Dr. Lawson’s Retirement Announcement
Dr. David Lawson has given himself to his patients and his practice for nearly 4 decades. He has created a legacy of second-to-none patient care by truly taking time and being present with each interaction and continuing to be on the forefront of knowledge and techniques. This is a legacy our clinic celebrates and hopes to continue to foster. Below is a letter from Dr. Lawson as he enters into his next phase of living well and ‘growing old wisely’. All of us at Ascent truly wish Dr. Lawson and Susan all the happiness in the world as they explore it together.
Dr. Scott K. Fisher, DC
“As all the good things about my clinical practice come to an end I want to thank you for the experiences and relationships of the past four decades. I’m comfortable leaving you in the talented hands of Dr. Fisher.”
All good things…
A message from Dr. David Lawson
When I started out in chiropractic practice I was 23 years old and newly wed. Four years of intensive chiropractic education taught me a lot of the science but little of the art of chiropractic.
My first patient was a 74-year-old woman with shoulder pain. After a thorough consultation and physical examination, I told her my diagnosis; she had a nerve compression in her neck and I could fix her in six treatments. On the sixth treatment she informed me she was all better. I never saw her again.
My second patient was a teenager. He hurt his back playing sports. It didn’t seem too serious and based on my earlier success I predicted I could fix him in three treatments. His recovery was right on schedule and I discharged him.
My dad was my chiropractic mentor and I had the privilege of practicing with him for many of my early years. He had heard me tell the teenage patient that he didn’t need to come back and at the end of the day my dad called me into his office. “I heard you discharge that young man who was in earlier.” I nodded. “I see from his intake form that he has a number of other complaints besides his lower back.” He then read from the patient’s chart a collection of health problems: asthma, sinus infections, poor sleep, headaches, dizziness, stomach pain, anxiety- the list went on.
“Do you think chiropractic could help him with any of these things?” I knew it was a rhetorical question.
The science of diagnosis involves looking at the history of the symptoms and putting them together with the physical examination. This leads to a clinical impression and the appropriate treatment protocol. This is what I had learned to do in school. What I didn’t learn in school was to see the complexity of symptoms as a reflection of the complexities of a person: their biomechanical, biochemical and biosocial makeup. The art of chiropractic is seeing a person, not a disease or condition.
Over the last 37 years I’ve learned something of the art of healing, and for the most part it hasn’t been work; it’s been a pleasure.
My teachers have been chiropractic colleagues, other health professionals, journals, seminars and conferences. But my best teachers have been my patients.
My youngest patient was only a few hours old. My oldest patient was 94. One day I treated four generations of the same family. It was a patient who encouraged me to add acupuncture to my tool box. It has been impossible to be bored when every day involved interaction with different people.
On that note: forgive me if I’ve kept you waiting, or didn’t have the answers you needed, or was rushed and didn’t listen insightfully.
I’ve seen what some would call miracles. I’ve also seen the importance of integrating other health care services; no one approach or one person or health profession has all the answers.
The art of chiropractic is being a coach, an example, a mirror. It’s listening to the body because it has “inside information.” It’s seeing past the first impression but not ignoring it. It’s encouraging self-care and guiding change.
I started my practice newly married. Susan and I just celebrated 38 years together with the last 15 years working as a team to build an integrative approach to natural health care. There might be a science to marriage but I believe it is mostly an art. As in my chiropractic practice, I’ve had to learn the art through experience and, at times, mistakes. Susan and I enter this next phase of life together with our eyes and hearts open to the options.
For now, we will be taking time to travel and explore the world. We will continue to develop deeper relationships with our friends and family and regularly visit our only granddaughter Sadie Rose in Montreal. Together, we want to feel the breeze on warm days as we ride our bikes, hit the tennis ball and put into personal practice all the advice about growing old wisely that I have given to my patients over the years.
As all the good things about my clinical practice come to an end I want to thank you for the experiences and relationships of the past four decades.
I’m comfortable leaving you in the talented hands of Dr. Fisher.
Yours in retirement,