancy Cooper, D.C. (Main, ’87), the Women Chiropractors Facebook group was born.

The Facebook group, with more than 8,000 members from 58 different countries, provides a safe outlet for women chiropractors and students to connect and grow in the profession. Members share their successes (both in life and business) and encourage growth through struggles and opportunities.

Each year the group hosts numerous regional pop-up events through the United States, continuing education courses, a special evening at Palmer College’s Homecoming and a yearly convention. The group also provides a yearly scholarship to a practicing woman chiropractor and offers resources such as a (Her)story podcast and blog.

“We’re excited about it, not just because of what we do, but what we can do for the world,” said Dr. Shaft-Toll. “Not just for ourselves but for women, the profession, the chiropractic schools and our patients.”

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