Bio: Emily Kahler grew up in a small town in Southern Maine where she graduated from Marshwood High School in 2015. After graduating high school, Emily moved to Newport, Rhode Island to pursue a Bachelor of Science in biology, with minors in chemistry and neuroscience, from Salve Regina University. During the next four years, she spent most of her time playing collegiate field hockey and working for a non-profit supporting scientific and medical research programs that increase knowledge relating to both cancer care and prevention, The Hope Funds for Cancer Research. She graduated as part of Salve’s national honor society, Sigma Phi Sigma, and summa cum laude in 2019. It wasn’t until her senior year of college when she decided to pursue a chiropractic degree. The first three years of undergrad Emily worked in both a genetics lab, under Dr. Bluma Lesch at Yale University, and a cellular biology lab, under Dr. Steven Symington at Salve Regina University, with the intention to earn a PhD in one of the two topics. Although they provided great experience and opportunity, she found herself wanting a more hands-on approach to health care.
Why did you choose UWS?
There are a few reasons why I chose UWS over the other chiropractic schools. First, I did a bit of research and found that UWS had amongst the highest board scores. As an American, we must take the four-part national board exams prior to getting our degree. Passing them on the first try was my goal and I felt like UWS would aid me best in that. Second, UWS prides themselves on being evidence-based rather than philosophy based. Prior to starting school, I wasn’t super clear on what that meant, but after being here for some time I understand that the majority of what we learn is backed by science. Explaining to my patients that the treatments we provide is researched with evidence supporting its efficacy provides some piece of mind. Finally, I fell in love with Oregon. Moving from one coast to the other was difficult, but I felt at peace knowing that I was moving to a place that had a resemblance of home.
Why did you choose your program/concentration?
I have always wanted to have an impact on patient health, but I wasn’t sure how I wanted to go about that path. After shadowing a few chiropractors, I realized how much of an impact they were having on their patients. For some, the pain was relieved almost immediately. The patients I talked with expressed how chiropractic had completely altered their life for the better. For some it was their last resort, but because of that choice, their life and their health were forever changed. I wanted to make that same impact on my future patients.
What has been your favorite class/instructor?
It’s hard to pick just one class or one instructor because there are so many that made such an impact on me and my education. However, I would have to say Dr. Borman and the anatomy lab had the biggest influence. Anatomy lab at 7:30 a.m. wasn’t exactly how I wanted to start my mornings, but my time in the lab was so incredibly crucial. The hands-on experience the lab provided is something that shaped me to be the student that I am and the future doctor that I will be. I had no understanding of the human body, nor did I comprehend how truly intricate it really is. Dr. Borman did an impeccable job everyday by showing up with his enthusiasm and joy for teaching. Although this wasn’t his first rodeo, you could see the gratification he had when the students witnessed something for the first time. He created the ideal learning environment for students who need to be musculoskeletal experts.
What is your favorite way to relieve stress outside of the office and classroom?
Once school started, it took me a few months to figure out how to balance my personal life with classes. It really is tough to find the balance. The two things that I found work best for me are, 1) movement of my body and 2) one day of zero schoolwork. Working out, my favorites lately are spin class and workouts with Sydney Cummings on YouTube, are a huge source of my stress-relieving activities. It’s important to find some time daily to calm your mind and focus on anything that isn’t school related. I also decided early on that Saturday’s were my “no school” days. I did absolutely anything I wanted on Saturdays apart from class work. This was a huge turning point for me and my studies because just taking that one day gave me the mental wellness I need to tackle the following week.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
After graduation I plan on moving back to the east coast, more specifically to Somerville, Massachusetts. I will work as an associate for a few years until I feel comfortable enough to own my own practice. I want to have an impact on the chiropractic community by encouraging and teaching others about chiropractic physicians. The stigma that all chiropractors only provide adjustments needs to be addressed because we can do a lot more than that. Every patient deserves individualized care and I want to provide that.