My Motto or Mantra
I was at a seminar a few years back and one of the speakers, who was a psychotherapist, said a phrase that resonated with me: “Nothing grows inside a comfort zone.” I feel like these are good words to live by because it encourages me to do things that I wouldn’t otherwise do.
This is also applicable to getting involved in things that help us grow professionally and personally. I have encouraged recent grads to get involved in the profession by running for the OCA Board of Directors. Sometimes they are hesitant due to their own perception that they lack the required skills and experience. I think it’s important to remember that everyone has to start somewhere and that when we step outside our comfort zone, we will often realize that we are capable of a lot more than we think.
OCA Initiatives and Achievements
I have enjoyed being a part of OCA’s finance and audit committee, as well as the governance committee. Being on these committees has given me insight into the breadth of the work that the OCA does.
I was also invited to speak on OCA’s ON Spinal Chat podcast on Supporting Mental Health Needs. As I’m a certified mental health first aid instructor I thought this was a great opportunity to spread awareness about the importance of mental health literacy within our profession and the ways in which chiropractors (or any health care professional) can support a patient or team member in need.
Community and Volunteer Work
I continue to help raise awareness of common mental health issues and importance of mental health literacy by training many CMCC staff and students in mental health first aid. We are looking forward to the return of this in-person training in January 2023.
Since 2015, I’ve also volunteered with the Friends for Life Bike Rally, a ride which raises funds for the Toronto People with AIDS Foundation. We take a group of CMCC interns to support riders and crew as they ride from Toronto to Montreal. Due to COVID-19, we have not sent a crew of interns since 2019, but in August 2022 I did the one-day ride from Toronto to Port Hope with three of my former interns. It meant a lot to me to ride with them and raise funds for one of our community partners.
Taking part in this rally has made me more mindful of the stigma that still exists for certain patient populations. It’s also made me mindful of the power that we, as chiropractors have to provide treatment and comfort, as well as the connection that this creates with our patients. To see interns recognize this early on in their training is very powerful. It’s also a great opportunity for them to get involved so they can learn early on about the value of partnering with local community organizations.
In addition, I am currently assisting Dr. Cameron Borody, a CMCC colleague with whom I work at Sherbourne Health, with a research project that looks at Canadian sport and exercise medicine physicians’ attitudes toward chiropractic. We received funding for this work from the Canadian Chiropractic Research Foundation (CCRF) in the fall of 2022, and I’m excited to see it through.
I also serve as the vice chair of faculty council and am the vice president of our faculty union at CMCC. In fact, in the fall of 2022, I went to Boston where I completed a four-day course in leadership and negotiation.