Those who graduate from National University often appreciate their education even more as years go by, especially when life brings them new challenges. Robert Tengesdal, DC, JD, is certainly an alumnus with a unique perspective on his DC education. He has enjoyed two successful professional careers – one as a chiropractic physician, and another as a medical malpractice defense attorney.
A 1992 DC graduate from National, Dr. Tengesdal owned a successful practice in suburban Chicago for over 8 years. Unfortunately, he suffered a bad accident that required two surgeries on his shoulder. He was also diagnosed with cancer at the same time. The physical demands of his recovery prompted Robert to sell his practice and consider a new path.
As an undergraduate, Tengesdal had been torn between chiropractic medicine and law. After his accident, he decided to pursue law school at Loyola University. With his medical knowledge, it was easy for Tengesdal to get a clerkship and later a position with a prominent medical malpractice defense firm in downtown Chicago. At Bollinger, Connolly and Krause, Robert works on multi-million dollar cases, successfully defending his physician and hospital clients.
He’s now been an attorney since 2005, and has never valued his education from National more: “My job entails deposing a number of chiropractic and medical physicians. My education from National allows me to pose better questions, and know whether or not a witness has done due medical diligence with a patient.”
“I’ve also had a chance to take depositions from DCs who have graduated from National as well as those who have graduated from other schools. There is no question that National grads have a more comprehensive understanding of medical issues involving the full range of organ systems in the body. Their diagnostic skills are way beyond graduates from other chiropractic schools. A National grad is also more likely to make a proper referral to another specialist when it’s appropriate, resulting in better patient care.”
In his new career, Tengesdal has had many opportunities to change people’s minds about chiropractic medicine. He is able to explain to fellow attorneys, and also highly placed medical professionals, how rigorous and comprehensive today’s broad-scope chiropractic education is at a school like National. He’s also been able to promote inter-disciplinary referral between chiropractic and other physicians.
“An orthopedic surgeon I recently worked with was very impressed by what I knew, so we had a conversation about chiropractic medicine,” says Tengesdal. “As a result, he now has three new referral relationships with chiropractic physicians in his area. He thanks me because the DCs are achieving positive results with patients he had difficulty treating. One of my tips to him was to look for a National grad.”
“Chiropractic physicians impress my legal colleagues and medical clients if they have a comprehensive view of a patient’s total health and the ability to work with other medical professionals. This is far more important to them than spinal anatomy or neurology. What defines the value of a National education and differentiates it from other colleges is that it produces physicians. True chiropractic physicians can assess the entire person to determine the best course of evidentiary based health care and, when necessary, to identify, incorporate and work with our fellow colleagues in other medical professions to achieve the best outcomes for patients. That is the value of an NUHS education!”
“If you are looking for value in a chiropractic school, you won’t get a better education than at National University of Health Sciences,” says Tengesdal. “After 20 years and two separate careers, I can say I value my chiropractic degree from National now more than ever.”