Candidates Answer Three Virtual Town Hall Questions
- What do you see are the key opportunities for the OCA during your term on the OCA Board of Directors?
The OCA has a key opportunity in establishing buy-in and engagement from the newest members of our profession by focusing on its relationship with students (prospective, current, and those graduating). By mobilizing resources and mentorship opportunities early in their careers, the journey throughout our education can be wholly centred on learning and application. This can break down the barriers to applying to school, and reduce the anxiety that the cost of school and establishing a profitable practice can play on a student. By empowering our members early on, we can cultivate a culture within the profession that attracts a widespread demographic, garners trust amongst its members here in Ontario and improves their engagement amongst each other, other health care professionals as well as the public. The net effect pushes the profession forward and can help further establish Chiropractic as an option for primary health care within the health care system.
- What do you think is the role of the Board as we continue through and move out of the COVID-19 pandemic?
I think the role of the Board is to continue to promote and educate to the public that Chiropractors are primary health care providers. The role we play in the health and wellness of our communities is paramount. This was especially evident during the pandemic. When we were able to return to practice after being left off of the essential workers list during the first 3 months of the initial lockdown, the need for the work we do was clear once we saw the challenges that our patients faced dealing with the anxiety of a global pandemic, the physical challenges of work from home setups and void that everyone faced being isolated from their community, family and friends. Even through the COVID-19 pandemic, those in the profession continued to be leaders in health and wellness and did so in a safe way.
- What kind of leader do you want to be as a director on the OCA Board of Directors?
I want to be a leader that amplifies the voices and perspectives of those who are underrepresented. Specifically in positions of governance, policy, and decision making. There is a lack of representation of people of colour in these roles. Representation is integral for those who are minorities in the field to feel like they are seen and can be successful in this profession. Given the commitment to our education, our communities, and the profession; it is disappointing as a minority to feel that the people governing our advocacy to the public and within the healthcare system do not represent you or have lived experience in the challenges you face. In the future, I hope to see individuals such as myself who come from similar backgrounds become inspired to bring their value to positions within Chiropractic such as the OCA Board of Directors.
- Why did you become a chiropractor?
For me, getting into chiropractic was an evolution out of personal training. After completing my undergrad at the University of Toronto, I spent two years focusing on personal training and strength & conditioning but reached a point where I asked myself how I could deepen my knowledge and skillset to expand my reach within my community? It was clear to me that I didn’t want to go the medical doctor route. Chiropractic was very much in line with the skillset and values that I had already developed. Pursuing it became a muse for me to pay it forward to others while also giving me freedom in striving towards my own ambitions.
I was very fortunate to have great mentorship early on in my journey—people who really guided me in terms of, not only feeding my own curiosities, but helping me understand the responsibility that comes with the duty of being a chiropractor and really settling into the role as a primary care provider within the community.
In my first semester at CMCC, I reconnected with a friend I knew through sports; he was a martial artist and his wife had just opened her chiropractor clinic alongside his gym. We shared values and aspirations and we also come from the same community. This experience was very pivotal because, while I was at CMCC, I was already working in her clinic as a personal trainer and I was establishing how I would interact with patients. It was a very grounding opportunity to have while in school which ultimately gave me momentum for when I graduated and was able to start my practice alongside those same mentors.
My mentors showed me a way to pursue my career with grace and authenticity so that I can show up and be who I am. That type of mentoring is something that I feel should be more commonplace and accessible to students going through school.
- Where do you practice?
I was very fortunate to start my practice in Brampton where I’m from, at a clinic called the Trinity Collective. It’s a five-minute walk from my high school and seven minutes away from where I grew up and where my parents still live. It’s a real feeling of community in a place that is very meaningful to me.
- Please tell us about your credentials and designations.
- B.Sc. in Physical Health and Education at the University of Toronto in 2011
- Certified personal trainer by the Personal Training Network in 2010 and 2011
- Doctor of Chiropractic from CMCC in 2013
- Completed Functional Range, Lower Limb from Functional Range Systems in 2015
- Completed Athletic Movement Assessment for the Upper Limb, from CMCC in 2015
- Certified in Clinical Acupuncture from CMCC in 2017
- Completed Selective Functional Movement Assessment, Level one, from Functional Movement Systems in 2018
- Do you have teaching experience?
I don’t have any formal teaching experience. However, I’m involved with teaching monthly and weekly clinical rounds at the clinic I work at. Our team has been growing during the last couple of years, despite the pandemic. So when we’re taking on new practitioners, our team culture of sharing and teaching begins at an early stage. I feel that it’s really important to pay it forward and be a resource to new practitioners.
I have also been involved with community seminars at our clinic that centre knowledge around mobility, self-care and nutrition. We act as a hub for the community because it’s not just a chiropractic clinic, it’s also a martial arts school. Therefore, we have a unique take on a multidisciplinary space. By combining these two worlds we’re able to share a robust perspective on the spectrum of health and wellness.
- Do you conduct research related to chiropractic?
No, I do not.
- Do you now or have you served on other Boards?
No, I’ve not served on other Boards. That’s part of the reason why the opportunity to serve on the OCA Board of Directors is very enticing to me. I’m into my fifth year of my career, and I feel one of my areas of growth that I really want to lean into is gaining more professional experience outside of treatment.
- Do you volunteer in your community generally and/or for the profession specifically?
Beyond my clinic and community that I described earlier, my other volunteer experience is within martial arts—I’ve had supportive roles in helping amateur fighters to train and prepare for their fights at the provincial, national and international stage level.