Joshua Grey is a student doctor currently finishing his last year at Life Chiropractic College West. He talks about why he left his career in healthcare tech and how he wants to be more active in helping people get well. He also talks about all his achievements as a student in chiropractic college and how he does it all because of his commitment and passion.
Listen to the podcast here:
Being A Chiropractic College Student with Joshua Grey
I am super excited about my guest today. I’ve known this awesome guy for a little over two years. As I introduce him, you’re going to want to get to know him too. Joshua Grey is finishing his last year at Life Chiropractic College West and after working in San Francisco in Silicon Valley. He was inspired to leave his career in healthcare tech to actively participate in helping people get well. As a Senior Chiropractic Intern at the Life West Health Center, he focuses on care that is light force and effective. He stays healthy with the support of his partner as they manage and prepare meal plans and work outs to fuel their busy lives. Without further ado, I want to introduce you to my friend, Josh Grey. Josh, how are you?
I am so excited to have you on my podcast. You’ve been on my mind since I started thinking about doing this thing. About a week ago, I hosted a seminar where I taught the Blair technique to thirteen students and two doctors and Josh was one of the students in my class. He was absolutely instrumental in making sure that all my technology ran flawlessly. He even, in the middle of seminar on our lunch break, helped me figure out how to cast my screen to a TV so that I could show everybody how to mark a digital x-ray and I felt it went over really well. I was so thankful that he was there. How about you? Did you think it went over well?
Yeah. It went really well. I think being able to do things on the fly and adapt to the needs of the group, it’s the same reason why chiropractic works. It helps people adapt better.
Why I wanted to interview you, Josh, is because you are absolutely incredible. You are an up and coming master in the Blair world, in the chiropractic world. As of recently, you were named the Student of the Year for your entire college. Is that correct?
That is correct. I was nominated by one of the staff at our school. I was shocked. She was like, “I want to nominate you for this.” She started making a list of all the things that I had done and I was like, “Has it really been that much?” Even just talking about being in my last year at school, time flies. I guess when you’re doing the things you love and you’re working hard, time does not sit still and it definitely doesn’t seem like it’s been that long. It was a huge honor. I hope to actually even leverage winning that award to continue just doing more work both for chiropractic and for Life West.
Another incredible honor that you were appointed to recently was that the Blair Chiropractic Society created a student liaison position so that we would have a voice, a representation and leadership from students to students throughout the country and the world. You were appointed as the first student liaison to the Board of Directors for the Blair Chiropractic Society.
I’m super stoked about that and honored. I think that it’s really about channeling the voice of students worldwide and the different student Blair clubs to the board of directors and then also to practicing doctors that are members of the society, to give the context and perspective that we have, and to make sure it’s translated across in a concise, cohesive message. I think it’s going to be a huge undertaking but I think it’s going to be one that benefits the next generation of Blair doctors and then the next generation of Blair patients.
I could not agree more with you, Josh. You make it seem so effortless to be so involved. When I was going through chiropractic college, I had a lot on my plate. I was a single mom, I worked three jobs, and I was taking all the electives and studying extra things like the Blair Chiropractic method. But you just make it seem so easy and again, you’re available for technology help. I know several people that text you on a regular basis and ask you for help with their technology. You’re doing that while you’re balancing having a personal life, planning a wedding, graduating from chiropractic school. You make it look easy and I am proud to know you.
Thank you. I would say it’s not easy. For people that are maybe not doing the things that I’m doing, they’re like, “How did they do that?” It definitely is a conscious decision that people have to make to want to do the extra and to want to push themselves to the limit. People like to do skydiving. Being super involved and super committed is like professional skydiving. Even though you’re stressed out about an exam, you’re still able to focus on that extra that you’re doing. It just takes one commitment once and finishing that and then doing it again. I think for anyone out there that is wanting to do more, start, so that eventually someone else is looking at you thinking that it looks effortless and it’s really just consistent hard work.
I love that you mention the word consistency because that’s how we get good at anything. When I was in school, you always hear that old adage, “Practice makes perfect.” That may or may not be true, but it definitely makes permanent. If you’re consistently working at something that you’re passionate about and that you know is going to make a difference, eventually it’s going to seem seamless. I remember the first time that I looked at a protractor view in this clinic at Palmer College, I had an anxiety attack because I knew that I had to do this technique. I knew that I had to learn this so that I could serve humanity and give people’s lives back the way that mine was. I looked at it and it was as if I was reading Greek. I was scared. I remember my instructor Todd Hubbard telling me, “You just have to keep practicing,” and that was phenomenal advice. I’m really, really glad that you brought that up because being consistent and just being able to finish the task at hand, follow through and move on to the next thing, it’s awesome.
