Alan Brewster, D.C.
Set His Sights on Sherman at Age 12
by Social Networks Manager Charlotte Babb
During his second visit to his chiropractor, the premise behind chiropractic care was explained to a young Alan Brewster in such a way that he understood that removing irritation from the spinal cord and nerves was the best way to keep people healthy. He thought the concept was remarkable.
At 12 years old, he stood at the front desk of chiropractor Gabe Ricciardi’s office and told Dr. Ricciardi and his wife, Arlene, who managed the office, “One day I’m going to be a chiropractor, and if you need me I’ll come home and run the office.” Today Dr. Ricciardi’s office is indeed Brewster’s workplace, and he continues a 50-year tradition of providing chiropractic care to the residents of Passaic Park, NJ.
Brewster’s association with Sherman started when the seventh grader wrote for information and an application. It was years later that he finally matriculated and took another step closer to living his dream. He earned the doctor of chiropractic degree in 1989, summa cum laude. He was the valedictorian of his class, and the first in the history of the school to be awarded all four distinguished honors at graduation: Clinical Excellence Award, Milton W. Garfunkel Award, B.J. Palmer Philosophy Distinction Award and the Academic Achievement Award.
He has been a member and a leader in the Sherman College Alumni Association having served in every office on the board except treasurer. Probably the biggest thrill in his career thus far, he admits, is when he was asked to serve on the Sherman College Board of Trustees. He is currently a trustee of the college, serving a four-year term that ends in March 2013.
As a former trustee of the college, Brewster traveled to the school for meetings at least twice a year and has been a familiar face each year at Lyceum, Sherman’s three-day continuing education and homecoming event held in May. He has been a member of the college’s Board of Regents, a group of men and women dedicated to advancing the quality of chiropractic education at Sherman College through their financial contributions.
In addition to his leadership at Sherman, Brewster is an officer and past president of the Rotary Club of Passaic, a service and charitable organization of local business people providing college scholarships, leadership programs for teenagers, funding for community organizations and many other community services. He is a trustee of the Passaic public library system, and he sponsors a little league team – girls, since he says they have a harder time getting sponsors.
Education has long been important to Brewster. He is a 1986 magna cum laude graduate of Cook College at Rutgers University, earning a B.S. in biological sciences with a concentration in human physiology. He completed the George H. Cook Honors Scholar Program, conducting a year of biochemistry research with thesis defense. He was president of the Beta-Beta-Beta Biology Honor Society chapter at the school.
Brewster believes that enhancing chiropractic science will contribute to the profession’s art (technique) and create a better understanding of the effectiveness of an adjustment. One of his goals is to enhance the research he has conducted to further mesh chiropractic philosophy with research and science.
Brewster says he wants students to know that being in practice is more rewarding and exhilarating than they might ever imagine. “Every time a patient thanks you for improving his or her life,” he says, “or tells you that you’re a role model, or that you’re their hero, or that you have helped them in ways no one else ever has, or that you inspired them, or that they understand health better… it gives meaning and satisfaction (and even a little ego boost!) to your life.”