As founder and owner of Kansas City Chiropractic, P.C., Dr. Lynn McIntosh and her associates seek to bring comfort, relief, and better long-term health to their patients, ranging from pro athletes to those injured in car accidents. Through continuing education, a strong work ethic, and paying attention to best practices in chiropractic treatments, McIntosh serves as a great role model for the next generation of chiropractors. She is a 2002 graduate of the Cleveland University-Kansas City College of Chiropractic.
Q. You’ve operated a successful chiropractic practice for many years. How do you describe the benefits of chiropractic care for patients who’ve never experienced the chiropractic approach to health and wellness?
A. I explain to all new patients that chiropractic adjustments restore joint motion that has been affected by tissue injuries, and adjustments can regulate the nervous system. Tissue damage or tissue injuries can result from a one-time event like lifting something heavy, or from repetitive stress on the tissue due to poor posture, sitting in an awkward position, or throwing a baseball over and over.
I have patients that have come to me the entire time I’ve been open because they no longer have any of the problems that they had when they started with me. For certain patients, I will provide a more detailed and specific explanation tailored to their situation. For example, if a patient travels on airplanes routinely, or sits for hours in a car, I will discuss how chiropractic decreases the stress put on the body from that travel, and give him/her some ergonomic travel tips.
I tell athletes that chiropractors are used by 28 of 30 major league baseball teams, and by all 32 professional football teams. Chiropractic helps players avoid injuries and enhances athletic performance. For our gardeners, I discuss stretches to use ahead of time and demonstrate proper lifting and moving techniques.
Q. How and when did you hear about CUKC? What made you know CUKC was right for you?
A. I grew up watching the positive benefits of chiropractic care for a relative and had considered going into the profession several different times. I wasn’t sure how to proceed until I met a CUKC student. That student explained the process and helped start me on the path to pursue it. The fact that you’re hands-on in the first trimester makes a big difference.
Q. You earned the B.S. in Human Biology on the way to your chiropractic degree. In what ways did the “human biology” focus of the degree prepares you for D.C. school?
A. For me, all increased knowledge of the human body is a benefit, and pursuing that degree first helped to set me up for the more demanding courses in D.C. school. What I thought was the best about the chiropractic program was that it paired topics like neuroanatomy and neurophysiology in the same semester. You’re studying one thing that relates to the other. That was helpful.
Q. You’re a strong advocate for the CUKC College of Chiropractic and are known for bringing in CUKC students for shadowing and other opportunities. Why do that?
A. I encourage students to shadow in different types of chiropractic offices, so they can see what type of practice fits them the best. In school, you learn the skills you need to care for patients, and in an office setting, you need to do that and much more, including everything from answering questions about insurance, to managing staff, to managing your own time.
Learning to have realistic expectations of how much time you need to spend working on your practice outside of patient-facing hours to be successful can be a struggle. By shadowing, students are able to identify the type of practice setting and style that fits their personality the best, which will greatly increase their ability to succeed.
Q. Even with a busy practice, you make an effort to give back to the Kansas City community. What activities are important to you?
A. My parents instilled in me a strong sense of civic responsibility and worked continuously to improve the community we lived in. I have been lucky enough to work with a lot of organizations and charities that do some great work. It is satisfying to see that your presence makes change possible.
For example, on our 10-year anniversary, our entire chiropractic clinic engaged with 10 different charities over the year. We enjoyed the chance to interact with groups from a variety of backgrounds. I truly believe that when you give of your time, you very often receive more than you give.
Q. What “before I start D.C. school” advice would you give an aspiring doctor of chiropractic?
A. It is a very demanding course workload, but you can do it. Time management is very important, so make use of the many resources that are available early on, and feel free to talk to your professors. There are many different chiropractic techniques taught, and they have advantages and disadvantages in different situations. I would encourage students to learn as many of these techniques as they can.
For the first 10 years out of practice, we (chiropractors) have 24 hours of required continuing education, and I would take somewhere between 100 and 150. That’s excessive. But I do think the more tools you have in your toolbox, the better you can help each patient.
Q. Say a college student is attracted toward a patient-centric career in healthcare. What would you tell them about choosing chiropractic school?
A. If a college student is looking at healthcare as a profession, I would explain the number one reason I love my job…the reason I get up and go to work. It’s the patients themselves and the immediacy of results we see in chiropractic, unlike many other healthcare professions.
In many cases, I see fast, sometimes immediate results after an adjustment. I love when a patient gets up after an adjustment with a positive statement of “that’s so much better” or “that feels great.” They feel good, which makes me feel good. All done without an invasive procedure or medication.
“When I started, only about 13% of the populace went to chiropractors, and now it’s over 20% of the population. There’s so much more opportunity now for chiropractors in different settings than when I started…and it’s going to be more prevalent in the future. Chiropractic is a great reason to get up in the morning and go to work. You see somebody’s life change because of what you do.
Watch the 3-minute interview with Dr. Lynn McIntosh below for more in her own words and follow #CUKCinsight on social media!
Ready for more? Catch alumna Dr. Emily McLeod’s story here!