Environmental Activist and Eco Feminist Vandana Shiva was trained as a Physicist and received her Ph.D. in Philosophy from the University of Western Ontario.

Interview with a Personal Trainer & Clinic Administrator

NAME:  Beverly Wells

JOB TITLE/OCCUPATION:  Clinic Administrator / Personal Trainer

PROFESSION/INDUSTRY:  Health and Wellness

EDUCATION & CREDENTIALS:  B.S. in Computer and Information Science (1982); M.B.A., Cleveland State University (1987)

WEBSITE:  www.riverwestacupuncture.com

I originally started out in College to be a Civil Engineer.  After my first year of college, my grades were very weak.  After the summer was over, I couldn’t fathom going to work in a retail store, or some menial job, so I decided I better go back to school.   I changed my degree to Marketing.  It seemed easier and I had a sister in Marketing and she seemed to have a good job.  After the second year, my advisor told me there are tons of Marketing majors, you need to have a minor or specialty that sets you apart.  I decided on Computer Science and loved it.  After my third year, I changed my major once again, to Computer Science and that turned out to be my final selection.  I graduated with a BS in Computer and Information Sciences.  I spent 23 years working in the Telecom/Data industry.  I finally got burned out and was no longer passionate about it, so I have moved into the Health and Wellness field in the last two years.  My BS is helpful in the personal training that I do now.  I also have an MBA and that is useful in running the financial side of our clinic.

 

I have had a lot of business coaching and personal development courses that have taught me to listen to what my client is trying to tell me, rather than the words that actually come out of their mouth.   That is one of the most helpful things to me, both in work and in life.   Listening and really hearing/understanding where people are coming from and honoring that, has been an incredibly valuable life lesson that affects every aspect of my life.   The other thing of tremendous value that I learned is that – Clients don’t pay us to make them wrong.   It’s all part of that listening and hearing what they need.  In my life in the world of technology, I was a sales engineer.   The skill of being able to listen to what the client said, and then creating a solution that solved their problems, not creating the design that they said they wanted.   They can be very different outcomes.

 

We see patients and clients becoming busier and busier.   Part of it is that they are being asked to do more and more at work, with less and less people.  I believe that part of it is with today’s technology, they are aware of so many other options that they get notified about on a daily basis, that they then try to squeeze into their schedule.   As a result, they put their health on the back burner, so to speak, until they have an emergency and then it takes a lot more care to get them healthy.   I would rather see them do more preventative care, so that they remain healthy and don’t need the emergency care.   Or if it does occur, the symptoms are diminished greatly.

 

I don’t see too many really young right out of school Clinic Administrators.   It’s not really a career that kids say, and I want to grow up to be a Clinic Administrator.   Most Administrators have some kind of nursing background.   I did not come into it that way.  My partner happened to be the acupuncturist and didn’t have time to do the admin kind of functions anymore.   I take care of all of those functions now.    I do my personal training in our clinic so I am not exposed to a lot of personal trainers.   What I hear from my clients, who tend to be a little older, is that the 25 year old male down at the gym did not get what they were trying to accomplish.   They only knew to sit them on machines and make them lift weights.   That would lend itself to the whole listening piece.

The most significant trend that I see, and this is a generalization, it does not apply to everyone, is that the younger folks don’t want to work the way my generation was geared to do.   So our clinic is open 5 days a week and in the winter we are open 2 Saturday’s per month.    I see many that want to work 3 days a week and make $80,000 a year.   That simply cannot happen in today’s world.   The market will not bear that.   Especially not for a young practitioner.  Building a successful practice takes hard work.   I see them jumping from practice to practice, moving multiple times, trying this, trying that, because it doesn’t happen fast enough.  So it’s as if they are looking for the silver bullet or the home run.   It simply does not work that way.   I’ve seen a sense of entitlement, that will not serve them.

 

After coming out of Cleveland State University and serving five years in the United States Air Force, I moved to Portland, and spent 23 years working at my sister’s business in the world of phone systems, data networks and constantly changing technology.

Lisa and I first started talking about me coming to RiverWest Acupuncture because I was ready to do something else, and we had often talked about the possibility of working together. We first had to decide, would it just be her and I in a small office, or would we take the whole practice to the next level. Clearly we decided we needed to take things to the next level. Lisa was concerned that I would be bored, knowing the hectic pace I had kept in my previous career. And yet, I have been here since September of 2010, and to date, have not had a single boring moment.

Why? Because of our patients and my love for them. I love to spend time with them and learning about their lives. Fortunately enough, my office is directly adjacent to the reception area, and so I have easy access to patients as they come and go. My greatest thrill is to see a patient walk in with “issues” and walk out changed, because of the work that the practitioners do here. Some patient stories have been so healing and transformative that they literally brought me to tears.

I feel so amazingly fortunate to have created this space with my life partner and my business partner, Lisa. I sit in my office and think: Is this really considered work? And I realize, it is—it’s the best kind.

So please, always feel free to stick your head in my door and say hello. It makes my day.

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