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Waiting For the Right Opportunity

by Freelance Writer Beverly Knight

Paul Newhart, D.C., took a somewhat circuitous route to his current position with the Leola Family Health Center near Lancaster, PA, but he couldn’t be happier about where he ended up.

After graduating from Sherman in 1993, the Wilkes-Barre native knew that he wanted to return to Pennsylvania to begin his career. He opened an office, but after a little more than a year, he closed the office. Then he joined his father doing construction work, waiting for an opportunity to present itself. That opportunity came in the form of a job working in a gym, helping patients of all kinds through chiropractic care.

While working at the gym, Newhart continued to search for the perfect fit for his career. Then he met a woman at the gym who worked the front desk for a chiropractor who was located in the nearby Leola Family Health Center. They struck up a conversation, and she told him that the doctor she worked for might be looking for someone to join his practice.

In fact, as it turned out, the doctor wanted someone to take over his practice. That turned out to be just the opportunity that Newhart had been hoping for. He bought the existing equipment and moved into the office space, embarking on a practice that he finds quite rewarding.

At the Leola Family Health Center, Newhart works with four physicians located just upstairs from his office. His wife, Audra, also a Sherman graduate, works the front desk and is the office administrator.

“Often patients with musculoskeletal injuries are referred to me. Once they get in our door, the focus is chiropractic,” Newhart says of the symbiotic relationship he has with the physicians that makes their working relationship so positive. Conversely, when he has a patient that he feels needs care from one of the other doctors, he refers the patient upstairs. “Once I referred a patient to a doctor in the center who determined the patient was experiencing atrial fibrillation. Our patients benefit from the fact that we refer them to the place where they can get the best and most appropriate treatment.”

Since the physicians at the center provide a full range of services, ranging from pediatrics to geriatrics and internal medicine to minor office surgery, Newhart feels that he offers the perfect complement to the mix in the multidisciplinary office that blends chiropractic care with various types of medical-based treatments.

“One of the doctors in the center was head of sports medicine for the 1984 Lake Placid Olympics. I’ve found that sports doctors are most likely to appreciate the benefits chiropractic care can provide because of the types of injuries they have seen,” Newhart says of an environment that is receptive to chiropractic.

During the time that he worked in the gym, Newhart became a convert to the benefits of regular exercise. “Being in the gym environment brings you into contact with people that are concerned with their health,” Newhart says. “That is a big obstacle taken out of the way when you are educating patients.”   And though he had never worked out before, he began to do so while he was at the gym and continues to work out now that he’s no longer working there. “Being 40 and in the health profession, you see the benefits of exercise on overall health.”

Newhart’s roundabout journey to the job he loves taught him several things, but most of all, he says, he learned one important lesson. “Don’t be afraid to try anything.”

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