Some We’ve Worked With
• AAA Baseball
• Al-jon/Vezzani Corp.,
• Bandag Manufacturing
• Brand Central Station
• Burlington (IA) Chamber
     of Commerce,
• Chiropractic Centennial
• Dahl Ford
• Deere & Co.
• Dubuque (IA)
• First Midwest Banks
• Galesburg (IL) Chamber
     of Commerce
• Galesburg Economic  
     Development Corp.
• Illinois Association of
     Public Health
• Iowa Development
• Kartridg Pak
• Life University
• MidCoast
• Mod-Form Manufacturing
• MPA Media
• National Seal Co.
• Palmer Chiropractic
     University System
• Quad-City Thunder
• Quad-City Times
• Quad-Cities Vision
     for the Future
• Sears Manufacturing
• The Marketing Advantage
• The Residential Specialist
• Today’s Chiropractic
• WDG Communications
• White Dog Studios



Career Choice? No, It’s Their Calling!

chiropractic image
By Randy Heuston

You want to do what? You’re giving up a corporate job where you’re making boatloads of cash and driving a Lexus to your house in the Hamptons? You’re telling us you want to go back to college and take courses so tough they’d make a Navy Seal cry? You’re going to put your family at risk and dig yourself more than $100,000 in debt in student loans? And you want to do all this to become a chiropractor? You’re kidding, right?

No, not kidding. Hundreds in the chiropractic profession have made tough choices like that because, to them, becoming a chiropractor is more than a career choice—it’s a calling. Either early or later in life, being a chiropractor becomes their dream, and next to nothing can stop them from fulfilling it.

As the saying goes, “I didn’t choose chiropractic. Chiropractic chose me.”

Take, for example, Alan Frandsen. After “30 different real jobs,” Alan decided to become a chiropractor. Today, at 47, with a wife and four children, two of them at home, Alan is one year into the chiropractic program at Life University. He has chosen to become a chiropractor, he says, “because there are a lot of ways to make money but not a lot of ways to make a difference.” He’s living his dream. “I feel truly alive today, and until I made the decision to become a chiropractor I had only existed.” But it’s about more than that. “Chiropractic is about the full expression of life, and with that knowledge and our expertise we can change the world.”

Or consider another career-changer, Paul Schiffman. He was one of the top salesmen in his field. “I was doing well in business. I had insurance, a 401K; I was winning trips to Hawaii and won a Circle of Excellence Award.” But something was missing. “I looked in the mirror after 12 years and asked myself, “Who did I help today? Where will I be five years from now—nicer car, bigger house, so what?” One of his chiropractor brothers and his chiropractor cousin cornered him one New Year’s Eve and said, “It’s time for you to get a new life.” So he did and never looked back. Up to that point he had held off making the commitment to take out student loans, “but it comes to the point where it’s no longer about money; it’s about helping people.” Now as a practitioner with his cousin in Florida, at 34, he works harder and longer hours than in his sales job, “but I feel terrific. I know I’m making a difference in lives, really helping them.”

Or, how about Don Tew, who held jobs in nursing and other medical fields for 20 years. “I was working in a triage department, and I’d see people come in with shopping bags and makeup kits full of pills—I mean 15, 20 or 30 or 50 pills! Then I’d see the commercials for lawyers trying to make money off the damage of those pills’ side effects. I realized there had to be something better than the medical paradigm.” He and his son came to the special events in conjunction with Dr. Guy Riekeman’s inauguration as president of Life University in 2004. “They had great speakers, and the whole experience was a real eye-opener. It was about a new way of living, not just another form of healthcare, but a new lifestyle with nutrition, exercise and chiropractic care.” So he and his son both enrolled at Life University and became chiropractors. Now in his 50s, Don and his son Dan have a clinic together in Marietta, Georgia. “I haven’t had a single misgiving about my decision,” Dr. Tew says.

