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This entry is part 4 of 5 in the series Women STaRs

Women STaRs Interview with Dr Patel.

If you prefer, enjoy the audio podcast here: LISTEN

Dr. Patel grew up in Florida her entire life until she moved to Ohio to be with her husband. She decided to open her own chiropractic office in 2018 in Shaker Heights, OH because she loves the community presence as well as the diversity there. She and her husband have a feisty, fun 16-month-old daughter. Her passion is to help as many people reach their optimal level of health naturally. You can contact Dr. Patel by phone at: 216-675-1872, by email at: corelifechiro@gmail.com, or visit her website at: https://www.corelifechiro.com

This is an abridged transcript of this interview. To experience Dr. Patel’s interview in full, please watch the video.

 

Shanti:

I want to thank all of you for listening today. My name is Shanti Harkness, and I’m the Media Manager for On Technology Partners, a woman-owned company addressing Cyber Security and Risk.

 

As a woman-owned business for 30 years, we wanted to share the stories of women and the Struggles, Triumphs, and Reflections they face. That is why we started Woman STaRs. Join us as we share the reflections of women just like you that have survived struggles and embraced triumphs in their lives.

 

Today, we'll be talking with Dr. Pooja Patel from Core Life Chiropractic. Dr. Patel, thank you so much for taking the time to speak with me today.

 

Dr. Patel:

It's my pleasure.

 

Shanti:

So tell us a little bit about what you do, where you work, what it's like, and how long you've been doing it?

 

Dr. Patel:

Sure. So I am a chiropractor in Shaker Heights, Ohio. I opened Core Life Chiropractic in April of 2018, when I decided there was a need for what I offer in the community of Shaker. It’s such a tight-knit area, but I didn't see any chiropractors and googling Shaker Heights, I was like, “How is there no chiropractor in the city of Shaker Heights?” There were in the surrounding cities. And so I opened my office there.

 

We offer neurological-based chiropractic care, which is where we focus on correcting spinal subluxation, which is where there's pressure on the nerves basically, and those nerves in your body take the messages from your brain to every cell, organ, and tissue and if there's pressure on those nerves, those messages just simply are not going to get there the way they need to.

 

We work on just getting patients in and out with their adjustments and sending them home with their homework, with their PT and rehab exercises. Because we know time is money. And everyone's on the go, go, go these days. So we do a really good job of making sure no one's ever waiting too long. And it's been great so far.

 

Shanti:

So Dr. Patel, before we dive into struggles, let's just take a moment and focus on your biggest triumphs. Can you share what happened and why it was such a great triumph for you?

 

Dr. Patel:

When I had my daughter 15 months ago, pretty recent, but it was a very traumatic experience. Yeah, I had dislocated—during childbirth, they had to do an emergency episiotomy on me, which caused my coccyx to dislocate, which also caused a grade-four tear—it goes from grade one to four. So I had been ripped all the way through. And I only had four weeks of maternity leave, because I'm self-employed. So I had to find a doctor to come and cover and I only had somebody for one month.

 

Shanti:

Wow. So I would say definitely a triumph to overcome that and come out as well as you appear to be doing.

 

Dr. Patel:

Even the whole time I was pregnant, I would think like, “How am I going to do this with her?” But even before I was pregnant, I’d think, “Once I tend to have a baby, when should we have a baby?” There's always like that thought process of the future. And you can plan as much as you want, just life will throw all kinds of curveballs at you to show you who's really in charge.

 

Shanti:

Absolutely. So we know that triumphs don't come without struggles. Maybe you could just share what some of your biggest struggles have been. This can be either personally or professionally, how you were able to get through them, how they affected you, and what type of impact that it had on your life and career.

 

Dr. Patel:

Sure. So I’ll start personally, because we were just talking about that, and with having my daughter, I did recognize myself just being in a mental funk all the time and that came out as anger towards my loved ones. And I realized that I wasn't who I used to be. And I recognized this is a form of postpartum depression. And I sought out a therapist immediately. She wasn't a good therapist.

 

I actually brought up my mental health struggle to a patient in the office, because I was already back in the office at five weeks. And luckily her husband is head of the psychology department at one of the universities here and recommended somebody to me. She was fantastic. So moral of the story: if one person in some industry is not good, it's okay, just move on to the next one. There is somebody that will fit you and understand your needs a little bit better. And so mental health is really important and good.

