Congratulations Class 181!
The 89 students of Class 181 marked the beginning of their professional lives on Feb. 23 with their commencement ceremony in Vickie Anne Palmer Hall, on Palmer’s main campus in the Quad Cities.
Honors & Awards
The student address was delivered by the class Valedictorian, Morgan Rose Nails of Cullman, Ala., who encouraged her fellow classmates to continue to pursue their passion and change the world through chiropractic.
Research honors were conferred on Emily Speer from Denver, Colo.; and Loni Olstad from Westby, Wis., for their project “A feasibility study of teaching reproducible force-time profiles of the toggle-recoil and Blair Upper Cervical spinal manipulative procedures.” Emily Speer also was the class Salutatorian.
Chris Cucullo of Anchorage, Alaska received the Virgil V. Strang Philosophy Award. The Clinical Excellence Award was presented to Benjamin Hartman from Delano, Minn.
The commencement speaker was Arthur G. Lensgraff, D.C., a third-generation chiropractor who graduated from Palmer’s main campus in 1976. In his Tennessee drawl, Dr. Lensgraff shared stories and lessons he’d learned after 30 years of practice.
Most importantly, he said, “When you walk into the room, don’t just look at the patient, look into the person’s soul. Take time to really connect. That’s where the healing really begins.” He went on to share other nuggets of wisdom:
- “Every patient wants you to answer three questions. They’re wondering what is wrong, can you help, and how long will it take? Make sure they know the answers before they leave your clinic.”
- “It’s okay to call a patient to check on them after their first adjustment.”
- “We live in the age of the Internet. Despite that, send your patients hand-written notes. Acknowledge their struggles and achievements. Be their cheerleader. It goes a long way to helping people be receptive to your chiropractic care.”
- Connect with other health-care providers. “When I first opened my practice, I called all the neurosurgeons in town. There were 10. Only one called me back, but we’ve referred patients to each other ever since.”
- “My grandfather would always say, ‘Keep this in mind, son: patients are only interested in one thing. Results.’”
- “Expand the techniques that you use. You’ll help more patients.”
Dr. Lensgraff closed his speech with the story of an important conversation with his grandfather, Arthur W. Lensgraff, D.C., who graduated from Palmer in 1922. His grandfather began by asking, “Arthur, what do people do on Sunday afternoons?”
“I don’t know, Grand-Daddy,” Arthur replied.
“Well, on Sundays people go to church,” his grandfather said. “And after their religious experience, they gather. In the summer they’ll spread out on the lawn for a picnic, and in the winter they’ll gather around a fire and share a meal. Do you know what they do then, Aruthur?”
“No, Grand-Daddy,” Arthur replied.
“They talk about how they’re feeling and who they’re doctoring with.”
Arthur looked at his grandfather with a quizzical expression. It was his grandfather’s reply that kept Arthur accountable throughout his career.
“What will they say about you?”