Featured in this month’s Practitioner Spotlight is Dr. Judith Monk-Bidgood, Doctor of Chiropractic. Known to her patients as Dr. Judy, she has been practicing at Moss Healthcare since it opened. She works with individuals in the community, and beyond, to help them achieve their healthcare goals and to help restore them to their optimal best.
- What do you like most about your profession?
Hands down, no question, the fact that the chiropractic profession is based on scientific evidence and is drug free. It is within our scope of practice to recommend non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs such as Tylenol and Ibuprofen when indicated, but that’s it. In these times of the opioid crisis, copious pharmaceuticals, cosmetic industry propaganda, I am ever-so-grateful and proud that our profession adopts evidence-informed practice principles to guide clinical decision making. This means integrating clinical expertise, patient preferences and values, and using the best available scientific evidence.
- What is the most valuable lesson you’ve learned for yourself as a chiropractor?
On our graduation day, one of my colleagues said, “and now the real learning begins”, and he was so right. If I have to choose only one of the many things that my patients have taught me, I have to say this: How important it is to listen carefully and take a detailed history. Only then can informed decisions be made regarding relevant testing, examinations, and eventually a diagnosis and treatment plan.
- What brought you to chiropractic?
My great uncle was a beloved medical doctor; my grandfather was a veterinarian, my daughter Jayne and her husband Nick are chiropractors, my husband is a dentist and his sister and her daughter are both chiropractors. So there is a bit of a healing train in the family!
My father received chiropractic care for much of his adult life, following a motor vehicle accident. It was gratifying to witness his relief following every treatment. Fast forward to my adult years where, following an MVA, I sought chiropractic care, massage therapy, and physiotherapy for a whiplash injury. Chiropractic and registered massage therapy became my preferred treatments for years to come. I received treatments from a great variety of chiropractors before receiving my own professional licence, and was therefore afforded a first-hand experience with the diversity among practitioners. It helped me formulate my own particular brand of chiropractic care, which has been refined over the years through patient feedback and results. My first profession was teaching. While working on my MA in Educational Leadership, I took a course in reflexology. It was during this training that I realized how much I enjoyed human contact in a healthcare setting. This eventually led me to study chiropractic, a four-year program compressed into three, at one of the profession’s most renowned schools, Palmer West, one of three in the Palmer chain. I have both a California and a BC licence.
- What has your experience been like practicing at Moss Healthcare?
Working in a diverse healthcare clinic is ideal. We can easily refer to other clinicians for the benefit of our patients. I believe that it is often a combination of treatments that get people well; that has certainly been my personal experience. Registered massage therapy goes hand-in-hand with chiropractic. There are times when I refer my patients to our fabulous dental team at Moss Healthcare, our naturopathic physicians, and our psychologists.
- Do you enjoy working in Fairfield?
I absolutely LOVE Fairfield. Some of my patients can tell you that I refer to Fairfield as ‘Pleasantville’. It is just so satisfying to work with patients who are intelligent, questioning, proactive in their own healthcare. They keep me on my toes, and that is a good thing. Oh, and did I mention the cherry blossoms on Moss Street, the nearby ocean waves, pleasant places to walk and explore in the nearby vicinity?
- Where is the most favourite place you’ve traveled?
We have been so lucky to have travelled to so many places throughout the years. My favourite family trip was to Kenya; being on the same plain as those magnificent wild animals was simply breathtaking. We love to snorkel. My all-time favourite beach holiday so far was to Exuma, Bahamas, where we were in paradise at Sand Dollar Beach. There’s no blue as gorgeous as the Caribbean Sea, and we were sometimes the only two people on the white sand beach, with so many sand dollars and starfish within easy reach.
- How do you like to spend your time outside of Moss Healthcare?
We are very family oriented. We have just finished cheering on one of our grandsons during the softball playoffs, helping one of our 3 daughters organize her property at Shawnigan Lake, enjoying our newest granddaughter Ella, and all the wonderful gifts that close family ties bring to us. We are grateful every day.
- Do you have a favourite kind of patient?
Yes, anyone who has doubts or concerns about chiropractic care. That may be because they have been hurt in the past, that they have a fear of chiropractic because of this and/or because they have read negative press. I invite anyone who has such concerns to please come and experience my style of chiropractic care. We have many different ways of treating patients and we welcome the opportunity to find the best way of treating the individual. Ultimately and always, your healthcare is your own decision.
- What have you learned from your patients?
Many things. Outstandingly, most patients embrace my penchant for explaining everything that I do, while others just want me to get on with it. Some patients have an unreasonable expectation that I am a miracle worker, with the ability to magically heal a severe low back strain if only I would exert enough force. Chiropractic care is not about force; we address structure and function, and the chiropractic adjustment by hand involves a specific line of drive, line of correction, speed, and amplitude.
- What is the one wish you have for all your patients?
I wish for all of my patients to attain their optimal health, the best health attainable considering their individual circumstances. Often, that entails seeking the help of a collaborative team where the patient is an active participant in their team. I would urge every patient to look for the science behind decisions being made for them and by them. I would urge them not to believe every bit of ‘research’ found on the internet; we can find anything we want to find on the net, anything to support our personal beliefs at the time. In some ways, you are your own best doctor; please make it your habit to listen to your own body. (Oh, you asked for one wish….oops!).