If you had asked Dr. William Strickland 25 years ago what his future held, he’d likely have said he was destined for a career in the spotlight, either playing music or making movies or some combination thereof. And he would have been mostly right in that assessment. That is, with the exception of his foray into chiropractic, something that wasn’t on his radar back then, but is certainly part of the fabric of his life today.
Strickland, a 1994 CCCLA graduate, has been a member of the College’s Diagnostic and Chiropractic Sciences faculty for 15 1/2 years. An assistant professor, he teaches Serology and Neuromusculoskeltal Diagnosis, along with several labs, including Pediatric Adjusting, Physical Diagnosis, HEENT, Physiotherapy and X-ray Physics. He is also the Diagnostic Sciences representative on the Faculty Council and serves as chair of the council’s Handbook Committee.
All of this complements Strickland’s creative pursuits in the entertainment industry. He has been a drummer for nearly 30 years, playing mostly rock, country rock and blues with his father, a professional musician who has his own band. In the motion picture industry, Strickland has worked on the production end of several movies, documentaries, commercials and more than 800 music videos for artists and bands such as Madonna, ZZ Top, Snoop Dogg, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Shania Twain and Prince.
“I’ve worked with hundreds of movie stars and musicians, but to be honest, I have been impressed with very few,” Strickland said.
As strange as it might sound, Strickland’s life has been more influenced by a stray cat than it has been by the likes of The Stray Cats. Case in point: one feral feline found “limping horribly and starving to death.”
“This four-legged angel is solely responsible for inspiring me to pursue animal chiropractic,” Strickland said. “X-rays revealed that she had multiple healed fractures and had been shot with small bullets or BBs and her right elbow was locked in flexion. Our veterinarian said she would never walk normally again, even with surgery. I decided to try adjusting the kitty and by the third day she was putting weight on that right paw and running up and down the stairs like a banshee!”
The rest is history as today Strickland is strictly a practititioner of animal chiropractic. In fact, his practice is housed in a veterinary hospital, where he works alongside veterinarians, acupuncturists and animal physical therapists.
“I specialize in treating small animals mostly, but I also work on horses,” Strickland said. “Of course, I still adjust family and friends, as well as fellow doctors. I love working on people, but I believe I must commit myself 100 percent to animal chiropractic rather than just dabbling in it.”
To this end, he actively encourages students interested in treating animals to shadow him in his practice. He wants his students to keep an open mind and to realize the power of their calling.
“My primary goal is to empower each and every student with the idea that to be of service is the highest calling, and that they have within themselves the potential to become not only great doctors, but great healers as well.”
Strickland’s attitude of empowerment in the classroom melds nicely with his personal commitment to living a well-rounded existence. Herein lies the foundation of his philosophy on life, that “we all are capable of greater potential than we ourselves may realize.”