So where do I come from and why do I find myself writing this book? I didn’t start my life with the intent to become a spine expert. My life circumstances have led me serendipitously into this field. I started out 30 years ago not knowing what to do in life. My cousin became a chiropractor and I thought it would be interesting, so, after college. I applied to the Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. I was promptly rejected which started my competitive juices flowing. Being somewhat stubborn, I decided to help them change their minds. After some convincing, they agreed to let me in. Four uneventful years later, I had my degree in hand and attempted the art of healing.
Well, I helped some patients but didn’t help others. The reasons why I was successful at treating patients were murky as my understanding of the spine was incomplete. I decided to take a residency in Chiropractic Orthopaedics. This was actually about 3 years of weekend education while I was still practicing standard chiropractic. My knowledge base grew but I was still unsatisfied with some of my results and the holes in my understanding.
I made the decision to go to medical school. I thought that after four more years of education, I thought I would have a mastery of spine and the human body. Convincing a medical school that a chiropractor should be educated in the allopathic (traditional) model was a much greater challenge than getting into chiropractic school. After some interesting travels and experiences, Wayne State University in Michigan accepted me (bless their hearts).
As you can see, at the time, forethought of planning was not my strength. I failed to take into consideration that after medical school, there is still a five year orthopaedic residency and then a one year spinal disorders fellowship to consider. Ten years after starting with medical school, I was finally finished (or so I thought).
It took me 3 more years after being on staff at the University of Colorado lecturing and teaching residents and fellows to put my experience into perspective and to understand how the two disparate fields I learned were complimentary and synergistic. Finally, the experience at the Steadman Clinic has been very fulfilling to allow me to mature to this point. I continue to think I have finally “put it all together” but I still learn many new pearls every day.