Summer 2024 A.C.E.S. Workshop, July 15 – 19, 2024.

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Grooming the Next Generation of Pediatric Chiropractors

For Kelsi McClure, DC ’19, her career calling came in the delivery room where a friend was having a baby. After struggling to decide what kind of chiropractor she wanted to be, Dr. McClure said the experience confirmed her decision to pursue a degree in pediatric chiropractic.

“I’ve always been drawn to children, and being able to interact with children has never been challenging,” she said, noting she was a part-time nanny. “I also learned how to connect with children, understanding that you have to be on their frequency first.”

Dr. McClure immersed herself in pregnancy and early childhood care knowledge, becoming a certified birth doula and enrolling in pediatric courses with associate professor Mary Unger-Boyd, DC, DICS, CACCP. Naturally, while a student, Dr. McClure secured a spot working with Muriel Périllat, DC, MS, who oversees pediatric chiropractic services at Logan’s Montgomery Health Center.

Dr. Périllat embraces the opportunity to adjust and teach at the same time, which was a departure from her former role as Dean of Clinics. The education, she said, is in the interaction. “To be able to provide both care and knowledge in one-on-one situations with students is invaluable,” she said. “Every day is different with various conditions and cases.”

Parents seek chiropractic care for their children for a variety of reasons, such as eye-tracking issues, lack of balance and coordination, muscle diseases, colic, acid reflux and cranial distortions. Others look to chiropractic care to support normal development and growth of the child. For Dr. McClure, learning how to apply her adjusting skills and clinical knowledge to pediatric patients required an additional skill set.

“Infants and children have autonomy over their bodies. They read your body language, how you touch them,” Dr. McClure said. “Learning how to adjust softly and effectively under Dr. Périllat’s guidance was critical.”

Dr. Périllat creates a progressive learning environment where patient interaction starts minimally and increases over time as the interns develop their skills. This approach, Dr. McClure said, creates the space and confidence to hone one’s skills.

Following her rotation with Dr. Périllat, Dr. McClure started a 15-week preceptorship under James Kravis, DC (‘86), and Todd Sonquist, DC (‘13), at Correct Care Family Chiropractic in Livonia, Michigan. Dr. McClure graduated from Logan in April 2019 and is working as a full-time associate at Correct Care, where she focuses on family wellness, fertility, perinatal care and pediatrics.

Dr. McClure said one of the most important aspects of working with children is developing trust with the child as well as the parents, and then navigating those relationships

“People have different perceptions of chiropractic, and for some it’s about healing low back pain. In their minds, if they don’t have pain, they don’t need chiropractic care,” she said. “With a child, it’s so different. Children may not necessarily come to us in pain, yet they might display other symptoms of dysfunction. Helping people understand the complexities of what chiropractic can do has been an important part of the job.”