Can This Approach to Pain Relief Really Help You?
By Dr. George Bobbitt
Dr. George Bobbitt, DC, shares his experience with becoming a chiropractor and gives you insight on how chiropractic not only can relieve pain, it can eliminate pain by treating the root of the problem.
Growing up I knew I could be whatever I wanted to be. Mostly I thought of being a doctor or a lawyer. I was not exactly sure which one, but I knew I liked to help people.
In high school, I made the decision to be a doctor. I enrolled in college at Nicholls State University – known in south Louisiana for its pre-med program. The challenges started early. I married and had a child at the age of 18.
Thanks to my dad, I was blessed to get a job at a local industrial facility to pay expenses. I have tremendous gratitude for my bosses and co-workers who helped me through my college years.
My senior year began with exciting news of being accepted at medical school. Then, I was laid off from my full-time work. I had to go on unemployment, which was not enough to meet our needs. So I scrambled to find another job to support my family while I continued with school.
I landed a great job working as a helper for an older man; assisting around his house and with his rental properties. I remember pulling weeds, mowing lawns, painting, pressure washing and helping remodel his properties.
Then, fate moved its huge hand.
As I was cutting my employer’s grass, his son approached me to cut his grass. It turned out the son was a chiropractor with an office nearby. I did not know anything about chiropractic, but because of my interest in healthcare, I was curious to know more about chiropractic.
As I was preparing to go to medical school, the thought entered my mind to investigate the field of chiropractic. So, I read several books on chiropractic; did more research; and interviewed a couple of chiropractors.
The philosophy and practice of chiropractic resonated with me more than medicine had. In addition, for me to go to medical school, I would have had to relocate my family, find another job and spend another six to eight years on schooling and internships.
In my research of chiropractic, I discovered I could be a doctor of chiropractic in four years as opposed to six to eight for a medical career. I would still have to relocate and find a job, but I wanted to be a doctor as fast as I could to support my family and get my career under way. At this point, I knew chiropractors helped people and that their lives were rewarding.
I made the decision to go to chiropractic school. In 1996, I relocated my family to the Houston, TX area to go to Texas Chiropractic College. I found a job working nights as a supervisor in a chemical plant, and I started chiropractic school that year.
The next four years were a blur of rigorous studies and working hard to support my family. I graduated in 2000 with honors from chiropractic school. I was blessed to land a position as an associate in Bonham, TX with a Dr. Bryan Moore. I relocated my family to this quaint little country town.
I was finally a practicing doctor.
Dr. Moore took me under his wing and helped me get started. However, that first year tested my resolve. Here I was pursuing my dream career, yet I was disappointed with my situation. The practice was not growing and for some reason people did not like me as the new doctor. They said I was not as good as Dr. Moore. I was working long hours with little mental and financial reward.
Had I made a career mistake? Was being a doctor really my true calling?
Then, I came across an ad that spoke to me. It was one of those “Are you tired of…do you find yourself tired…..have you lost your purpose” ads.
I remember signing up to go to the advertised seminar for $49. Dr. Moore advised me not to buy anything and just get the information. The seminar resonated with me and changed my life forever. Its name was “PURPOSE.” I embraced the concept and paid for more training. For the first time in my life, I was truly able to see and realize my true purpose. As a result, I helped Dr. Moore triple the practice that year.
It was amazing. My level of certainty and ability to get people well skyrocketed. We built a great practice and helped many people together. I finally realized why chiropractic chose me: to help people get well naturally without the use of drugs or surgery. Chiropractic opened my heart and mind to realize that I had what it takes to make a difference in this world in the field of healthcare.
After four years of working as an associate, I decided to venture out and open my own practice. I had a desire for a new level of certainty and responsibility. I knew how to be a doctor, but I was not sure how to run a business. So I partnered with a friend, Glenda Davis – now Glenda Tiller, who knew how to run a business and about the administrative aspect of a chiropractic business.
We opened up Mansfield Chiropractic in May of 2004 in Mansfield, TX. It was one of the most exciting and scary times of my life. My family and I moved in with Glenda and her family. Eight of us shared a house and we scrimped by for the first three months of business. We worked 14 to 16-hour days doing whatever was necessary to get ourselves known in the community.
Those long hours, many workshops, many talks and sponsorships paid off. After the first three months, we were paying our bills and starting to collect pay for ourselves. The practice was a success.
Glenda and I started with one staff member for the first three months. By then we had to expand, and after the first year in practice, we added six more team members. Our practice continued to grow and grow. We brought in an associate doctor to help treat the growing number of patients. By the third year in business, we doubled our staff to add more quality to our procedures and patient interaction and treatment.
After three years in practice, we had a desire to help people in a greater way. Sure, we were good at helping people get out of pain, but helping people change their lifestyle and prevent problems from re-occurring was a greater task. We wanted to be more than just a pain relief clinic. We wanted to affect people’s lives for long-term better health. Our desire was to help people fix the causes of their problems, not just relieve the symptoms.
This was a bigger challenge than we thought. Most people only go to the doctor when they are in pain. We had to change the way people viewed their health. Our office started to focus on functional issues more than just symptomatic issues. This change in thought process led to our patients to look at their lives differently. Our interest was now to restore function to a body, so that it could do the things it was meant to do.
Through this process, we were able to realize that most people did not understand health and wellness. They thought that as long as they did not have symptoms, they were healthy. However, after a thorough consultation and functional examination they realized that their lives were not as good as they thought.
Once we went beyond just relieving symptoms and began restoring health and function, our practice grew again. We were able to help more people in ways that are more effective and were able to help establish a better quality of life for our patients.
In 2013, we expanded our vision to include helping mentor future chiropractors. Mansfield Chiropractic joined Parker University as adjunct staff in their intern rotation program. This program allows chiropractic interns to learn the art of helping patients get well and the art of running a business at the same time. This experience empowers the interns and gives them real world and real-time experience. We are delighted that our interns have blessed us as much as we have blessed them.
During this time, we decided to expand our territory to help more people through chiropractic. We hired another associate to free me up to concentrate on expansion of our philosophy and chiropractic model.
Our vision was to open a second office to help more people get well and stay well. We choose the nearby community of Kennedale, TX to open our second location. We took what we learned from our Mansfield office and incorporated the best ideas and processes for Kennedale, which opened in May of 2014.
I am amazed at the progress we have made. Our vision of helping others with chiropractic and through chiropractic is happening. To know that not only are we helping people get well naturally, we are also helping our profession expand is heartwarming.
As I look back to what has worked and made the biggest impact over these past 15 years in practice, it has always been PURPOSE.
I did not choose chiropractic. It chose me. Every time I attempt to go in a different direction, chiropractic brings me back to the place where I am supposed to be. I always know when I have moved too fast or have fallen off purpose because chiropractic will humble me back toward my purpose.
I am blessed that God chose me to be a chiropractor, and I am blessed that I have been entrusted with this incredible responsibility of helping people get well.
George H. Bobbitt, DC