Dr. Raquel Marques
Dr. Raquel Marques

Candidates Answer Three Virtual Town Hall Questions

  1. What do you see are the key opportunities for the OCA during your term on the OCA Board of Directors?

The opportunities are to position us as the nMSK experts across our healthcare system and be the patient’s first choice. We have reliable reproducible results that are pertinent to Ontarians’ health. The OCA’s mission of advancing the understanding and use of chiropractic aids us through two priorities. Firstly, lobbying our government for stronger policies and scope expansion. The OCA Red Tape Relief Campaign was kicked off during my first director term. I strongly support continued lobbying of the provincial government to allow chiropractors to access appropriate lab tests and advanced imaging within the profession’s scope of practice as outlined by the Chiropractic Act.  Ontarians deserve faster, patient-centered care. Access to these essential tools supports the development of differential diagnoses for patients, improving timely and accurate treatment. Secondly, improving coverage by third-party insurers for chiropractic care. Allowing us to best serve our patients in gaining access to optimal care.

  1. What do you think is the role of the Board as we continue through and move out of the COVID-19 pandemic?

The role we play should be to provide our members with dynamic and reliable resources to support them and their practices, because of the essential care Ontarians rely on from chiropractors. I’m proud of my work on the OCA’s Return to Practice Working Group in developing these evolving resources. This pandemic has highlighted the essential nature of the care we provide. Ontarians cannot afford for our offices to be closed down again. Ontario chiropractors provide high-quality patient care to the public. We should leverage the great work done by our profession to highlight not only our clinical expertise in nMSK care but how we are an integral part of our patients’ health care team. Chiropractors’ collective work should be leveraged in the OCA’s advocacy, advertising, education and research opportunities. Multiple media streams for promoting chiropractic to improve and build upon our public perception, through advertising and social media engagement. 

  1. What kind of leader do you want to be as a director on the OCA Board of Directors?

I aim to be the kind of leader that meets challenges with responses that reflect solutions and moves the ball forward. I want to achieve implementing chiropractic as a key component in our healthcare system and allowing improved access for Ontarians. I bring experience of practicing internationally as global insight into chiropractic promotion in Ontario. I believe we will propel our profession forward by tailoring OCA services to our members. Just as geographic needs vary, so does our diversity in age and demographics. A practitioner in their first 5 years of practice currently has different challenges to those who graduated 20 years ago, from student loan financial differences to practice styles. We also have needs that change throughout our years in practice, from family planning to retirement. We can learn a great deal from each other specific to stages of practice and the specific needs that can be better supported.

Biographical Profile

  1. Why did you become a chiropractor?

I always had an interest in health care. When I was 16 years old, as part of a high school project, I shadowed multiple health care practitioners and was blown away by my day at the chiropractor’s office. I found that there was a great difference in a medical general practice day versus my day spent at a chiropractor’s office. The chiropractor’s ability to help, make a functional impact and show results, often immediately, for patients was incredible. I wanted to be able to help people in the same way. I’ve been on the chiropractic path ever since. I contacted chiropractic schools and chose my undergraduate degree based on my interest in becoming a chiropractor.

  1. Where do you practice?

I began my chiropractic career in the United States in 2008 as a sole practitioner in a pain management-style clinic. Following that, an opportunity arose in Singapore in 2009, where I worked in a family-style practice with another chiropractor and I was also the chiropractor for the Canadian Dragon Boat Team.

When I returned to Canada in 2011, I began working at AIM Health Group’s Centres for Pain Management in Scarborough and Toronto. Though I’m currently on maternity leave, I forged strong collaborative treatment plans in a multidisciplinary setting with medical doctors for optimal patient care. I have enjoyed the challenge in working with patients experiencing chronic pain by focusing on functional rehabilitation specific to their individual needs. Also, by educating other health care professionals we can allow other providers’ patients to experience the value of chiropractic.

Practising in three different countries (the United States of America, Singapore and Canada) has allowed me to experience the challenges of starting over in practice three times in three different environments. In my first practice, I was a sole practitioner; in my second practice, I worked with another chiropractor. And most recently, I worked in a multidisciplinary team with medical doctors managing their patients’ chronic pain needs.

As a result, I understand the challenges that many of our colleagues face in their first few years of practice. My experience in starting a family also gave me insight into the need to modernize views to reflect current realities facing our profession. Those issues surrounding whether or how to take a parental leave, and balancing family with practice whether as a clinic owner or associate. I really love being a voice for those colleagues to allow for increased support by the OCA to best meet their needs.

