December 11, 2011 — Most 4-year-old children have a difficult time deciding on their morning breakfast cereal. At that tender young age, however, Meghan Austin already had decided on her future career.
So when her mother asked “What do you want to be when you grow up?” with the video camera rolling during a family trip to Capitola Beach, the mini-Meghan said, “I wanna be a ‘chi-wo-pwactor’ like my daddy.”
On Dec. 2, Meghan graduated as valedictorian of the Fall Quarter 2011 class at Palmer College’s West Campus with Summa Cum Laude academic honors, and achieved her early goal of becoming a “chi-wo-pwactor” like her daddy.
The Austin family’s chiropractic lineage actually spans several generations, and is the oldest continuous practicing chiropractic family in the world. In fact, Meghan’s graduation coincides with the 100-year graduation anniversary of her great-great-grandparents, Drs. Jay and Mabel Austin, from Palmer Davenport in 1911.
Meghan’s great-great-grandfather, Dr. Jay Austin, is the first known chiropractor in San Jose. The practice, Austin Chiropractic, is now managed by Meghan’s father, Dr. Thomas Austin, whom Meghan will join as the newest member of the Austin family to become a practicing doctor of chiropractic.
“I was lucky enough to be introduced to chiropractic as a baby,” said Meghan, who graduated from UC-Santa Cruz in 2007 with a degree in health science.
“My dad adjusted me and my brothers regularly. I really recognized the benefit of chiropractic after taking a good hard fall on the soccer field. It was good to grow up a chiropractic kid!”
Meghan is now looking forward to joining her father’s practice. She couldn’t be happier – and he couldn’t be prouder.
“I have admired how my father practices for my entire life,” said Meghan, who graduated with Summa Cum Laude honors, and earned a President’s Scholar award for making the Dean’s List in each of the 13 quarters of the West Campus curriculum.
“My father is the most honest, trustworthy doctor I have ever known, and I admire how he is so passionate about chiropractic. He has been, and will continue to be, the best mentor I could imagine.”
Meghan’s father is equally effusive with reciprocal praise of his daughter.
“To say that I am proud of my daughter is an understatement!” said Dr. Tom Austin, who participated in Meghan’s diploma presentation at the Dec. 2 commencement, along with Meghan’s grandfather, Dr. Douglas Austin.
“She is an amazing, talented and intelligent person, and will be a great asset to chiropractic. I am sure that Meghan’s great, great grandmother, Dr. Mabel Austin, would also be proud — although it did take a hundred years for another woman in the family to enter the profession!”
When Dr. Tom Austin’s father opened his practice in San Jose in 1957, there was no insurance coverage for chiropractic care, and medical doctors would not refer patients to chiropractors.
“Today, not only am I receiving referrals of patients from medical doctors, I have several medical doctors as patients,” notes Dr. Austin.
In January, Meghan and her husband Jake will be welcoming a potential sixth generation chiropractor into the world.
“Since I never was pressured to go into chiropractic, I can’t see myself pushing my children to continue the tradition. For me, it was an easy choice – who wouldn’t want to be a part of a profession that promotes natural healing with the only tools being their hands?
“I definitely aspire to be as great of a doctor as my father and the previous generations before. I know I have some big shoes to fill – but at least I have genetics on my side!”
Source: Palmer College of Chiropractic, www.palmer.edu