Over the summer, I attended and spoke at Life West’s investiture of Dr. Brian Kelly, the college’s new president. When Dr. Gerry Clum, the retiring president of Life West, prepared to hand the reins to Dr. Kelly, he gave him some final advice: “Don’t have your investiture in August because you will have very few people attend.”
At the ceremony, which attracted more than 1,000 attendees, Dr. Clum promised that would be the last advice he’d ever give to Dr. Kelly, with a wink and a chuckle. But all joking aside, the enthusiasm at Life West Wave Conference was contagious. The event attracted students and prospective students, alumni and individuals from all corners of the world.
Even though California, the state where the event was hosted, has experienced some hard times recently, the speakers at the event offered only optimism. I heard a common theme throughout the weekend, that if you truly care about your patients, your practice will thrive, despite negative external pressures. From new graduates to those nearing retirement, every speaker was absolutely confident they were in the right profession and had a mission to fulfill.
Sometimes we get so bogged down in our daily challenges that we lose sight of the purpose of chiropractic. Impressively, it remains the number-two health profession in the world and its significance and effectiveness will transcend the barriers of insurance changes, economic downturns and more. When I started practice in 1964, the outlook for chiropractic was very uncertain. We simply kept on keeping on, and, lo and behold, these past decades have been golden in so many ways.
Those of us who have kept our patients’ welfare at the center of our mission will continue to succeed in this profession. The enthusiasm about the future of chiropractic at the Life West Wave Conference was proof of that imperative. Having people excited to catch and ride the wave of chiropractic, and always looking ahead for that next big swell is what makes our profession great.