Florida Campus

Choosing Palmer: ‘I felt that they cared about me, my family, my life.’

As a Campus Guide, 6th Quarter Student Jesse Hodges is one of the first people prospective students meet when touring the Florida Campus.
Jesse Hodges

Jesse Hodges was always interested in a career in the health field. A shoulder injury sustained in college would lead to his first experience with chiropractic. A wrestler and power lifter, Jesse was told that he would need surgery in order to continue activities that had become an important part of his life. A chiropractor in Lafayette, La., where Jesse was completing his undergraduate degree, treated Jesse for shoulder and neck injuries. He experienced immediate relief.

“He was a real doctor to me,” says Mr. Hodges. “He looked at me as a whole person, not just as a patient. He cared about returning me to a level of functioning that would allow me to resume activities that were extremely important to me.”

With the continued help of his chiropractor, Mr. Hodges’ level of functionality improved and he returned to his personal training. This experience led to his exploring chiropractic as a career. Although somewhat skeptical, friends and family supported his decision to explore a career that seemed suited for him. His chiropractor suggested he look into Palmer College.

“Palmer combined the art, science and philosophy of chiropractic, it was very comprehensive,” Mr. Hodges says. Although he looked at another chiropractic college, he felt that Palmer’s “more stringent selection process” bode well for the future.

“Palmer wanted me to visit the campus,” he says. “They stayed with me and communicated with me regularly. I felt that they cared about me, my family, my life,” he adds. “It hit me in my heart. And it’s not just me. It’s the way they treat everyone.”

Mr. Hodges remembers his first day at the Florida Campus being both exciting and scary. He had just moved from Louisiana to begin a new adventure in his life—which meant leaving his family, friends and fiancée behind. He also was coping with the recent loss of his father. The thrill of starting a new chapter in his life without his Dad dampened his spirits. But meeting his new classmates during orientation eased the transition.

“They pretty much felt the same as I did,” he says. “We were all in the same boat. I realized that this was going to be my new support system.”

Within the 1st Quarter, he knew he’d made the right decision. He began with courses that dealt with “the way the body works and functions.” He recalls Structure 4 with Dr. McConner, Bio-Mechanics with Dr. Young, and Basic Foundations with Dr. Sherrier, as his favorites.

“My first few classes laid the foundation for the way the body works,” Jesse says enthusiastically. “The sequence was right for me. It was what I was most interested in at the time. I knew that it would only build from here.”

Currently in the 6th Quarter, Mr. Hodges’ plans for the future are to combine his undergraduate work in kinesiology, health promotion and human performance, with his degree in chiropractic. He plans to incorporate his education with his experience in personal training to open a practice in New Orleans, La. He concludes, “Although returning home to Louisiana feels right, I know I’ll miss the beach and the natural environment which is something that I’ve come to like so much about the Florida Campus.”

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