Rebecca-Jane McAllister graduated in 2015 from the University of Windsor with her Bachelor of Human Kinetics Honours Movement Science Cooperative Education with Distinction and a minor is Psychology. She is now a full-time professional student at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC) and works part-time at a multidisciplinary healthcare clinic in downtown Toronto.
As an undergrad at the University of Windsor, she enjoyed the Faculty of Human Kinetics and had an amazing educational experience. She still keeps in touch with many of her undergraduate professors, and describes how her professors really wanted to see her succeed and never made her feel like ‘just a number’ during her education.
Her future goals include graduating from CMCC and becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic (DC). She is a strong believer in lifelong learning and continuing education. She takes advantage of all opportunities and experiences presented to her in order to grow both personally and professionally.
Rebecca has been interested in becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic since the young age of fourteen, when she was diagnosed with scoliosis, a curvature of the spine. After seeing countless different specialists and doctors, it was a chiropractor that took the time to sit down with her and explain exactly what was going on, why she was experiencing the pain she had, and how together they would work to manage it. After that experience, she was inspired to become a chiropractor. She feels like if she could do for someone else what her chiropractor did for her, all of the hard work and education would be worth it.
Rebecca recommends that current undergraduate students participate in activities, and study in fields, that they are passionate about and are interested in. She also highlights the importance of keeping your options open, noting that sometimes unforeseen opportunities may arise that could open doors for other opportunities if taken advantage of. During her undergraduate education, she came across one of these unforeseen opportunities, stating, “I never thought entering into university that I would be qualified enough to be able to conduct research of my own. But in my second year I found myself in one of my professors office hours and he actually ended up recommending a research opportunity for me. I took him up on this research opportunity and the research study I completed was actually just accepted for publication with minor revisions in a peer-reviewed journal a couple of months ago. Now I know that I can also incorporate research into my chiropractic education and see where it takes me.”
When asked if her thoughts on life have changed since she graduated, she says how she’s continually striving for a work/life balance. Having an academic schedule that averages 10+ hours each day, five days per week while also balancing work and extra curricular commitments, she’s constantly striving to for a balance.
While discussing challenges that she has faced on her way to where she would like to be in life, she spoke to how grades don’t always reflect knowledge. “At the end of the day, it’s not the course grade that truly matters, but the knowledge base I’m obtaining in order to be a competent doctor for my future patients.” This is a very important statement for a lot of students. You’re not there to get the grade, you’re there to be able to get the knowledge and apply it.
A final piece of advice Rebecca shares is to surround yourself with people who support and challenge you to be your best self. Not just family and friends, but she also recommends that you find a mentor who shares similar goals so that you are able to learn from them and their experiences.