Like many who embark on a career in chiropractic, Dr. Justin Grabouski was active in athletics. He played baseball in college, and then two years with a semi-pro team. That all changed when a serious injury put his playing career on hold.
He had already been considering life after baseball and was planning to attend medical school to become an orthopedic surgeon. His injury allowed him to work extensively with a host of trainers, physical therapists and orthopedists, none of whom were able to give him much relief. Ultimately, it was chiropractic care that helped him make a full recovery, and that redirected his professional plans. He graduated from the CUKC College of Chiropractic in 2009.
Q. What did your family say when you told them you were going to become a chiropractor?
A. My grandfather was the happiest person in my family when I decided to become a chiropractor. He was the only person in our entire family who saw a chiropractor, and if you ever mentioned it to him, he was very defensive because he loved his chiropractor.
I was raised in a very medical paradigm full of nurses, so they were a little concerned at first. But now, every time they come back for Christmas, they’re always the first people to line up at the table to get adjusted.
Q. What attracted you to CUKC?
A. The staff, the faculty, and all of the admissions people were really wonderful, and they made the process very, very easy. So, I kinda fell in love with that the first time I visited, and I didn’t go anywhere else or look at anything else. I just committed here, and then we made the transition to this campus (in Overland Park), which was a pretty magical upgrade at the time.
Q. You regularly allow chiropractic students from CUKC to shadow you in your office. Why do that?
A. My biggest reason for giving back is because of the good experience that I had here. Looking back, it was a lot of stress and a lot of hours studying. But in hindsight, you realize how amazing everything was, how organized everything was, and I’m very thankful that a university like this gave me an opportunity to have an incredible career.
Q. Why is shadowing such a great learning tool?
A. We like to provide an environment for future chiropractors to see what a real chiropractic office looks like in real-time. And I think it’s very important for those students to have that experience in multiple offices. So, we let them come in, meet our patients, see them get adjusted, see them interact with our staff, talk to them about the conditions that they’ve dealt with and the improvements they’ve made, and it gives them this real-world view of what it’s like to help people on a daily basis.
Q. As a practitioner, how do you describe the benefits of chiropractic care?
A. Chiropractic can help anyone. The age range in our office is from three days old to 93 years. Everybody benefits from some sort of chiropractic care, whether it’s quality of life or pain, or dysfunction, or internal conditions. The benefit of chiropractic for the actual doctors and the staff is unlike any other. We have an opportunity to work very hard helping the people that are in front of us, but also be provided with a life that’s beyond most other professions. We have free time with our family, free time with our spouse and children, time to travel and see the world, and earn all of that by helping people.
Q. What does it mean to you to see chiropractic gaining the respect of others in the healthcare community?
A. Chiropractic has always had a massive amount of respect from patients, but it’s really good to see the community accepting us as a primary form of health care for all types of conditions. And, it’s really fun to see the national average go up on the number of people who are now reaching out to chiropractors as a first-line option for conditions like low-back pain and neck pain. And I think now, especially with the opioid epidemic on the rise, chiropractic has a vital role to play in the future.
Q. How do you think the chiropractic profession will grow over the next decade?
A. Our profession is already positioned exactly where it needs to be: a first line of defense for people against musculoskeletal pain and chronic visceral issues. People seem to be finding chiropractors on their own. There seems to be a health trend that’s going away from the conventional medicine side for non-surgical procedures. Our profession has always been very unique in that we don’t have to go scream from a rooftop or shout from the top of a mountain how great we are. We just help as many people as we can.
Watch the 3-minute interview with Dr. Justin Grabouski below for more in his own words and follow #CUKCinsight on social media!