Graduated: September 2011
Current City: Dallas, Texas
Prior Schooling: Texas Tech University (Bachelor of General Studies, Master of Arts in Mass Communications)
1. Tell us about what you have been up to since graduation? What are you doing now? While I absolutely loved living in Portland, my Texas roots pulled me back home where I started a small practice in Austin. It was a surreal and humbling experience beginning from scratch straight out of school. Let’s just say that there were a lot of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches eaten in that first year and a half.
As my practice chugged along, another exciting opportunity arose and I was once again pulled elsewhere. This time to Dallas, where I now work for Airrosti Rehab Centers, a patient-centered, evidence-based group of providers, which is all-around awesome.
2. When you look back at your experience at UWS, what sticks out the most? How did your time at UWS prepare you for your career/life? I would have to say that the grit and determination it took to get through the program is by far the thing I remember most. It is impossible to know the life of a UWS student — going through that many classes, taking that many tests, all while preparing for National Board Exams, trying to find time to sleep and having something that resembles a social life. Whenever I get busy and stressed, I remind myself of those days off of NE 132nd Street and know that I am capable of overcoming almost anything.
3. Are you still close to any of your classmates and do you try to get together? I definitely stay in touch with some of the friends I made while in school. Living thousands of miles away from most makes it difficult, but just like a brother or sister, we pick up right where we left off when we get the chance. Texting and Facebook are quite useful in that respect. A few classmates and UWS alumni from previous years actually work for Airrosti so I talk with them fairly regularly.
4. What made you choose UWS over other schools? I always tell people that I knew I wanted to live in Portland before I knew I wanted to be a chiropractor. I fell in love with the city while doing my thesis in graduate school at Texas Tech and then became interested in chiropractic. I wish I could say that I spent a lot of hours comparing schools, but that’s just not how it happened. It so happened that I lucked out and ended up at the Harvard of chiropractic schools (not sure it’s called that but I always felt it should be).
5. What made you decide on this education/career path? I was 30 years old when I finally realized what I wanted to be when I grew up. My desire to help people with musculoskeletal pain had always been there, but my knowledge of the health care industry was limited. I tried to not waste time while I figured things out, so I spent three years in the army and a couple in graduate school. And then one day, my sister had this huge smile on her face telling me how great she felt because she had seen her chiropractor. It only took about a month of research into the field and a trip to Portland to convince me. My application to UWS soon followed. It was one of the best decisions of my life.
6. Which instructor was your favorite? I am going to have to go with two, one for each phase of the program (i.e., basic sciences and clinical sciences). Dr. Bill Borman’s no-nonsense approach and general attitude commanded respect. There was no doubt who the smartest guy in the room was when he had the floor. He is too modest to ever imagine the lasting impact he makes on his students, which is another reason he is so memorable.
As an intern, I was heavily influenced by Stu McGill, Craig Liebenson, Pavel Kolar, and Vladimir Janda. Their works guide responsible practice and were introduced to me in a clinical setting by my mentor, Dr. J. Michael Burke. Every day we got to see how manual therapy and active care rehabilitation helped our patients quickly achieve their goals, usually in only a few visits. He helped mold me into the doctor I am today, and for that, I will always be grateful.