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Dr. Borges pays it forward

Earlier this year Dr. Shawn Borges received a gold record as “Best Chiropractor on the Monterey Peninsula,” based on a call-in survey conducted by a network of Monterey-based radio stations.
Dr. Borges holding gold record

When residents of Monterey County, Calif., look at the cover photo of the local medical directory, they see West Campus alumnus Shawn Borges, D.C., ('11), his wife, Erin, and daughter, Dahlia, enjoying a leisurely family walk along the beach in beautiful Carmel. When Dr. Borges looks at the photo, he has a very different perspective. He's just thankful that he can walk at all—and credits chiropractic for making that possible.

Dr. Borges suffered a severe back injury 10 years ago while lifting a heavy box, which left him numb from the waist down on most mornings, and rendered him wheelchairbound for much of the next 22 months. Unable to walk, he found himself faced with the frightening prospect of three major surgeries—with no guarantee any of the procedures would enable him to regain full, pain-free mobility.

After another in a line of disheartening visits with a neurosurgeon at the Stanford Medical Center, Dr. Borges embarked upon an exhaustive Web search to identity less-invasive alternatives to surgery—and discovered chiropractic and the Palmer Chiropractic Clinic in San Jose. He made the 80-mile drive to the Palmer Clinic, and within eight visits over the course of four weeks, was completely recovered. No pain. No cane. No wheelchair.

"I was beyond impressed by the level of education and skill of my intern (Jamie Bjerkhoel, '09) as compared to the many ‘specialists' that I'd seen, all of whom basically presented the same recommendation: surgery," says Dr. Borges.

The life-changing results he experienced as a patient at the Palmer Clinic inspired him to become a chiropractor. Dr. Borges completed 60-plus units of prerequisite work in seven months by immersing himself in a seven-days-a-week schedule that averaged 50-plus hours of classroom time. When it came time to decide where to earn his D.C. degree, he says there was no question.

"After all my online research, Palmer had proven itself to be the ‘Harvard' of chiropractic colleges; I wanted to get my education from the best—and based on the quality of my experience, there's no question I accomplished that," says Dr. Borges, whose first practice was based in his hometown of Pacific Grove. He now provides chiropractic care, and also directs the rehabilitation center, at Salinas-based WorkWell Medical Group, where he manages a mulitidisciplinary team of health care specialists.

"The day I made a commitment to myself that I was going to get well and walk on my own again was also the day I dedicated myself to helping others achieve their health goals," says Dr. Borges. "I consider it an honor to treat the patients who have entrusted me with the privilege of providing them with care. With that honor comes the responsibility to do all I can to help them achieve optimal health and live life to the fullest."

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