When the right mentor comes along, everything changes
By Dr. Emily Roback, DCFeatures Profession Leadership
One DC highlights the mentors that helped her practice thrive
If I claim to have paved my own way professionally in two Canadian provinces and one territory, there is a strong likelihood someone else was initially there to offer selected sage advice and get me set up on the right path.
These three people are the magic ingredient for my practice to thrive: one who tells me to keep at it when I am at my lowest; one who gives the right advice at the right time, and one who reminds me to keep searching for a unique formula that works for me.
Dr. Brad Gage
When I first met Dr. Gage, the owner of Broadmead BetterBack Clinic, I thought we immediately clicked. To be honest, he reminded me of my older brother. I would describe Dr. Gage as “a no-nonsense, get-over-it, and prove me ‘wrong Westerner’ through and through” –someone who pulls no punches and does not just ask, but rather expects everyone on the team to be great.
This was a big wake-up call for someone who was new to a different approach on corrective spinal care, and it’s one that I truly appreciate now.
Over time, Dr. Gage demonstrated great compassion and encouragement. He was in my corner when I was fighting for workplace accessibility. With the help of the clinical team and Work B.C. Assistive Technology Services, I was able to improve my business communication system by modifying the physical and sensory job demands in my practice. I learned to use a stool for standing computer stations, a step for a chiropractic table, transcriber for webinars and video calls, laptop notetaker for in-person conferences and assistive listening devices for private and group meetings.
Times when I believed that I had messed up with a patient’s request for new orthotics, Dr. Gage was not one to yell or get angry. Instead, he helped me come up with a plan to fix the problem. Further, he encouraged and supported me as I eventually left his clinic for a new opportunity.
Dr. Martin Barker
Like many other mentors, my “go-to-advisor” is my boss. Dr. Martin Barker and I practice together at Cowichan Chiropractic, with myself as the associate and Dr. Barker as the owner of the clinic.
I did not always have a permanent position while trying to figure out how to start up and run an accessible practice in Alberta, Northwest Territories and British Columbia. I worked as chiropractic service provider for 15 years with different mentors who guided me along the way.
Dr. Barker offered me an opportunity to truly grow as a professional, at a time when it appeared as though I didn’t have much to offer. He invited me to company events and strategy meetings, and he listened thoughtfully to my marketing ideas. Having a profound sensory hearing loss, I was able to effectively operate specialized assistive listening devices and learn a different business model – despite my hearing status taking nose-dives every time I was exposed to noise over 80 decibels for more than 3 hours.
Because of the risk Dr. Barker assumed by taking me on, I was compelled, and highly motivated, to do an exceptional job with each patient, as well as enhance my administrative skills. He continues to motivate me to be successful, empowers me to make smart decisions, and overall, makes me want to be a better person.
Dr. Michael Schultz
You may think a mentor should be fifteen plus years senior to the person whom they advise, however this isn’t always the case.
Dr. Schultz is the founder and owner of Schultz Chiropractic and Wellness Centre, has helped me resolve number of life-altering decisions. We connected because of our shared interest in chiropractic and experiences with hearing loss. At the time of our meeting, I was immersed in the multi-faceted application to attend chiropractic college while he was finishing up his 2nd year at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, Ontario.
With his ‘tough but fair’ approach, he launched a whole range of practice objectives and goals for me to reach for and abide by. My way of doing things ran the risk of bending rules, challenging orders, and breaching the policies presented by our respective professional colleges.
He pushed me when I needed it and constantly reiterated what I could be doing better. In one specific instance some years later, I wanted to relocate my practice yet again because I was afraid that I was going to be stuck and stagnate. I wanted to change the situation immediately, but Dr. Schultz advised me to stay focused and just keep working.
For 15 years, I had carried around a list of what was expected in a practice, how much money I projected for earnings, who my ideal patients were going to be, who I presumed I would work with, and why I had to meet these expectations. When I ripped up my list, in my mind I stopped comparing myself to all my mentors. And, when I stopped comparing my practice to others, I felt a sense of peace and freedom. The right mentor arrived and changed everything.
Dr. Emily Roback is a North Cowichan chiropractor with 10+ years of clinical experience. She works as an associate at Cowichan Chiropractic and producer at Dr. Emily TV. She has grown her accessible practice from zero to almost 6-figures revenue in twelve months of operation using a combination of proven structures, systems and strategies that she now shares with healthcare business owners across North America who are looking to build an accessible and growth-like business. Visit: www.cowichanwellness.ca or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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