For students like Breanna Bezona, the chiropractic profession becomes a post-undergraduate realization. Going into college, she was aware of her desire to "to help people of all different ages and lifestyles," but wasn't sure how to fulfill that ambition. A shadowing opportunity with a chiropractor, however, would change that. Soon-to-be Dr. Breanna Bezona came to CUKC all the way from the southwestern town of Johnson City, population 1,266. It's the story of a big dream from a small-town girl with a heart for people and the desire to succeed.
Q. Many young people have big dreams. How did you begin making yours a reality?
Q. I lived a very active and healthy life as a child. I grew up on a farm where we raised buffalo, and horses, and pigs, and mules, and peacocks, and chickens. I mean, we raised llamas. Growing up me and my sister were always outside and very active. My mom would always kick us outside to go play and get our sunshine because she didn't want us inside all day.
I just knew that I always wanted to do something in the healthcare field. I was really driven and passionate about caring for children. I babysat a lot. I had a lot of caregiving-type roles. So, I knew that I needed to get somewhere that would offer me that chance to actually start caring for people.
Q. What was your first exposure to chiropractic?
A. As a little kid I fell off a trampoline and got hurt, and my mom decided to take me to a chiropractor because she noticed that I just wasn't really doing things right – kind of tripping when I would walk.
My mom is a very smart lady. She knew that there was something different going on in my neurology and my functional patterns. She took me to a chiropractor, I was adjusted, and things got better. I was a normal four-year-old kid again.
Q. Fast forward to college at Fort Hays State in Hays, Kansas. What direction was your healthcare career going?
A. I had been seeing a chiropractor all through high school and in college, but wasn't necessarily thinking that it was my profession. In order to graduate for your credits and your diploma, you have to do an internship. And I had shadowed five different physical therapists in different settings, outpatient and inpatient, a hospital setting, a home care, and then a private business. Physical therapy just didn't call to me as much as when I finally found the sixth person that I decided to shadow, which was a chiropractor.
Q. So that was Dr. Brennan Uehling, an alumnus of CUKC?
A. He is the chiropractor for the athletic teams there and an alumni of Cleveland. So that was how I heard of him. I talked to him about shadowing, and he was super receptive. And he actually had a physical therapy assisting background.
I did my full internship with him. And after I did my internship, he offered me a position to be a CA, a chiropractic assistant.
Working with him was really what made me want to be a chiropractor, because I got to see firsthand what it was like in the office, how things went, how he got to interact with his patients. And I also got to see how he got to care for kids. That was huge for me, because pediatrics is kind of what I wanted to in. Then he was also working with athletes, which gave me a whole spectrum of people that I could serve.
And that was when I realized that, "Wow, this is what I had envisioned the first time, I just didn't know that it was actually chiropractic!" Now that I did, and I was educated about it, it was pretty clear and easy choice.
Q. What was it like when you visited the CUKC campus that first time?
A. it was so fun because I walked in and I met with my admissions counselor. She was like, "Oh, you're here!" It was like she knew me as soon as I walked in the door. And so, I love that small town feel because I'm from such a tiny town.
Q. How did you decide to become a campus ambassador?
A. I actually was a campus ambassador in my undergrad, Fort Hays State University. I was a campus ambassador there, and I absolutely loved it. When I found out that that was an opportunity here, I was like, "Oh, yeah, I have to do that," because I'm very passionate about chiropractic. I love this profession.
Q. How would you describe CUKC to someone who's never experienced what you have?
A. I love the family atmosphere here at Cleveland. I've met some of my best friends here who I know will be a part of my life forever.
Q. What would you tell somebody who is thinking about the doctor of chiropractic degree?
A. One big thing that I would tell people is, to show up and put in the work, because this is a short amount of time for you to chase your dreams. It's something that's going to fuel your family, fuel your life, and fuel your soul. So, get out and do it!
Q. Finally, other students say you have a fondness for ice cream. If so, what's your preferred flavor?
A. Ice cream is my absolute favorite snack and food, and if I could eat it all the time I would. I love ice cream so much. I get like a little kid talking about ice cream. I definitely treat myself with ice cream probably four times a week. And anything that has caramel or brownies, or cookie dough is my absolute favorite.
Watch the 3-minute interview with Bree Bezona below for more in her own words and follow #CUKCinsight on social media!
Ready for more? Catch Dr. Justin Grabouski's #CUKCinsight feature here!