I think a lot of people are scared because they’re like, “I’m going to fail at that. It’s not going to be an A plus the first time around.” When I’ve done different public speaking engagements, I’ve checked my pulse on my iWatch and it increases. I still have that visceral response even though I’m getting on the stage and I’m speaking to others that it looks like it’s seamless. It’s really about fighting that natural instinct to be out of the spotlight and saying, “I can do this.” Every time it does get easier. I would say starting out, you’re probably a C plus and you move up into B and then A and then you’re like, “Now, I’m a master. Now, I’m a pro.” Even the masters and pros continue to refine the hundredth and tenth of a decimal for that extra perfection.
I agree with you. That’s why I got into teaching the Blair work because if you can teach it and explain it to people, then you’re going to be even better at delivering it. One of the things that motivated me to become an instructor for the society is so that I could continually talk about it. Thankfully, I have an audience of people that are accepting of my teaching. It’s been such a pleasure to be, now up into the Bay Area three times this year talking about Blair chiropractic. One of the first times I got to go up was I spoke at the seminar, which is a Friday seminar that your school. It’s a mandatory attendance for every person in the school to attend. Your hard work for probably eight months before me getting there in January led me to being able to walk out on that stage and share my life story and talk about what inspires me, and how I can help inspire them to just do what they’re passionate about. It was such a huge honor to be there and from that, it led into two incredible seminars where 25 people are now exposed to this amazing thing called Blair Chiropractic that otherwise may not have been. It was absolutely awesome.
We were super happy to have you. As a trickle-down effect of that, we have a Blair intern graduating this quarter. She’s able to pass on her patient base to now several interns. It’s more than just one passing it to one and so it’s more people getting to experience Blair Chiropractic. It’s more people getting to practice it before we even become licensed docs. There’s definitely been a snowball effect of the work that we did.
Let’s go back a little bit. You left the healthcare tech industry to come learn how to be a practitioner. What led you to making the decision to become a chiropractor and then what led you to make the decision to be interested in practicing Blair?
I would say that the decision to even leave very well-paying jobs, very desired jobs with desired companies, it was not necessarily being fulfilled by my work. I had another friend who had a very prestigious job, it was in the same situation who had a health crisis. He was younger than me. I was maybe 24, 25 at the time. Seeing that, I realized life is way too short to be doing something that you’re not fulfilled by even if it’s financially rewarding or you have the corner office or things of that nature. I decided then and there, I was like, “I’m not doing this.” Having been in healthcare and been drawn to it because I had interest in it, I had family that was going through health crisis and I was frustrated with the kind of care that they were being given and the systems that they were having to be put through. I wanted to be part of the solution both for my loved ones and for other people’s loved ones. I basically started this process of interviewing my friends that worked in healthcare: different nurses, different doctors of all different specialties and backgrounds.
I ended up deciding that chiropractic was the best option for me to be congruent with my beliefs and feel I was making a difference in people’s lives. The decision to want to be a Blair chiropractor was before I even decided to be a chiropractor because up until that point, the only kind of chiropractic care that I had received was Blair Chiropractic. I didn’t even realize how unique it was until maybe starting school, so second and third quarter. I was already very much invested and interested in it and knew that that was going to be very much part of my path. It just naturally incorporated itself in my decision to become a chiropractor.
I didn’t even realize that you had been under Blair care first, then you did all this interviewing because you are so good at researching and making sure that you’re making a balanced decision based on your values system, based on what makes you tick. It’s incredible. Then you went to chiropractic college and was like, “Wait a second, there are other stuff besides Blair?” It’s so funny because I had almost the opposite. I grew up under chiropractic and I didn’t even know about Blair Chiropractic until I was year away from graduating from chiropractic school. I think that’s a huge win for the Blair world to have a guy going into college knowing he wanted to do Blair before he even knew about any other kind of chiropractic. That is what I want to hear every day. I want to have a Blair chiropractor in every community so that every student in high school has access to say, “Maybe I should be a Blair chiropractor when I grow up.” Wouldn’t that be amazing?
