Dr. Dana Mackison, DC is a nationally recognized leader in chiropractic. Prior to becoming the founder and president of My Innovation Link, Dr. Mackison was the Director of Clinical Education at Performance Health, the Director of Parker Seminars and Post-Grad Director, and the owner of the Chiropractic Center of Carrollton.
In this episode of TechTalk Podcast, Brad Cost, Dr. Jay Greenstein, DC and Dr. Dana Mackison, DC sit down to discuss:
The history of Dr. Dana Mackison himself.
The bright future of the chiropractic profession.
The importance of lifelong learning within all professions.
15:32 - History of the Parker Seminars. We had a vision of trying to recreate and bring the chiropractic profession back to where Dr. Parker had the seminars in the 70s and 80s. I came there in 2000 when Fab had just become president, and the seminars had a great history to uphold. Dr. Parker had Las Vegas events, New York events and, at one point, he was putting on one to two seminars every month around the world. There are even some old pictures of him at DFW where, when a plane had landed, he went out on the runway, hung a banner on the wing, and took pictures with the travelers who came in for the Parker Seminars. They called him the Barnum and Bailey of the profession. He spent a lot of his own money to help move this profession forward and people still give him credit for that. He had his idiosyncrasies, and he certainly was not one to back down from an argument or discussion, but he put on some great seminars. It was like a Disney style of entertainment - people just showed up, whether they knew why or not. They heard the excitement and knew there was something to see. Now, move forward to 2024, we're getting ready to go to Las Vegas and I want to give a shout-out to Bill Morgan for revitalizing, rebuilding, organizing, and bringing in great speakers and talent since he has been there. Behind the scenes, that's no easy task. This year in Las Vegas, there’s a new venue, so there’s more space for exhibitors, which helps the development of the seminar to get back to those old roots of those first seminars.
23:19 - Parker to BioFreeze. BioFreeze was one of our exhibitors. When the word was out that I was stepping away from Parker, BioFreeze reached out to have me come over and help them as the Director of Education. It was a new challenge because I had not been in products or sales of that nature. I started in the early years when BioFreeze was about eight or ten years old. We were transitioned through some private equity ownership, and that's where we were combined with Performance Health, which was TheraBand Cramer Sports. It was great to be a part of that company and their reach worldwide. Today, BioFreeze is a public company owned by a retail conglomerate out of London, which all transitioned during the pandemic. I was very fortunate to be able to wear that hat during all those years, to be exposed to the private equity world, and to be involved with a growing company. I really feel like we helped the chiropractic profession by encouraging the aspects and use of rehab that is mainstream today. I was able to help guide that knowledge base for the company alongside a lot of great speakers. We built rehab facilities in almost all the chiropractic colleges. Back in the early 2000s, that did not exist in our profession. Performance Health was instrumental in helping that happen.
33:31 - Future of Chiropractic. For 20+ years, I've spent a lot of time in-and-out of the chiropractic universities and there is a lot of growth we can appreciate. Currently, we turn out about 2,700 - 2,800 graduates every year. I'm always checking in on the September enrollments, and three or four of the campuses maxed out and had students on waiting lists. That's growth for our profession that we haven't seen for about eight or ten years. Another interesting fact about our current student enrollment is it’s about 50-50, female-male. Some of the admissions directors are telling me they're seeing more female applications coming in, so we're definitely at that ratio of 50-50 in our profession, which is great. All the campuses have added in a lot of other additional programs, which are related to health, fitness, nutrition, and anything that can be supportive of the chiropractic profession. Actually, a college in Kentucky and a college in Nebraska both wanted a chiropractic program within their university, so we have two new campuses on board. Then related to rehab, it's not just rehab. There are many different opportunities that are coming forward in our profession in the way of modalities, added technologies or the varying knowledge base of the graduating students. Some study more than others, and I know Jay has interviewed potential doctors for his clinics, but he knows that some of them have worked a lot harder to get there. That's always my message. Put the effort in now. The jobs and opportunities are out there. Get involved!
39:14 - Analytical and technological advancements. I'm excited about the opportunities for the younger practitioners because they already come with that technological knowledge. I’m approaching 50 years out of school, and I always remind my younger students that I lived in a time when you only went to typing class if you were going to go to college, and you'd sit down at typewriter. We all had a long learning curve, but today, they have so much more opportunity. When these new pieces of equipment and modalities come into your practice, my generation tries to understand how they work and how to use the control panel, but the new generation can just jump in and take that on. Through analytics, they're better at marketing, using social media and following up with patients. I feel like they're so much better at those things today.
44:12 - Research trips for the Scientific Advisory Board at Performance Health. Those trips are all great because you get to hang out with great people. Jay and I were fortunate to go to trips to Moscow, to St. Petersburg, to St. John's. I think about the times I've been in these other countries and was asked the sit at the head of the table. All the other disciplines would want to hear from us, the chiropractors. Sometimes, we lose sight of them holding us out to be specialists, but they would tell us they wish they could do what we do and have some of the knowledge base or direction of our philosophies. It was interesting to sit at the head of the table see how these other disciplines looked up to your profession.
49:05 - Change is inevitable. It is a life cycle. I often think about people that are icons in the profession, and how fortunate I was as a student to hear some of those individuals teach topics and techniques. Of course, we've got some new people coming along that can do the same thing, but it’s a change. Lifelong learning is so important for the new practitioners.
51:17 - Our Sponsor, Stopain Clinical. Stopain Clinical is a topical analgesic, but they have a unique history. Troy Healthcare is the company that manufactures them, and they helped formulate a lot of the early BioFreeze products. In 2016 or so, they parted ways and that's where the Stopain brand came from. It's really the next generation of products like that because of the ingredients they use, like 10% menthol, MSM, and glucosamine. Stopain also has a headache and migraine product that is unique in the profession. It's homeopathic and is a patient applied product that gives home support for headaches with less NSAIDs, opioids or migraine medication. They have great products.