When Marcus Steele was in kindergarten in Prairie du Chien, he wrote on a piece of paper: “When I grow up I want to be a doctor.” His mother still has the note.
He began his pre-med education with the intent of becoming a surgeon. He changed his mind when he thought about what a surgeon does.
“Instead of removing tumors, as a chiropractor I can really help people get and stay healthy. I can adjust them and counsel them on nutrition, exercise and lifestyle changes. I can help them become healthier, and I’m truly working in health care,” said Steele.
Chiropractor Uses His Job To Teach Healthy Changes
Duties: Chiropractic medicine is a therapeutic system based on the premise that disease is caused by interference with nerve function. Normal condition is restored by adjusting the segments of the spinal column.Steele’s day is full with seeing patients and doing paperwork. He performs physical exams, chiropractic adjustments, nutrition counseling, X-rays and does lab work including liver screens, blood glucose, cholesterol and urinalysis. Steele has recently become a clinical nutritionist. He does referrals to medical doctors as needed.One of Steele’s most memorable patients was a 9-year-old boy who was obese, diabetic and scheduled for surgery to have his thyroid removed. His mother took him to Steele because of headaches. Steele adjusted him and provided nutrition and exercise counseling. After three months of hard work, the boy lost more than 30 pounds, the surgery was canceled and his diabetes was in check.
“The boy could run and play and was happy. That’s health care,” said Steele.
The best advice he ever received came from his father: “After school, I was worried about paying my bills and having time with my family. My dad told me to take care of my patients and everything else will fall into place,” said Steele.
Best part of the job: “Teaching people how to be as healthy as possible,” said Steele. Another bonus to him is that his schedule is flexible so he gets a lot of family time.
Worst part of the job: “Paperwork and dealing with insurance,” said Steele. He works with more than 300 insurance companies and gets frustrated when an insurance company is more concerned with money than a patient’s care.
How can others become a chiropractor?: The education is an eight-year program just like that of a medical doctor.”You really have to care about people. You have to be compassionate and not selfish. You have to be willing to give a lot of yourself and not get much back. The reason I say that is because you go to the doctor when there’s a problem and you expect to feel better. We don’t get a lot of praise or thanks and we don’t hear from them again until there’s another problem,” said Steele.His career advice for new chiropractors is to work with someone with at least 10 years of experience so they can be a mentor and answer questions
Future aspirations: Steele would love to see a population based on good health. He would like people to go to the doctor to learn how to be as healthy as they can, not just go when there’s a problem. “I would love to see health care, not pain care,” said Steele.
Final word: Steele said, “Not all chiropractors are the same so don’t try just one. But that goes for any profession. Just because you had one teacher that you didn’t like doesn’t mean that all teachers are bad.”