An Invaluable Mentor…

October 10, 2017 by Andrew Spracklin

There are certain people that come and go in your life that you take for granted at times.  Whether you are a 16 year old that doesn’t think you need your parent’s advice, a professor in undergrad that helps guide you into a profession, or a one of a kind clinician in chiropractic school.  I’m going to take a little time to dedicate to my clinician at National University of Health Sciences, Dr. Grant Iannelli.  I always enjoyed my time that I spent with him but the last couple of years make you really appreciate the person that he really is and some of the principles that he inst,illed to help mold me into the person and chiropractor that I am today.

As you enter your last couple of trimesters in chiropractic school, you have to decide who you would like as a clinician.  Some people wanted to work in the afternoon, some people in the morning, the people that lived in the city wanted to work in the city clinics and we even had a couple of people that went to Florida or other clinics in the area.

I am a morning person and I wanted to get my shift done so I could get on with my day when I was in school.  The clinician that I wanted to work with was Dr. Grant Iannelli.  When I first figured out that this is who I wanted as a clinician, I didn’t quite comprehend the impact that he would have on my life at the moment and further into my life.

Dr. Iannelli and I saw eye to eye on a lot of things in the chiropractic profession and in life, he is a Michigan fan, I kept my mouth shut on that topic as Nebraska football was nothing to write home about at that time or now for that manner.  But he did help me understand a profession that is not always well understood by people in and out of the profession.

Now I am not saying that I practice the same as I learned from Dr. Iannelli, but he was one of the first people that laid the principals that I stand by today.  I learned to think through the treatment process and the general course of care.  I helped Dr. Iannelli with his individual patients in the afternoons, this is what helped me see how patients can respond to the lasting care of an individual doctor.  In clinic, you have a handful of patients that have been coming to the clinic for years but they are used to different interns treating them.

The time that I learned the most was just sitting in Dr. Iannelli’s office and just talking about different treatments and life in general.  Kristina lived in the Chicagoland area when I was there for about 2 years but Dr. Iannelli was an outlet for me as he would just talk about life and some of the finer points of practice, owning a business, and how it all translates to life.  At the time that these conversations were taking place, I never realized how much I would use these conversations as reflections on how to handle different and difficult situations.

Handling tough cases in which patients do not improve, finding the next alternative and how to continue to build a patient base.  Business classes are not necessarily chiropractic school’s strong point but Dr. Iannelli did a good job guiding a person into how to best go about the business side of things and developing an idea into a business model.  Maybe I am more inquisitive than most or I am inherently skeptical about things but Dr. Iannelli was there to answer the weird or difficult questions.

While I don’t talk to Dr. Iannelli all that often anymore and that happens when you live halfway across the country but I do look up to him as a mentor, friend and someone that would be there for advice in both practice and life.  Having a security blanket with a few good mentors in your life can be invaluable when navigating this thing called life.

National helped me really grow as a person and I learned more about myself during that timeframe more than probably any other time in my life.  Kristina and I were living pretty far out of our comfort zone, but we did really enjoy out time in Illinois when we reflect back on out time there, but as I look back at my time Dr. Grant Iannelli was a huge impact on my experience at National and I thank him for that. 


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