When I graduated from Palmer 36 years ago there were few WDCS and finding someone who understood my unique life challenges, goals, and victories, in other words; finding colleagues was really difficult.
Throughout the years I struggled to find members of this great tribe and connect with them. I can remember sitting at the back of seminars trying to keep my license current and my nursing babies happy without disturbing the other DCs sitting and getting their CE credits. During one of these classes a rather snarky male DC looked at me and said, “ well, this looks like what you do best”, as in take care of babies. He didn’t mean it in a complimentary way, that’s for certain. It was clear to him that I was less than him as a DC because I had children to take care of. Sometimes at conventions I would run into other WDCs who were married to DCs and when I asked them how they were doing in practice they would admit sheepishly that either they never went into practice or they were mostly doing CA duties.
I love chiropractic, I love how it changes peoples lives for the better, I love being a woman chiropractor; what I hate is seeing my wonderful female colleagues struggling. I hate seeing them feeling unworthy to practice because they are pregnant or nursing or raising kids or just feeling incompetent to practice because somehow they didn’t “get” how to adjust well enough. I hate seeing them struggle under student loans and try to provide enough money to fund their lifestyle.
In 2006 I started over again in practice after a rough divorce and I also had 7 kids. The economy was in horrible shape especially in Metro Detroit. During that time I REALLY needed girlfriends who were WDCs esp. moms who were successful. It was really difficult to do that at that time, social media was in its infant stage. However,I am fortunate that I have some wonderful WDCs who are related to me , I wondered how other WDCs who weren’t so fortunate as I were able to function in life. Perhaps they were feeling alienated or alone. After the divorce I proceeded to double and triple the practice I previously had with my ex DC husband. It seemed as the economy got worse my practice got better. Still I was looking for other WDCs to join this tribe.
In my quest to connect with other WDCs I found so many other women who were struggling as well and were looking for answers to their questions on how to balance their life .
In 2011 I approached the board of the Michigan Association of Chiropractors with the help of Amanda Apfleblat DC and presented these statements to them:
The board decided to give me a spot at the spring convention to present to WDCs at the March 30, 2012 MAC. I then taught two very well attended classes at the following two conventions. What was interesting about those two CE classes was that I was contacted by over half of the attendees over the next several years. Many of these women asked for more classes and told me that it was really helpful to them. They also asked me to keep in touch with them. This told me I knew I was right in my thought process of connecting WDCs.
There are other chiropractic women programs in the profession. The difference with Women Chiropractors Group is that it is exclusive to women chiropractors and women chiropractic students only. I knew that WDCs couldn’t and wouldn’t let their “hair down” so to speak if there were other lay people, or men or wives of other DCs or CAs in the room. I knew that it couldn’t be tied to a seminar program that you had to attend to be able to make it work. I knew that it just had to be WDCs and WDC students only.
3 years ago with Nancy Elwartowski Cooper DC and Kelly Milano DC the Women Chiropractors group was born on FB. It has been an incredible grassroots group. We have grown by over 2000 members in the last 6 months alone. The group adds 100-200 new WDCs to the group each week and we are fast approaching 6700 members. We have not advertised to grow the group : other WDCs have told their friends about it and they ask to join. During this time we have also turned down scores of male DCs, CAs, and other non WDCs who wanted in our group. There have been hundreds and hundreds of posts in this group , you can hear the pain, the joy, and the questions, these women have laid their lives bare and vulnerable in that group. We in the admin have protected that ‘sacred trust” that they have in it so they can continue to ask questions, ask for help, reinforce connections, laugh together, learn together, and learn to become successful on their own terms.
There are many testimonials that these women have posted on how this tribe of amazing women have affected their lives .
This group is working beyond my wildest dreams. it’s what I was put on the earth to do. It is my passion, it is my purpose. I'm a fierce mother hen to anyone that would do harm to it. We have deleted dozens and dozens posts that would do harm in the group. We in admin have spent hundreds of hours on this group.
Now as we are getting ready to bring this group to the next level, we are all excited to see what is going to happen. The future for women DCs is the brightest its ever been. I cannot wait to see what this amazingly brilliant group will accomplish!