Meet A Member | Dr Eileen Petersen

Meet A Member | Dr Eileen Petersen

Meet A Member | Dr Eileen Petersen

Central Queensland University Health Clinic Supervisor &
Chiropractic lecturer + Senior Chiropractor
Chiropractic Australia since 2011

Dr Eileen practises part-time as a Senior Chiropractic Practitioner and is also a health clinic supervisors and lecturer at Central Queensland University.  Originally from Sydney, Eileen completed her Chiropractic studies at Macquarie University in 2011. Eileen is passionate about research and evidence-based learning, and she has spoken at multiple Clinical Education seminars across Australia. As a practitioner, Eileen uses a combination of chiropractic adjusting, soft tissue techniques, focused rehabilitation, ergonomic advice, and dry needling. In her spare time, Eileen enjoys swimming, running, and keeping fit at the gym.  When she’s not keeping active, Eileen loves to read and is passionate about food and healthy recipes.

Why did you become a chiropractor?

I originally became a chiropractor because my father saw a chiropractor and then I realised that my hunched back, tight shoulders, and headaches weren’t genetic. I wanted to become a chiro so I could help others feel as good as I felt.There are many people out there that don’t realise how great they can feel by using adjustments, chiropractic advice and getting back into exercise. I wanted everyone to feel as great as I did.

If you weren’t a chiropractor, what would you be?

I might have become an optometrist, and I am glad I didn’t as it would have been quite hard for me to be in a small room and not moving. I love chiropractic as I can get out there and move around, always be on the go and look beyond a small area of the body. We look at all parts of the human body and can help to nut out a comprehensive diagnosis.

What advice would you give students and new graduates entering the workforce as chiropractors?

There are lots of benefits to becoming a chiropractor, you can work alone or work with others.  Helping people in all aspects of their lives and creating a bespoke treatment for an individual is so rewarding. It is a great profession because you can choose how you want to work, and there are lots of options for how you want to practice including sports chiro or helping the elderly.

What has the last ten years looked like for you in your career?

I grew up in NSW and this is where I went to university before moving to sunny Queensland. In Sydney it is a bit of hustle and bustle and in Queensland, it has been more relaxed, and I’ve seen a lot of different cases that I may not have been exposed to in the big smoke. I might have seen a lot of weekend warriors and professional office workers in a city practice, whereas in Queensland I would usually see more people from the land or in more unique roles such as the mines and properties. Now I am working in the university as well as clinical practice and am forever drawn to the educational side of things.

What draws you to educating up and coming chiropractic students?

When I started at university, I remember being very shy and I remember the tutors and the lecturers really inspiring me to help open up and become the chiropractor I am today. The reason I now do work at the university is because I wanted to give back and help students develop and evolve in the same way I experienced. I wanted to help students come out of their shell and encourage students to move onto bigger and brighter things. It has been beneficial to see students develop over the years I am involved in their teaching. The students I see come from all walks of life, some are former diesel fitters, Chinese medicine practitioners, police officers, and nurses – just to name a few – so we do get to work alongside some students from fascinating backgrounds. Chiropractic speaks to a lot of people from all walks of life.

Why is community important to you as a chiropractor?

Historically chiros weren’t always welcomed necessarily by the medical community, and the profession had to band together as a united front. Due to this and simply due to the profession being a strong community, CA and the profession are a great community support. Because we work in smaller community-based practises it is very hands on, which means we have a touch connection with patients. We support patients in a holistic way and build connections in our practises in a unique way that creates a great community and long-term connections.

Why did you become a member of Chiropractic Australia?

Chiropractic Australia has always presented themselves as evidence-based and an advocate for research, and this resonated with me. I also knew Rob from Macquarie University, which made it an easy choice when it came to a membership organisation. The way they presented the organisation I really enjoyed. The value I gain from CA is being able to attend CPD events and being able to add to my knowledge base and reaching out to fellow evidence-based researchers as well. When I first graduated there was a risk management program with Chiropractic Australia which I took part in, and there was a benefit through Aon insurance if you did these modules. CA really has been great at keeping on top of my risk management and it’s been a great asset to my practice. Thankfully I haven’t needed to use Aon, but I have contacted them, and they have been helpful.

Do you feel the chiropractic role plays a part in community care?

Chiropractic really succeeds when it supports the community around them, and the community provides support back. Having that relationship between chiro and the community leads to better outcomes for everyone involved. It has been great getting involved in chiropractic at university again, at CQU in Mackay, we have an intern clinic providing outreach and support for those who otherwise wouldn’t be able to access care. We have been able to provide a great deal of support for communities and are proud to have been successful in this program. Having patients come into our clinic gives students invaluable experience and really helps them get the experience they need for a successful future.

What advice would you give new graduates starting out in the profession?

When I finished, I became an associate chiropractor and I was thrown in a little bit as I didn’t know the booking and notation systems that were being used, which was new to me. My advice to new recruits is to find a like-minded chiropractor who works in a similar way to you so that you can get the best experience as you start out in your career. I would recommend new graduates to focus on their placements and get as much exposure to different practises to understand whether it is a better fit to be going to branch out alone or working in a team. Understanding the business and communication side of things is also important, understanding contracts and those sorts of things to bring all elements of being a chiropractor together. Chiropractors need to understand how to be a clinician and also the processes required in running a business, and this can be daunting.

Why do you think chiropractic has become such a trusted profession?

I think chiropractic has become such a trusted profession due to the fact we see the body holistically. If we see an injury to the ankle, we won’t just look at this area, we will look at the whole biomechanical chain of the body including the hips, knees, and the pelvis. We will explore how they are walking, how they are running and how it all works together. Because we look at the person as a whole and put all the pieces together like a puzzle, it can really help to find the best treatment for the patient that gets the best results. People can really trust us as they know we are looking at the big picture.

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