West campus clinician ranks OTC rotation as most gratifying career-experience
Ti Pence, D.C., CCSP® (West ‘06) recently completed a two-week rotation at the Olympic Training Center (OTC) in Chula Vista, Calif. — which the faculty-clinician at Palmer College’s West campus ranks as “the most gratifying experience” of his career.
Dr. Pence has helped manage patient-care in the Palmer Chiropractic Clinics in San Jose, Calif., since 2011. Prior to his Palmer faculty-appointment, Dr. Pence maintained practices in Colorado and California. He has also worked in a multidisciplinary clinic in Susuno, Japan, and completed a four-year qigong (traditional Chinese medicine) program in the U.S. and China.
Dr. Pence received an invitation to apply for an OTC rotation following his completion of the CCSP program in 2008.
“I’d wanted to do an OTC rotation since I heard about the program while completing my CCSP, so I was nervous when I received my letter (from the OTC),” said Dr. Pence, who has served as a Sports Council clinician at multiple events, and served as captain of the Palmer team of doctors and interns who provided care at the recent Avon 39 breast cancer fundraiser-walk in San Francisco.
“When I opened the envelope and saw that I’d been accepted, I felt total elation — but I also had to read the letter several times before I believed it was actually happening!”
Dr. Pence’s OTC rotation ended up falling at a unique time.
“Many Olympians were returning to the Center after winning medals at the Summer Games, and the Paralympians were preparing to go to Rio for their event,” said Dr. Pence.
“I spent most of my time working with the Paralympian track team. They were truly inspiring — which motivated me to do all that I could to help keep these amazing athletes competing at the top of their game!”
Dr. Pence typically began each morning by joining the athletes that he would be treating for breakfast in the OTC cafeteria, which offered an informal setting in which to prepare for the type of care he would be providing that day.
“Once we got all the athletes ready for practice, we would head down and see what help we could provide for the Paralympic track team,” said Dr. Pence.
“As soon as practice was over, we would head back to the clinic, where we would continue treating the athletes until 6 p.m.”
The more time he spent with the Paralympians, the greater the respect Dr. Pence developed not only for their impressive sports-skills, but for their competitive spirit and courage.
“I have worked in a spine-surgery clinic in Japan. I have helped breast-cancer walkers finish the Susan G. Komen 3-Day walks, and was the captain of the Palmer team at the recent Avon 39 walk for breast-cancer research – experiences for which I am truly grateful.
“However, my OTC rotation was truly the most intensely gratifying experience of my career. The Paralympians changed my view of athletes, and how I look at life in general. There is no way to truly express my gratitude for what it meant to be a part of this team for two weeks.”
Dr. Pence said he enjoyed working as part of a multidisciplinary team with other health care providers during his OTC rotation, and would gladly welcome the opportunity to serve in a similar role at an Olympics event.
“It would be an honor to work at the Olympics — and I would consider myself very lucky to be a part of the team,” said Dr. Pence, an avid martial-arts and sports enthusiast.
“However, I would love to provide care to the Paralympians at the next Paralympic games in Tokyo.”
As for the number of Palmer graduates who have earned similar OTC rotation-assignments, or have earned equally distinguished appointments in other multidisciplinary settings, Dr. Pence credits the quality of the Palmer program.
“I’d say our students are absolutely prepared for any area of practice they choose to pursue,” said Dr. Pence.
“We have leaders in corporate chiropractic, sports medicine, the VA and DoD. I hear all the time about our new graduates being asked, ‘Where did you learn that? I know it wasn’t in school!’ And they reply, ‘Well, I learned it at Palmer West!’ So, I think we are graduating doctors who are setting the new standard for the profession, in all aspects of chiropractic care!”
(Click here to learn more about the U.S. Olympic Committee Sports Medicine volunteer program.)