Yeah. Honestly, I think it’s been one of the things that’s helped me keep my foundations and my groundedness and my ‘why,’ and the different aspects that are important to me, because I knew it going in. Blair is an elective at Life West so I wasn’t able to take it until a little bit later on. Everything that I was learning was still through that Blair lens. Sometimes I think it made a little bit more difficult because I would challenge different thoughts or concepts and ideas. I think being open minded enough to be like, “This is something different. Let me understand how this works together. How is this different? What are the benefits of being different?” It’s the same thing with having taken a lot of other upper cervical electives. It gave me the context of, “How is Blair different for patients as well as practitioners from the other upper cervical techniques?” Maybe not from an expert level but being able to discuss the differences with future patients.
As a student intern, give me a little taste of what you’ve been able to help symptomatically. You’re just in your last year of chiropractic school. You’re working under licensed doctors that are overseeing you. What kind of results and what kind of cases are you seeing as a student doctor?
I just want to give a shout-out to the licensed doctors that oversee us because I think it’s definitely not easy to be in a “practice” of 200 and 250 interns that have anywhere from five to twenty plus patients each. We’re very, very lucky to have the licensed doctors, the doctors that we have, the expertise is just astronomical at Life West Health Center. Some of the cases that our supervising docs and myself have, there was a gentleman who came in having headaches and have low back pain. Essentially, the primary part of his care was being under upper cervical care and then we would do additional things once he was holding. They’re holding their upper cervical adjustment before getting any other kind of care. Recently, they came into the health center this week and I was like, “How have you been since your last adjustment?” They said, “I’ve been great.” I needed more. I wanted to know more. I was like, “Have you had any headaches?” He’s like, “No.” “Have you had any back pain?” He’s like, “No.” I was like, “Okay.” It was really great to see those symptoms, even though it’s not necessarily they’re making the connection to the upper cervical care being resolved with their chief complaints.
You as a student were able to take this man under care who had come in with headaches and low back pain. To general public, one might say, “What in the world do headaches and low back pain have to do with your neck?” You adjusted him. He came in, he didn’t need to have an upper cervical adjustment. His neck was “holding” and his pain was gone. He didn’t have the symptoms of a headache. He did have not the symptoms of low back pain. You’re a student doctor. How rewarding is that? How much more do you want to get out and tell the whole world?
It’s great but it’s also one of those things that there’s still even a little self-doubt. I will check his scan and I go to the other docs and I’m like, “Is this scan clear? Are we sure this is not in pattern?” I’m at a point now where I’m very much trying to incorporate understanding the factors of being that successful every time so that it can be reproduced across all of my patients.
It’s easy, in my opinion because I happen to do this every day for a living, to really get used to seeing incredible results on a regular basis. I think it’s natural for you in the beginning to be like, “Is it really that simple?” But it is. When you deliver something that’s proven, that is reproducible and that is scientific, it’s going to be able to be reproduced in each and every person that you see. Even though every individual is different, the same great results occur. That’s what’s so fascinating about it.
I agree completely. It’s a blessing to be able to see those changes, and not only from my care but also from my peers. The cohort that we’ve gone through, the basic sciences together, clinical sciences together, we’re now getting to see patients and get to see our patients have these amazing results. It’s very rewarding and it makes the long hours of studying worthwhile for sure.
I want to talk you a little bit about your up and coming leadership in the Blair society. You’ve been elected as our first student liaison to the Board. I met you a little over two years ago in Las Vegas at the chiropractic convention for the Blair society that we had in 2015. When I met you, that was the year that I won the award Blair Chiropractor of the Year. That was the coolest moment because I’m standing at the top of this hotel in a suite. It was like a rock star moment where all of your peers and everybody that you love and respect and all these students are staring at you, and you’re accepting this really incredible award, looking over the Vegas strip on top of a hotel in a penthouse suite. It doesn’t really get much better than that. I remember talking to you and you had just so much energy and excitement, and that was two years ago. You were in the beginning of your chiropractic career at that point. Was it the party that got you hooked? What is it that you love about the organization?