So many have entered our profession because they became persuaded early on that chiropractic really works. Perhaps they or a relative or close friend had a serious health condition and went to a chiropractor as a last resort. They got help—sometimes a “miraculous” recovery—and they decided they wanted to help others, using the natural and effective approach of chiropractic. 
Dan Batchelor didn’t experience a “chiropractic miracle,” but he had a sense from the time that he was a little boy that the body can be healthy without drugs. He got that sense from his father, who today at 86, that’s right, 86,  travels throughout the country on a seniors softball team. “As a kid and an athlete—Dr. Batchelor is a well-known runner and consultant on running with major events and publications--I never took drugs. I was taught that the body can function well on its own.” As an outstanding athlete to this day, he has always been cautious about what he put into his body, so becoming a chiropractor was a natural fit for a career. Today after decades of practice—helping athletes like himself as well as other patients of all ages and walks of life—there’s one question Dr. Batchelor just can’t answer. “What would I do if I couldn’t be a chiropractor? I have no idea. No, really, I can’t imagine not being a chiropractor!”

As most of chiropractors are well aware, the stories of commitment throughout the profession’s history are legion, and often the family of the chiropractor has been put at risk, financial or otherwise, for the sake of the calling. One of the most famous accounts comes from the book Chiropractic—an Illustrated History. In it historian Russell Gibbons contributed an article about the hundreds of arrests of chiropractors in California in the first part of the 20th century.

As arrests continued, fighting spirits rose. Among the more sensational cases was that of J.E. and Reba I. Willis of Porterville. On December 8, 1920, “their office was ransacked by two investigators and their patients insulted,” according to (historian Chittenden) Turner, and they themselves were placed under arrest. The local magistrate released them under bond to appear in the superior court for the arraignment on January 24, when they were sentenced to 100 days in jail or the payment of $200. The Willises chose imprisonment and said good-bye to their 3-year-old twin girls at the jail door. It was the first time a mother had been incarcerated and much indignant comment was voiced. Letters came to the jail from foreign countries, “all told, more than 100,000 pieces of mail are said to have been received by the imprisoned couple,” Turner concluded. 

Leaving twin three-year-olds at the jailhouse door—now that’s commitment, but look how far the profession has come because of such commitment. There’s little question but that the chiropractors’ passion is a significant reason not only for their personal success in practice but also for the increased acceptance of chiropractic care. Over the decades thousands have “put their lives on the line” so that they could have a career rich in meaning and “change healthcare one adjustment at a time.”

Dr. Batchelor recalls that when he was deciding what to do with his life he considered various branches of medicine—optometry, osteopathy and others, because he knew he wanted to help people. “But none of [those professions] seemed to connect for me.” So, he chose chiropractic, though at the time it scarcely engendered the same respect as the medical professions he researched. But things have changed a lot over the years. “A lot of people in the medical field today understand the importance of maintaining health, not just treating the sick.” These days Dr. Batchelor says he “cares for an ophthalmologist, several general medical practitioners, cardiologists and surgeons. Not only that, but we refer back and forth all the time. We’re all in the same PPO.”

Not that making the commitment is without challenges. Alan Frandsen says he had several to overcome. One was lack of self-esteem. “I grew up in a trailer, and people always said to me, ‘What makes you think you can be doctor?’ Then there was the fear of not doing well in physics and chemistry. Besides finances, there were other issues too. My wife (who lost her sight) can’t drive, I have two kids at home, and I’m a husband and a father first of all.” But he’s working things out. Frandsen thrives on messages from motivational speakers like Earl Nightingale, who said, “Success is the progressive realization of a worthy ideal.”   

“Every step I take now is a step into my dream, so it doesn’t matter how long it takes. I’m living my dream right now. Caring for life is more important than caring for your pocketbook.” And the former scoffers are dumbfounded. “So many of my old friends are absolutely amazed. “They say, ‘Dude, it’s so great to see you so happy.’ It’s so cool!”

It is cool, this chiropractic calling.


Chiropractic »

Editorial Samples »

» Advertising



» Collateral

» Culture change

» Education

» Ghost blogs

» Health

» History

» Legal

» Music

» Personal

» PowerPoint

» Real estate

» Restaurant reviews

» Small business

» Social issues

» Speeches

» Sports


    connect: LinkedIn twitter  
home contact us