  1. Please tell us about your credentials and designations.
  • B.Sc. (Honours) in Kinesiology from the University of Waterloo in 2004. Because it is a cooperative degree program, I had the great fortune of spending over two years in different practices, experiencing different styles of practice, as part of the pre-health professions option. This prepared me well for chiropractic school.
  • Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) from Parker University in 2008
  • AMA Guidelines to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment from the American Board of Forensic Professionals in 2012
  • Functional Capacity Evaluator (FCE) via Metrics (2014) certificate in comprehensive examination and evaluation of Disability and Impairment in both healthy and injured clients. Critical evaluation of these test results as they relate to musculoskeletal injury and safety risk factors to encourage a comprehensive approach to disability health management
  • Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) in 2015
  • Spine mobility practitioner trained in the boot camp program for Lumbar Spinal Stenosis from Dr. Carlo Ammendolia in 2017
  • Designation of C. Dir. (Chartered Director) in 2020
  • Certification in Concussion: Prevention, Detection, and Management in a dual program at the University of Calgary and Laval University in 2020

  1. Do you have teaching experience?

I’ve had the pleasure of sharing my experiences with soon-to-be chiropractic graduates through my participation in the OCA Practice Realities Panel at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College (CMCC).

Overall, my experiences as a chiropractor have inspired me to try to lead by example in the field. One of my favourite quotes from Dr. Parker says, “Develop a compassion to serve that is greater than the compulsion to survive.” I’ve always thought that was rather appropriate for the upcoming graduates of chiropractic schools. My greater goal is that all Ontario chiropractors not merely survive but thrive.

I have also enjoyed hosting both chiropractic students and undergraduate students in my office to teach them how to strengthen their ties in collaborative work, specifically with physicians and anaesthetists. This mentoring occurred throughout each year.

  1. Do you conduct research related to chiropractic?

I had the opportunity to represent the OCA as an observer at the Global Summit on Spinal Manipulation for the Management of Non-musculoskeletal Disorders, hosted at CMCC in September 2019.

Board-specific Profile

  1. Do you now or have you served on other Boards?

I currently serve on the OCA Board of Directors and am seeking re-election.

I was first elected to the OCA Board of Directors in 2017. I served on the Finance and Audit Committee, the Governance and Nominating Committee, and the Governance and Nominating Committee Task Force. I also served as Chair of the Nominating Committee. My additional Board experience includes reviewing governance structures and specific bylaws sections, including the appointment of directors and defining outcomes and recommendations.

In 2020, I was nominated and elected to serve on the Canadian Chiropractic Association’s Board of Directors, representing the views of Ontario chiropractors. I think it’s very important to hear other provincial viewpoints and their experiences in the field. I was happy to utilize my strengths and governance best practices, both as an organizational steward and active participant, with management in major strategic and capital spending decisions.

I’m very proud of serving on the OCA COVID-19 Working Group. It is so important to me that we gave our members current, dynamic, reliable resources so they could return to practice as soon as possible. During the early months of the pandemic, it was evident Ontarians rely on essential care from chiropractors. That continues now, as some physicians are not seeing their patients in person. I am so proud of our profession; throughout the pandemic, practitioners continue to provide care in a safe setting. It’s important for both Ontarians and practitioners.

  1. Do you volunteer in your community generally and/or for the profession specifically?

For me, volunteering is a way of giving back. Specifically, I really enjoy serving my community through educating the public on the advantages of chiropractic care. A few highlights from my volunteer public education include delivering the OCA’s Lift Light, Shovel Right education sessions at Scarborough YMCA; speaking at a lunch and learn session about desk set up and ergonomic solutions for Girl Guides of Canada’s Headquarters Administrators; sharing information on chiropractic care at the Annual Health Fairs for both Police Headquarters Toronto and the Canada Revenue Agency Toronto.

During our 90 Years Strong regional gala dinners in 2019, I was Master of Ceremonies, welcoming our members to celebrate our OCA 90th anniversary.

Also, I served as Master of Ceremonies and facilitator for the OCA 2018 annual general meeting keynote speaker, topic, “Getting to Zero: Tapering Off Opioids.”

In June 2015, I was awarded the outstanding leadership award as the President of the Toronto Alumni Association for the Kappa Kappa Gamma Fraternity.

I also received the Dr. Robert J Czopoth Service and Leadership Award from Parker University in 2007.