Dr. Steven Adams says his time as a student at Life Chiropractic College West 20 years ago wasn’t the typical student experience.
“I wasn’t very involved with a lot of campus activities while in school because I was working full time,” he said. “When I started school, I was an area PT director for a group of health clubs in San Francisco, and I did that up until I entered clinic. After that, I just focused on personal training and teaching group exercise classes which gave me a more flexible schedule for my clinic patients. Most of my classmates never saw me in anything other than my gym uniform until graduation day.”
- ABOUT DR. ADAMS:
Practices at SC Sports Therapy in San FranciscoTook over practice in 2007Graduated from Life West in 1999Member of the President’s Circle since 2017
Since then, a lot has changed at Life West. With President Ron Oberstein taking over leadership of the college, Dr. Adams has found a new reason to become more engaged with Life West. He’s even joined the President’s Circle, a community of dedicated donors who support Dr. Oberstein’s vision for the college.
The Right Guy for the Job
At a Life West event in 2017, Dr. Adams was re-introduced to Dr. Oberstein. “I knew him to be an exceptional chiropractor from a chiropractic family, and hearing that someone like him was coming back to the school to take over the reins was pretty exciting,” he said. “I felt he was the right guy for the job. Who better to run the school than someone whose whole family was dedicated to chiropractic?”
Several members of Dr. Adams’ team have graduated from or are currently attending Life West. This past winter, his massage therapist, Chris, began as a new student, and another intern, Eric, started last fall. Both new students will benefit from the newly launched Clinically Inspired Learning program which connects the academic curriculum with clinical learning earlier in the chiropractic education experience. Dominic, another student, is currently finishing his chiropractic degree, and Dr. Adams said he hopes that he will join his practice after graduation.
Dr. Adams came to chiropractic after suffering from a motor vehicle accident. “I knew I had been injured due to the head and neck pain, so I called Dr. Troy, and he said, ‘Come into the office and let me take care of you.’ ” Dr. Troy Chamberlin was Dr. Adams’ friend from the gym and a chiropractor practicing in San Francisco.
Dr. Adams wasn’t always pro-chiropractic, he said, but when Dr. Troy was able to care for his injuries after the accident, his interest in chiropractic blossomed. “Watching what he did, experiencing how it helped, and seeing how it could integrate with what I was already doing motivated me to attend a career night at Life West,” Dr. Adams said. “Learning that I could combine my passion for exercise with chiropractic allowed me to see a new path for my life.”
Now, he runs his practice from inside a Crunch Fitness club in San Francisco. “I stuck close to my roots so that I can share 35 years of fitness knowledge with my patients as part of their care.”
By combining chiropractic and exercise, Dr. Adams can care for current injuries and prevent future problems simultaneously. In this style of practice, many of his patients will seek care on a wellness basis, enabling Dr. Adams to help them progress their health and fitness. “It’s very rewarding when a patient comes in for back pain, telling me they hate to exercise, and a year later, I have them in good enough shape to run a Tough Mudder race.”
Dr. Adams credits Life West with giving him a strong chiropractic foundation. “I really enjoyed some great teachers while I was in school and left school confident in my education. In addition, I was mentored by some great doctors with gifted hands, allowing me to hit the ground running when building my practice.”
He encourages other chiropractors to re-engage with Life West. “What Dr. Oberstein and Dr. (Mark) Zeigler are doing is great for the school and the profession,” he said, referring to leadership at Life West. “We should make sure Dr. Oberstein has the support needed for the advancement of the profession.”