Earlier this year, Murray welcomed Matt Nelson to the fold.
Matt, who grew up in Shaunavon, is currently serving a three month internship under Murray and hopes to ultimately take over the reins of the local clinic.
“We tried to find a chiropractor for years, but could never find anyone,” said Murray, noting that there are only a small number of chiropractors graduating from college each year and that most of the grads are interested in setting up in a big city facility.
“So when Matt came along it was like a dream. It’s been a good development for us here at the clinic and it’s really good news for the community.”
Matt is scheduled to finish up his internship early this summer and will write his licensing exam in June. It is expected to take several months for the final paperwork to be completed.
If everything goes according to plan, Matt could be taking over the clinic as early as late August.
That, however, doesn’t mean that Murray will be disappearing anytime soon.
The longtime Shaunavon chiropractor – who is nearing the 38th year at his Shaunavon clinic – plans to continue working on a part time basis.
“I will get to 40 years at the same time that I turn 65 – so those are a couple of milestones that I would like to hit,” he laughed.
Matt, meanwhile, is just getting started.
While he has a way to go before matching Murray’s multi-decade career, you could say that Matt has spent his entire life preparing for this moment.
In fact, Matt’s first chiropractic experience came when he was just a few months old.
“I was a restless baby that didn’t want to stop crying,” he explained. “My parents had tried everything to fix the problem before coming to Murray for a treatment. There was an instantaneous change in my demeanor after they made the visit.”
“My family became an immediate believer in benefits of chiropractic techniques.”
Matt, an outstanding Shaunavon high school athlete who excelled at football and went on to play for the University of Regina Rams, became a regular visitor to Murray’s clinic over the years.
“I was involved with sports growing up and I had an interest in movement and how the body works, as well as the treatment of injuries,” he stated. “Being fixed up by Murray was a big part of what inspired me to seek out this profession.”
“I know many patients that have been positively impacted by the profession – and have seen first-hand how it has helped my friends, family and myself,” he added. “I look forward to building upon the evidence-based, patient-centred practice that Dr. Shadbolt has established here in the Southwest.”
Matt spent five years at the U of R, where he earned a degree in physical education and worked several years as a teacher.
He later moved on to complete a four year degree program at the Canada Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto – the only one of its kind in English speaking Canada and one of the most respected and prestigious chiropractic colleges in the world. The school requires its students to complete a Bachelor’s degree before being considered for admission to the college.
Matt says moving from a teaching background to chiropractic college was a relatively easy transition.
“It wasn’t so much a change as it was a way to build on the challenge that I enjoyed while teaching,” said Matt. “Doctor means teacher in Latin – I still see what I do as teaching in a big way.”
It’s been a busy learning year for Matt as well. His college studies included rotations at several clinics in Toronto, including one in the downtown area that housed other health professionals and welcomed patients with a wide range of maladies, including HIV, drug addiction and mental illness.
“Its been quite a year of transition, but a terrific learning experience,” admitted Matt.
For now, however, Matt and his wife Amanda are looking forward to life in the relatively safe environment of Southwest Saskatchewan. The couple is getting ready to start their own family.
“Shaunavon is a one-of-a-kind town, so to be able to sink my roots here with my family is great ,” he stated. “We hope to have Amanda here more at the clinic in the future. We want it to be a place where families feel comfortable, including my own.”