Chiropractic Alumnus Profile – Marc Sanders

Marc Sanders graduated from AECC University College in 2017. He studied a BSc in Human Sciences and an MSc in Chiropractic.

During his time at AECC University College, Marc won two prizes for academic excellence: the Hugh Gemmell Memorial Scholarship and the Arthur Scofield Memorial Award.

He tells us more about his career so far, embarking upon his PhD, and what made him proud to study at AECC University College:

Starting out

“I originally completed a degree in Biochemistry – I was interested in both Biology and Chemistry at the time.

“I wanted something that was a bit more rewarding day-to-day in terms of job satisfaction. As a chiropractor, you’re helping people and you get to see the direct benefits of their treatment quickly. 

“My dad was a chiropractor and watching him with patients is really what inspired me to train to be one too.

“I’ve worked for a couple of clinics and also spent some time working for myself. I worked as a Lecturer in Clinical Sciences at AECC University College last year and I currently work at a clinic in Camberley, Surrey.”

Integrating Chiropractic into the NHS  

“I recently started my PhD, something I’d always been planning to do. I decided to work part-time clinically and work on the PhD part-time.

“There are three parts to my PhD. The first part is looking at how chiropractors are integrated into healthcare systems worldwide. I’m also looking at those services and learning about any successes or problems that they have experienced. My aim in doing so is to inform the UK-based integration of chiropractic into the NHS.

“The other two parts of the PhD are UK-focused. I’m looking at how a current model within the NHS in Essex is running – a service evaluation – and what patients think of it. I’m interested in how patients use that particular service.

“This is basically a mixed service between NHS and private funding, and I’m interested in its impact on the patients and the local musculoskeletal (MSK) pathway. Again, it’ll help to inform future integration within the NHS and what that model might look like.

“I believe as chiropractors we have the competency and skills to potentially hold various roles within the NHS. I think as chiropractors, we need to know more about how the NHS works and the systems and processes they follow. We’ve got the skills to help MSK patients and it could be another career pathway for chiropractic graduates.

“We’ve got similar skills to osteopaths and physiotherapists: I believe we’d be a real addition to the workforce, helping to address the burden of these MSK problems in the UK.

“I’m aiming to complete my PhD over the next three to four years. It should technically take six to seven years part-time, but I’ve set myself the challenge.”

Impact of COVID-19

“During the first lockdown, chiropractors weren’t advised to see patients in person, and everyone found those first few months especially difficult. During this time, I set up a few research studies to keep myself busy, focusing on remote consultations between chiropractors and their patients. Remote consultation is an additional tool in our profession’s toolbox that we can use to care for our patients.”

Proud to be AECC

“I really enjoyed my time at AECC University College. It’s a close-knit community and you get to know your tutors and lecturers really well – especially over five years. It’s a really nice learning environment. I made good friends there as well, who I’m still in touch with.

“The clinical experience that I got during my time at AECC UC was brilliant. Studying as a placement student meant we all felt well-prepared upon graduating. Most of us on the course wanted to see as many patients as possible and to learn as much as possible out of the experience. Many of my year went way beyond the numbers of patients that we were expected to see, just because we were so keen!

“We also worked at the satellite chiropractic clinic, Sports BU, at Bournemouth University, which was run by placement students, under the supervision of a qualified Chiropractor. We had a really nice team of us who used to go every Tuesday to treat the sports teams and BU staff. It was great fun and again we gained good experience for life after graduation by running aspects of the clinic such as organising paperwork, marketing events, and scheduling appointments, as well as the treatment process itself.”

You can find out more about our Chiropractic courses at AECC University College here.

Marc Sanders

Above: Marc Sanders