 

That brings us to my professional struggle. With COVID right now, mental health is, as you might have noticed, on an extreme decline. People are becoming unemployed. A lot of people are scared to come out of their homes because they don't want to catch the virus. So a professional struggle has been keeping my practice alive in this pandemic and making sure my patients feel comfortable and safe in the sanitized space that we provide for them with the social distancing.

 

It was really tough in the beginning. We saw a rapid decline in our clientele. A negative 80%, the first couple weeks. So I had to decrease my hours. We decreased our hours. I was on CDC website for hours coming up with a protocol for COVID in our practice, and how to properly social distance and still serve the ones that need our help. Because chiropractors were considered an essential business. And they wanted us to remain open to keep musculoskeletal-related conditions out of the emergency rooms, because that's the last place you want to be when you have a backache or neck ache, in a room infested with other people that who might have just came there for COVID testing. Though that was the latest professional struggle.

 

Shanti:

So as women we juggle a multitude of things. We have career. We have our families, household responsibilities, sometimes illnesses and caregiving. Tell us how you maintain a work-life balance and how you've structured your team at Core Life Chiropractic to help you manage all of these items.

 

Dr. Patel:

The work-life balance basically is an ongoing—I may do great one week, and the next week just feels exhausting. But I try to set the boundaries in the practice. So when I'm at the practice, I give the practice my 100% all, as well as my team. One thing that we do to help set the intentions for the days, we call pre-shift huddle and post-shift huddle.

 

We have a team huddle before they get started, going over the agenda of the day, the expectations of the day. End of the shift, we repeat. What went wrong, who missed, why they miss,  and what we need to do for the remainder half of the shift and to prepare for the next day. And during that huddle, we might show a positive video, a funny video, or just share a quote, or a simple testimony, or a story. So setting the hours and being really intentional with them.

 

And once my daughter is asleep, once we do get home, it's go-go-go, make dinner, get her backpack for the next day, clean up, get our stuff ready for the next day, once she's bathed and down by 8 p.m., we have that one hour to ourselves or hour and a half until, the next day. And sometimes that hour could just be sitting in the same room working still on work, or we might watch something together or have like dialogue time. It just varies day-to-day. We try to be very intentional with our time together because it is so limited. We could be in the same house all day, every day and still hardly get to communicate with each other.

 

Shanti:

So let's take a moment. Could you reflect on something that you wish you would have known sooner in life and share that with us?

 

Dr. Patel:

Like if I can just go back and have a conversation with my younger self, you mean?

 

Shanti:

Sure, anything.

 

Dr. Patel:

Just keep working, yes, but stop stressing every single moment about the future. Living too much in the future is anxiety. Living too much in the past is some form of depression. We gotta live right in the present. And there's lots of little quotes saying the present is a gift. Enjoy it, because you don't know what's going to happen tomorrow. You can't change what happened yesterday. But just living in the present, and not stressing over what's going to happen. What's going to happen? When am I going to do this? Because I am too much of a planner. Life has shown me in so many ways that it's never going to be my way. And I'm thankful for that. Because I needed those kicks in the butt to let me know, nope.

 

Shanti:

Thank you so much for that. So if somebody wants to get in contact with you, how do they get in touch with you?

 

Dr. Patel:

Well, the best way would be to contact our office, 216-675-1710 or just visit our website, simply corelifechiro.com. You can submit an inquiry through our forum on there. You can visit our Facebook page and see what goes on in the office and office updates. We're also on Instagram, same handle: corelifechiro. Many different ways. Email, social media, simple phone call, or just swing by and drop in. We're in the beautiful part of Shaker where the Van Aken district is. It's a lovely place to visit and especially as the weather starts getting colder, everyone's gonna want an indoor safe space to be in and I would say the Market Hall at Bennington district is it.

 

Shanti:

Wonderful, and can you share your email address as well?

 

Dr. Patel:

Yes, it is corelifechiro@gmail.com

 

Shanti:

Thank you. Dr. Patel, it has been an absolute privilege speaking with you. Thank you again for taking this time.

 

Dr. Patel:

Thank you so much for having me, Shanti. I appreciate that.

 

Shanti:

On Technology Partners wants to thank you for joining us on this episode of Women STaRs. If you'd like to nominate a businesswoman to be interviewed for Women STaRs, please email their contact information and your reason for nominating them to stars@ontechpartners.com. Again, that stars@ontechpartners.com. My name is Shanti Harkness. Until next time, have a great day.

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