I honestly enjoyed the party. It was really great to have that conference be such an early occurrence in my exposure to the Blair society, to advance Blair chiropractic beyond just being a patient. I think the thing that’s really been defining for me is that I’ve had the ability to connect with so many different Blair doctors all across the country and the world actually and ask them questions of, “What it’s like to practice? What are your words of wisdom as me being a pre-health center, me being in the health center? Now, as I’m getting ready to graduate, what are your words of wisdom as I’m about to exit the health center?” To really have that worldwide community of friendly doctors that want to see you succeed and know that your success is what allows them to refer patients across the country to you and for patients to get that kind of care is really a big family. I think that is the crowning piece of why I’m so happy to be part of the Blair society.
It’s such a joy for me to be able to mentor the up and coming generation. That’s why I pour my heart and soul out into the seminars that I teach and the phone calls that I make. Because being able to see somebody coming out of school be successful and be confident in their skill set is a win for not only the Blair society but for chiropractic and for all the people that are searching. When they get online and they Google headache, when they Google migraine, when they Google depression, when they Google low back pain, they’re going to find us because we’re going to be so successful that people are going to be talking. It’s incredible to know that as a receiver at this point, you feel motivated to then be a giver in the near future. I don’t see anything less than that happening with you because your drive is so contagious. I hope that I get to work with you on the board for a long time in the future and I cannot wait to see where you land. Do you have any clue where you’re going or what you’re doing?
I think that is still to be determined. I’m very lucky to be planning a wedding with my partner. He and I will be getting married right before I graduate. The world is our oyster. We’re going to work hard to achieve our dreams and we’re not exactly sure where we want that to take place. We’re still open to whatever opportunities come our way.
No matter where you land, I know it’s going to be an instant success, not without hard work and not without a lot of blood, sweat and tears; tears of joy, tears of heartache. It’s going to all be there, no doubt. I’ve been in this game nine years now and it has been a lot of amazing work. I’m so excited to know that where I am or you’re going to be, it’s going to be beautiful. I think that we covered a lot today, Josh. I am so thrilled that you took time on a Friday night to talk with me and I really look forward to the bright future ahead for you. I hope that I’m a part of your story in many years to come.
I hope you are too. It’s been a pleasure to be your guest and I look forward to working with you more in the future.
DC to be Joshua Grey, I can’t wait for your graduation and I can’t wait to have you right by my side calling you a colleague. In my heart you’re already are.
Thank you, Josh.
For all my listeners, that was Josh Grey. You can tell I’m a big fan of his. What I think is important for you to know about our little conversation is that if you’re a student listening, you can have just as much success as he has and that’s simply by being consistent. It’s by putting one foot in front of the other and making choices and executing the choices in the steps that you have in front of you. If you’re a person listening just seeking out, figuring out, “What is Blair Chiropractic? What is chiropractic college?” Google Life Chiropractic College West; I went to Palmer College in Davenport, Iowa. Those two schools you really can’t go wrong. There’s a great school out east called Life. You can’t go wrong with any of these chiropractic colleges. They’re going to give you a really solid education and they’re going to teach you the philosophy, the art and science and they also offer Blair as an elective on their campus, which other chiropractic schools in the nation do not. I’m working really hard to change that but at this moment, Life West, Palmer, and Life in Atlanta, Georgia have electives offered on campus, which is a huge win.
I hope that you enjoyed this interview. I hope that if you have any questions, you’ll reach out to me. Let me know if there’s anything I can answer. I look forward to talking to you all really soon.
About Joshua Grey
Josh is currently enrolled in his senior year of the chiropractic program at Life Chiropractic College West (LCCW) and a senior chiropractic intern seeing patients with overseeing, licensed doctors of chiropractic.
When Josh is not studying for exams or working in the clinic, he mentors his peers in professional and interpersonal communication. He occasionally takes projects with startups advising them on regulatory compliance and user acceptance testing.
Josh has a proven record of joining teams rapidly and being a valued contributor. Prior to starting school- he had the pleasure of working on a rapidly moving and evolving product implementation team at drchrono. He was highly sought for high profile/value accounts by his colleagues. Prior to that, he worked on an award-winning customer success team at Practice Fusion and not only guaranteed customer success in record numbers, but also consistently trained and coached his peers.
His professional background not only shows his desire to lead, support and succeed but also that he is calm under pressure. This composure has been exemplified while supporting system failures, managing communication during internal system issues, and evacuations during emergency procedures.
Josh’s focus in school, in addition to general full spine adjusting, has been on addressing issues in the neck and extremities. He has taken 4 additional elective courses to address complaints in the neck and has completed the Council of Extremity Adjusting Seminar series.