Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Sport Science grad opens chiropractic clinic in Ladner

Dr. Shawna Fiske (l) and her best friend and colleague, Dr. Danielle Miller, show off Fiskco Health + Performance's gorgeous digs. Photo: Adrian MacNair, Black Press
Do you love being active? Are you wondering where a diploma in Sport Science from Douglas College might take you? For Dr. Shawna Fiske, it was the first step to becoming a chiropractor and the owner of her own practice. Read on to meet Shawna and find out how she got there.

Sport Science (diploma), Douglas College, 2003
Kinesiology (degree), University of the Fraser Valley, 2006
Doctorate of Chiropractic, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College, 2011

Owner, head chiropractor
Fiskco Health + Performance

How it all began
“My father was involved in an fishing accident that severed his arm just below his left elbow. As a child I recall him saying that his left hand was itching and painful. When I came to Douglas, I learned about phantom limb pain and realized that my father was experiencing this. My father got relief from chiropractic treatment and continued care for years to help manage his chronic pain.”

The penny drops
“Later, when I was at UFV, I went to China to study martial arts. During one of our breaks, an elderly woman came to see one of our instructors. She was wobbling and you could see she was in pain. Fifteen minutes later she walked out from her visit like a brand-new person. I asked my translator what had just happened, and she told me our instructor was also a chiropractor. At that point something sparked. I remembered my dad and thought, ‘Right. There is something here.’”

Best thing about the job
“It’s getting people better. It’s getting them out of pain. It’s seeing them start to walk again, start to lose weight, go from diabetic to pre-diabetic. To be able to affect the quality of life of a patient like that is instantly gratifying. That’s what gets me up and excited to work every day.”

The perfect foundation
“Douglas was a great place for me to develop as an individual. It had a good sense of community. Working with [Aboriginal Student Services Coordinator] Dave Seaweed was just amazing. He was such a perfect mentor. I was a young, shy woman and I didn’t know what I wanted to do. He pretty much sat me down and said, ‘OK, this is what we are going to do for you.’ From Douglas I took my credits and transferred to university. There was no way I could have continued on to get my degree and doctorate without Douglas.”

No regrets
“When I was in Toronto I asked every single one of my clinicians, ‘What is your biggest regret?’ They always said they wished they had opened their own practice right after graduation. I decided to come back to Ladner, my hometown, and open up a practice. I dragged my best friend from Toronto back here, too. I convinced her to work with me. We now have a massage therapist as well, and the place is doing wonderful.”

Future goals
“I would love to open another clinic. My Aboriginal roots have made it possible for me to work with First Nations sports teams. I have built a wonderful network from the Sts’ailes First Nation community. My hope is to work with athletes participating in the North American Indigenous Games in Regina next year. I am ecstatic about this prospect.”