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Air Force Veteran shares his reasons for choosing National University of Health Sciences

by Apr 5, 2024

Home » News » Air Force Veteran shares his reasons for choosing National University of Health Sciences

When Alan Norman, DC, ‘21, was looking for chiropractic universities, a close-knit community was high on his list. 

“In the military, I always appreciated the sense of comradery I had working with other people,” he said. “The NUHS Florida-site definitely had that. Everybody knows everybody.” 

Dr. Norman was enlisted in the Air Force from 1998-2005, not certain of his future career path. While it ended up being a great experience for him, he later moved on to a desk job doing troubleshooting for Apple. However, it still didn’t feel like the right fit for him. 

“I missed interacting with people and working with my hands,” said Dr. Norman. “Something was definitely missing.” 

Before deciding on chiropractic medicine, he looked into lots of different health care fields, including the medical careers of both his parents. His father is an anesthesiologist and his mother is a doctor of Chinese medicine. However, neither career felt right for him. He recalled his past experiences with chiropractic medicine and how he was treated by a chiropractic physician as a teen and again after a car accident in 2003. He also had a chiropractor treat the chronic pain that resulted from his time in the Air Force. 

He realized that chiropractic medicine would be a very hands-on field. In fact, the word chiropractic is literally Greek for “done by hand.” 

“It was the perfect career that would not only allow me to use my hands, but interact with people, too,” he said. 

Because National University is a Yellow Ribbon School, or part of a program that is designed to help veteran and active military students avoid up to 100% of their out-of-pocket tuition costs, it was the perfect fit. Dr. Norman said the application process was easy. In addition to applying to NUHS, he also applied for benefits through Veterans Affairs. 

“The staff at NUHS were very helpful in getting me through the entire process,” he said.  

According to Dr. Norman, one of the most difficult things to do is to take the leap. 

“It was a big commitment financially, losing years of income to go back to school, but I also knew it was going to change my whole life, he said.  

The small class sizes, along with the one-on-one attention he was able to get with professors helped ensure his success, he said. Another plus was the preceptorship partnerships National University has with several Veteran hospitals across the country. 

Currently, NUHS offers 4-12 week rotations at Veterans Affairs (VA) sites in Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, North Dakota, Indiana and Florida, as well as Scott Air Force Base in Illinois. 

Although Dr. Norman ended up doing a preceptorship at the Florida Orthopedic Institute, he appreciated NUHS’s support for veterans. 

Since graduating in 2021, he has purchased an existing practice from an NUHS alum in 2023, which he now operates in Florida.  

“I never imagined I would own a practice this quickly,” he said. “I have the opportunity to see patients get better and build long lasting relationships. I am the happiest I’ve ever been.” 

If you are a veteran or active military and interested in applying to National University of Health Sciences, please read the Veteran’s Handbook for detailed information on eligibility and how to apply. 


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