…as a teacher
I started teaching over 25 years ago as a neuroanatomy demonstrator at McGill University, while doing my bachelor’s degree. With the somewhat intimidating task of being in front of pre-med students (many of whom were older than me!), I was not only challenged to learn about the brain at a deeper level but to be able to effectively communicate the complexity of neurology in a way that made it seem simple. To my great satisfaction, my students would often ask, “Why doesn’t everyone just teach it this way?”
After moving on to chiropractic school, I became well known on campus for holding large tutorial classes in Biochemistry. What I’m told attracted students to my classes was my commitment to making apparently impractical material interesting and directly applicable to patient care.
Based on the reputation I had established tutoring, I was recruited by a chiropractic board review company before I even graduated. My job was to help condense 15 to 30 hour courses taught in chiropractic school into an engaging few hours of lecture. My subjects included biochemistry, anatomy, physiology, pathology, radiology, physical examination, differential diagnosis, neurology, orthopedics, chiropractic history, chiropractic philosophy, and chiropractic techniques. This experience taught me the art of summarizing large quantities of information. Happily travelling across the US, I am proud to have assisted over 2000 students from 11 colleges to successfully obtain their licenses.
To this day, I continue to pursue my passion for teaching. As Adjunct Professor of Anatomy for McGill University’s Faculty of Medicine, I teach anatomy to first-year medical students, fourth-year pre-surgical students and orthopedic surgery residents.
I also regularly give keynote speeches and full-day lectures to large chiropractic audiences on a variety of topics including brain development, the neurology of reduced joint movement, the neurology of the adjustment, the neurological exam, neurology-based adjustment techniques, and concussion management.
…as a clinician
Like you, I love being in my clinic, seeing patients.
I believe that the relationships we build with our patients is what makes our job so rewarding. Whether a patient comes to us with skepticism, fear, lost hope, or simply to continue enjoying previously experienced benefits, we embark on a unique journey together, aimed at reducing their suffering and improving their health.
While I truly appreciate every one of my patients, I must admit that I get particularly excited when a patient experiences a dramatic transformation – what some call a “chiropractic miracle”.
My earliest experience with this phenomenon came with my very first patient when I was an intern. I remember Mark as a jovial man with chief complaints of back and knee pains. I examined him (using the student clinic’s 18-page form), and did my best to adjust him while trying not to appear too nervous. On his next visit, he greeted me with, “I don’t know what you did to me last time…” (oh boy…). He continued, “… but since you adjusted me, I can smell. I haven’t been able to smell in over 20 years!”
I learned 2 valuable lessons from Mark.
First, the stories I had heard through school were true, remarkable things CAN happen with chiropractic. Probably more than any other profession, chiropractic is renowned for producing life-changing results. All this with just the use of our hands.
The second lesson actually came on Mark’s third visit. He told me that after he had excitedly explained to his physician what happened, his doctor immediately told him that this was impossible, that there was absolutely no connection between the spine and the nose. I knew then that if chiropractic is to take credit for our claims beyond “placebo” and “spontaneous remissions,” I better learn how to explain to ANYONE the exact mechanism of how adjustments work.
Indeed, from the very first chiropractic adjustment to the hundreds of millions that have been delivered since, neurology has always been at the heart of explaining our benefits. Just as our forefathers employed the neuroscience of the day, as science evolves, so must we.
Modern neurology not only offers us a plausible rationale for the far-reaching effects of our adjustments, it provides an opportunity to better examine and treat our patients. This in turn leads to the most important factor that contributes to a successful practice and confidence in what we do: consistent, exceptional results.