Bio: Isaias Zerufael grew up in Portland, Oregon and graduated from David Douglas High School in southeast Portland in 2012. After graduating high school, Zerufael attended Lane Community College in Eugene where he was a student athlete on the baseball team. After two years in Eugene, he had a short stint at Central Washington University prior to settling back down in Portland at Concordia University. At Concordia, Zerufael was also a member of the baseball team before graduating in 2017. Post-graduation, he was interested in a few different career pathways and decided to pursue graduate school to help narrow down his interests. He was then accepted into a graduate research assistantship at Boise State University. During his time in Boise, he worked under Dr. Eric Martin and assisted in a variety of responsibilities ranging from research projects to teaching lecture courses. He graduated with a masters in kinesiology in May 2019. While finishing up his degree, he completed an exit internship with a local chiropractic physician and UWS alumnus, Dr. Nate Spangler. Zerufael’s time spent with Dr. Spangler at his clinic was transformational. It was during this experience that he became passionate about helping people and knew he wanted to become a chiropractic physician.
Why did you choose UWS?
I chose UWS based on three characteristics that were very important to me. First, UWS is widely recognized as the most evidence-based chiropractic university in the nation. I wanted to select a university and feel comfortable knowing that I was receiving a sound education and UWS delivers that. Every concept and technique taught is supported with the most current literature and expert opinion. Secondly, I wanted to be close to home. All of my family and closest friends still reside in Portland. After a few years of being away from them I wanted to be nearby as I finished out my education. Lastly, the alumni I have met are remarkable. Each and every chiropractic physician I have met that attended UWS has spoken very highly of it. It was proof to me that their education and practicum experience was sufficient at producing successful, holistic chiropractic physicians.
Why did you choose your program/concentration?
I have always known that I wanted to help people. I had looked into strength and conditioning, physical therapy and even into athletic training early on. Each scope had aspects that I wanted in my career, but not one encompassed everything I wanted to be able to provide. I wanted to be a portal of entry provider, be able to provide manual, hands-on therapy, and be able to center my care around exercise rehabilitation. Once I did some research into the DC program here at UWS, I realized that it encompassed everything that I wanted to do. The decision was easy. I felt the DC program along with the sports medicine master’s would give me the best opportunity to adequately treat a variety of patients.
What has been your favorite class/instructor?
I have really enjoyed the variety of adjustment and soft tissue/rehab courses I’ve taken. There are many knowledgeable instructors here at UWS, but I have especially enjoyed courses with Dr. Lester Partna. The level of interest he takes in his students and their success is invaluable. He is always willing to help and always willing to take time out of his day to make sure you are understanding everything. I have thoroughly enjoyed each class I have had with him.
What is your favorite way to relieve stress outside of the office and classroom?
I firmly believe stress management is vital to your success in the DC program. I try every week to have one day to myself where I don’t open any textbooks or study at all. A complete day of mental recuperation. For days like these, I love to spend time outside. During the winter, my favorite activity is to ski. Living in Portland, you are only about an hour and a half from Mt. Hood that offers a ton of fun ski and snowboard terrain. In the spring and summer, I enjoy camping. I try to get out as much as I can whether that be camping in some of my favorite spots or adventuring out in seek of new ones. Lastly, with all the time we spend studying and practicing our skills we sacrifice a lot time that could be spent with our friends and family. I think it is important to find time to visit friends and family. It can be a great stress reliever and I always leave feeling refreshed and recharged.
What do you hope to do after graduation?
Once I graduate, my goal is to work as an associate in a multidisciplinary clinic. I would love to work in a clinic that sees a high volume of athletes and focuses on injury rehabilitation and exercise therapy. Eventually, my grand goal is to open my own practice that focuses on these same values of care.