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Advice About Life After Life West from Dr. Dieter

With Commencement just around the corner, Dr. Phil Dieter travels back in time to reflect upon his time at Life West. Dr. Dieter was honored with the Alumnus of the Year award last month during the Job Fair.

You received the alumnus of the year award, did you expect that? How did you feel when you received it?

A: I was completely surprised with this award. I was really humbled by the honor but it was nice to be recognized. So often I just keep the petal to the metal because I’m constantly questioning the kind of impact the things I am doing have. Moreover, does anybody care? Political advocacy and advancing the chiropractic profession seem so vital to me in the healthcare landscape , I wish more of my colleagues felt the same. When Dr. Tayal presented me with the award, a wave of emotion came over me,  because all the hard work felt appreciated. 

Are you where you envisioned yourself to be when you graduated LW?

A: I have a long way to go to accomplish what I envisioned for myself 15 years ago. I see the need for infrastructure in the chiropractic profession. For a system that helps new graduates matriculate into the profession and minimizes attrition. I get closer everyday. I remember Dr. Strutton asking me when I would be president of LCCW, so that may be something that I continue to strive towards. I should probably get Dr. Oberstein’s blessing first. 

What was the highlight of your senior year here at LW?

A: Winning the clinical excellence award was very memorable. I love the history of technique and I continue to be a student of technique and analysis. It was also very rewarding to go on El Salvador mission trips at the time. 

What advice would you give to a new graduate that you wish you knew at the time?

A: Get a system in place to manage your attitude and energy. Life happens while you build your practice, and there will be things that build you up and try to break you down. When I committed to goal setting, affirmation, visualization, reading, writing, and meditation my practice started to grow. Self improvement is a lifetime process. I also think that confidence and certainty in who you are and what you stand for has made a huge difference. Your confidence and certainty grow with studying, training, researching, and continually learning. 

What is one of the most beneficial lessons you learned from LW that you use in your practice today?

A: The idea of lasting purpose has always resonated with me. I think the opportunity to be immersed in the philosophy of chiropractic has been essential. The philosophical foundation has allowed me to explore the different aspects of vitalism that exist in the world and seeing how those play out in day to day practice still astonish me. I guess one more piece of advice I would offer the new graduate is to go back to philosophy and try to learn and understand as much as you can. It will give you the confidence and certainty to sustain all the trials and tribulations you may encounter.

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