Chiropractic Patient to Practitioner
Eric Goans became interested in chiropractic when he was 16 years old and a junior in high school. When he began a shadowing experience, he didn’t know anything about chiropractic. He was just looking forward to spending a couple of hours away from school each day.
A few weeks into his internship with the chiropractor in his hometown of Conover, NC, he experienced a football injury from a head-on collision that gave him headaches that would not subside. “I had no motion in my neck and no strength or control of my right arm,” Goans said of the injury that left him fearing that his athletic future would be severely limited. On Monday morning when he arrived for his internship, it took the chiropractor very little time to notice that the young man was in pain and had limited function.
“We began care immediately and I began showing major improvement within a few days,” Goans says of the experience that impressed upon him the benefits of chiropractic care. “I felt so blessed to be able to witness what I thought were miracles during my experience in the office. I soon learned that the profession was about so much more than helping people in pain. It was about changing lives. When I figured this out, I made it my personal goal not to turn my back to such a rewarding profession and to share the benefits of chiropractic with the world.”
Once Goans realized he had a passion for chiropractic, he went on to complete more than 500 hours of shadowing with chiropractors during high school and while earning his bachelor’s degree in kinesiology/exercise science at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. At the same time, an Appalachian State University student that he knew enrolled at Sherman and they kept in touch. After a visit to the college following his freshman year, the aspiring chiropractor knew that the school was right for him. He was also confident that his degree from UNCC would give him the foundation in anatomy, physiology, nutrition and other general health areas that he knew would smooth the transition to chiropractic school.
“I was fortunate to have stumbled across such an amazing profession at an early age,” Goans said of his decision to become a chiropractor, but he feels that students who are transitioning from other careers can also have a great appreciation for what the profession has to offer and the opportunities that are available.
“One of the most important experiences for everyone is hearing stories from teachers and other chiropractors about their experiences, why they love it as much as they did when they began,” Goans said of the relationships that he and other students form with each other and their teachers. “The big thing is that as you go along in education, you make close contacts with people along the way. As you continue, you get closer and closer to your goal, to why you came here.”
Goans has also benefited from investing his time in sharing his love of chiropractic with others, returning to his undergraduate alma mater to speak to classes and participating in career fairs at other schools. “It has been so rewarding to have such a life-changing impact on other students’ futures,” he said of the experiences he shares. “I always tell my story and tell others that they can make their own stories. That helps me have a closer relationship with those who will experience similar events.”
Sherman’s ROAR (Reach Out And Recruit) Student Leadership program, a program in which students represent the college at career fairs and go out to speak to college students, has given him opportunities to share his story while also developing his public speaking skills. Whether he’s convincing others to pursue the profession or letting them know how chiropractic can benefit them as patients, Goans knows that he’s learning valuable skills. “Being able to get out and talk about chiropractic and being comfortable with that is training me to be able to talk with my patients.”
When he graduates in June 2014, Goans plans to work with a successful chiropractor in North Carolina to prepare himself to open his own practice. Though his own experiences have given him a special interest in working with athletes, he also wants to work with families, treating all ages and types of patients.
Goans has never regretted the choice he made at such an early age to study chiropractic at Sherman. “The philosophy is what makes the college stand out,” he said. “Any college can give you an education. Teaching you the real reason why you do what you do is what’s most important.”