West alum pioneers first campus-based chiropractic centre at Canadian university
The University of Regina in Saskatchewan recently launched the Chiropractic Wellness and Rehabilitation Centre, the first chiropractic-dedicated facility on a university campus in Canada.
The Centre marks the culmination of a mission that Rajesh “RJ” Doobay, D.C., West ’02, embarked upon nearly three years ago – and the Richmond, British Columbia, native is pleased, proud and excited to bring his dream to fruition.
“It’s been a bit of an uphill battle, and I’ve encountered a few hurdles along the way, but I’m really proud, and it’s been entirely worth the effort,” said Dr. Doobay, a former West faculty member who most recently worked with ’96 West alumna Amy Bowzaylo, D.C., at the Saad Specialist Hospital in Saudi Arabia.
“It’s pretty cool to know you’re the first at something – and, in this case, something good that will do a lot of good for a lot of people!”
While in Saudi, Dr. Doobay not only gained experience providing care in a multidisciplinary setting, he helped establish the Eastern Mediterranean Middle East Chiropractic Federation (EMMECF).
He also met his wife, Erin, a Canadian native and University of Regina graduate. In 2015, the newlywed couple returned to Canada – and Dr. Doobay began to lay the groundwork to create a college-based chiropractic health center.
The University of Regina was the first campus Dr. Doobay visited. Much to his pleasure, it turned out to be the only campus he visited!
University officials were receptive to his proposal, in part due to outlining the multiple benefits of maintaining campus-based chiropractic services, versus the health center’s former process of referring students to an off-campus provider, located several miles away.
“Convincing the medical center to spend thousands of dollars on the proper equipment was a bit of a challenge — I’m proud that the University was able to see the wisdom in committing to the project, despite the enormous initial expenditure,” said the University of Toronto graduate (cellular and molecular biology), whose services at the Chiropractic Wellness and Rehabilitation Centre fall under the Faculty of Kinesiology, Health and Sport.
The chiropractic clinic is located in the University’s medical center, which includes orthopedists, orthopedic surgeons, and neurologists. In addition to pioneering the first clinic of its kind at a Canadian college-campus, Dr. Doobay also takes pride in educating his new medical center colleagues about the chiropractic profession.
“There’s a pretty steep ‘learning curve,’ since many of the other providers were not familiar with what chiropractors do,” said Dr. Doobay. He serves as a portal-of-entry provider at the University of Regina chiropractic centre, where care is covered by family insurance (for students under 25) or through supplemental coverage; care for members of the University’s men’s and women’s sports teams is covered by the athletic department.
“Several (of the other health providers) stepped into my treatment room on my first day, introduced themselves, and asked a bit about what I do. They also wanted to know how I could help their patients. It’s gone well. On my second day, the orthopedic surgeon referred patients to me!”
Prior to his Saad Hospital experience, Dr. Doobay also attempted a similar venture of introducing chiropractic care at a Toronto hospital, which didn’t achieve the desired outcome. He proudly credits his collective Palmer experience and associations for instilling the work ethic to persevere, which ultimately enabled him to bring the University of Regina project to fruition.
“I wouldn’t have been able to make this happen, or accomplish other goals since graduating, without the education I received from the amazing faculty at Palmer West,” said Dr. Doobay, a chiropractic patient since his teens.
“I credit these mentors for all that I’ve learned. As a faculty member, I learned from my students, as well. All my Palmer experiences shaped the person I’ve become, and have enabled me to become the kind of doctor I wanted to be.”