People often ask me how or why I chose to become a chiropractor. It’s not the first thing that kids shout out when you ask them what they want to be when they grow up. I kind of always wanted to be what I am today, I just didn’t know the name for it when I was younger. I’ve always like helping people and have loved sports since I can remember. I knew I wanted to find a marriage of the two and thought that being a medical doctor was my best avenue.
I began as a pre-med student in college and loved the biology and science classes. Learning about the body was fascinating. On a break, I shadowed a family doctor that I had known for a long time. After a couple of hours he asked me if I was sure this was what I wanted to do. I said yes and he told me that I didn’t ask him a question that I needed to ask. He told me to ask him if he would do it all over again. When I asked he decidedly answered in the negative. He mentioned a few things about the job that I would have never thought about, but one thing that stood out was that he said he felt like a pill dispenser. He got to help people get better, but not in a hands-on way that I really wanted.
I left disappointed and a little worried. I thought I had this all planned and life was going to be straight forward. But I knew he was right and that I needed to find something else. The easiest thing would be to just shift my goal from medicine to a similar field, I set my sights on dentistry. I didn’t like dentistry and I never thought it was interesting. But the hours and the money seemed nice and pursuing that career wouldn’t require any change in my current academic path.
I took my dental plans right up to my first scheduled interview with a prospective dental school. About the time I scheduled the interview I observed work on a heavy smoker. I’ve cleaned rotten meat out of a broken freezer in the summer and it didn’t compare to the smell of whatever gum disease this poor lady had. I left the office, took a look at my meat-hook hands and realized that I had made a huge mistake.
As fate’s perfect timing would have it, this was when I met my first chiropractor. My lovely wife’s family was in town to visit and brought along a family friend, Terry, who happened to be a chiropractor. DeA had been suffering from low back pain that I couldn’t get to go away with my athletic training techniques that I had picked up from school. Terry checked her, adjusted her and gave her exercises. The pain that wasn’t going away with stretching, massage, ice, heat, exercising, voodoo or prayer was gone. That was when I realized that what I had always wanted in my career was found in chiropractic.
Thanks to my pre-med background and Biology degree it was easy to shift gears (well, easy except the part about explaining to my dad why I was giving up on dentistry and moving to Iowa to do something that he wasn’t sure about). After researching schools I decided to attend Palmer College of Chiropractic and after a few stops I was able to move my family back to the Lake Chelan Valley.
To this day I get a thrill and excitement out of helping people move and feel better. It literally makes my day to see someone walk without pain, sit without cringing or pick up their child without wincing. I cannot think of a more rewarding career that would fit me as well as this one. In a way I feel like I didn’t chose chiropractic, but more discovered it for myself. I try to share that same sense of discovery with my patients who, just like I used to be, aren’t sure what chiropractic is or how it can help them.
-Dr. Aaron England