Dr. Jeff ScholtenRecently I had an opportunity to speak with Dr. Jeff Scholten of Calgary Alberta Canada. Dr. Jeff is a fantastic leader in the upper cervical community. He is involved in just about everything that’s going on in the world of upper cervical including NUCCA, The Upper Cervical Research Foundation, the Upper Cervical Diplomate, the ICA Council on Upper Cervical Careand The Upper Cervical Experience. All this while running a multimillion dollar practice with multiple associates and a beautiful family. You’re going to love this interview! There was so much good stuff I had to break it up into two blog posts. So here is part one.

Dr. Jeff Scholten

Dr Bill Davis:       Dr Jeff, it is great to talk to you today and we have a lot to talk about and I’m excited to have you on the phone. How is everything going in Calgary this morning?

Dr Jeff Scholten:    It is wonderful. I am really excited to be here Bill. Thanks for having me and thanks for thinking about me. It is really cold in Calgary. So I am happy to be inside talking to you on the phone.

Dr Davis:    Good. Excellent. I like to always start with, Jeff, how you got in to Chiropractic. What drew you to Chiropractic?

Dr Scholten:    Growing up, I had a sister who had a lot of health problems. She had open heart surgery at 3 and then a stroke at 5. And she became hemi paretic. She had basically an upper motor neuron lesion where the left side of her body was in a state of regular spasm. It never really relaxed. She could not walk properly and because of the imbalance in the musculature that created by the time she was 16, a very severe scoliosis.

She was supposed to only live until she was 18 and now she is 36. My parents were never the people to kind of just listen to what other people had to say and put blinders on and follow it. They are professionals themselves so they would study and research and figure out what are the best solutions for their daughter was in terms of her health.

Right around the time when she was 16 or 17 and about to have a scoliosis surgery which she ended up having in the end which was been very helpful for her. But they were seeing regular chiropractors and a friend told them to try NUCCA. So they flew to see Dr Berti in Vancouver and he adjusted my sister. She had an inch and a half short leg which immediately normalized and the pelvis levelled.

That was a really profound experience for them. They transferred my sister’s care back to Calgary to Dr Hasick who started taking care of her. And although she eventually needed the surgery even today when she is misaligned, she is relative to gravity on her feet extremely distorted. And when she is in in alignment of course, in alignment is not perfect for her but she stand balanced on both legs. Her legs were equal. And I think that has made a huge impact to her.

At the time I was doing my undergrad in kinesiology I became interested in what was going on. And I went to visit Dr Hasick’s office. His associate, Dr Thompson, at that time, and he explained NUCCA and I thought that is something that I could see myself doing. So I shifted half way through my undergrad degree and decided to go on the direction on becoming a chiropractor.

I am very happy that I did. But really it was a family experience, a very profound first experience for my sister with NUCCA as a treatment then as a patient watching other people on my family have experiences with NUCCA and the effects that they had that led me to decide to become a chiropractor in the first place.

Dr Davis:    Excellent. So from the very beginning, when you were exposed to chiropractic it was with Upper Cervical, with NUCCA specifically.

Dr Scholten:    No, yeah that is an interesting point though. My parents have been seeing chiropractors. I remember my grandma going to the chiropractor and I remember him breaking her rib and her suing him but then continued to go see him.

No hard feelings right? He broke her rib. That is legit. She sued him and they continued as patient after that which is kind of funny. She did not have any bad feelings towards him. She felt like that that was a mistake he made and so he did not make that mistake again. He should have hit the TP first not the ribs I guess.

I saw my mom went consistently and so I would go. Even in the University I would go but I never really was called to do that. I never really had an interest in spending my life doing what I saw them do which is mainly diversified adjusting which helps a lot of people. It really helped the people in my family but it was not anything that I was interested in. It was really the upper cervical adjustment and its effect on posture and the biomechanics that really attracted me into chiropractic in the first place.

Dr Davis:    So when you saw and heard about NUCCA and Upper Cervical, that is when it really clicked for you and that made the difference and made you want to change your focus and go in that direction.

Dr Scholten:    Yeah, exactly.

So if you go to Chiropractic College it is a similar thing right? In a sense that I knew that there was a diversified chiropractic and I knew there was NUCCA but I did not really know about anything else. And so I did not know that I was going to do NUCCA once I was in Chiropractic College for a little while. I thought that was just kind of to put that in the back burner and investigate this other procedures that were available.

Where I went to school at Palmer they had such a wide range of techniques available. I investigated a lot of them and I always compare them back to what would happen with the NUCCA procedure. Basically by the time I was in a few semesters in the school, I was comfortable with the fact that I did really want to be a NUCCA chiropractor.

That allows you to really understand what other people are doing. And it is a really important thing I think for all of us to know what we are doing and to know what other people are doing so we can understand what we like about it and we can understand what we like about what we are doing and the challenges that we see in what we are doing and what other people are doing.

Dr Davis:    Absolutely.

So you went to Palmer College and you investigated different techniques but finally settled on an Upper Cervical approach and settled on becoming a NUCCA doctor. And then when you came out of school, you moved back to Calgary?

Dr Scholten:    Yeah, that is right.

The Canadian Boards is a bit of a challenge. Usually, through my life, I have been a pretty good test taker but when I was looking at the Canadian Boards, the failure rate and Palmer’s success on them at the time, I was a little bit nervous about what we were going to do. I said to Kira, my wife, “If I fail these tests, we can go live somewhere else. Maybe we will go to Brazil or go somewhere else to live for a little while.” And she told me that that would be a great thing for me to do. But she was heading home to Calgary. So there was not much of an option so, I passed the test.

I came back here and interned with Dr Thompson who was my initial mentor in NUCCA. I worked with him through my internship and I worked with him for probably in total including the internship there for about a year.  The truth is my ability to be a good associate is probably not great.  I do like to follow but I also have certain perspectives, certain thoughts, and certain ideas. I really felt an overwhelming need to express those.

In all honesty, I expressing them in Dr Thompson’s office probably made him really happy for me to go somewhere else as well. We had a fairly quick end to our associate relationship and we had a good year. And so that didn’t work out.