When Jordan Osborne graduated and became a licensed chiropractor, he knew what he wanted to do.
Get out of the city.
“I was willing to literally move anywhere that wasn’t within the GTA,” says the former Toronto-area resident who has now been in Thompson for about two-and-a-half years. “I wanted to be somewhere where I was actually needed.”
With his wife having recently completed firefighting and paramedic programs, the Hub of the North was a good place for her to gain some experience as well.
The opportunities that Thompson presents are clear to Osborne, as an outsider. Less than three years after graduating, the chiropractor and his wife own a home and now, he is the owner of the Thompson Chiropractic Clinic as well, having purchased it from Dr. Chelsea Lillbeck at the start of February.
“My schooling was extremely expensive,” he said during an interview in his Cree Road clinic. “Had we not moved to Northern Manitoba, there’s not a chance of it, owning a house already.”
He also knows, as the only chiropractic clinic town, that he can have all the business he can handle.
“When that opportunity [to own the clinic] was presented to me, after some negotiations it seemed like a no-brainer to move forward with just taking over.”
Osborne has family in Manitoba and Saskatchewan and he remembers, as a city kid, the thrill it was to visit his cousins in northern Ontario.
“You get a chance to go fishing with your grandfather, shoot guns,” he said, and remembers thinking “Oh, this is great,” though he didn’t get the chance to do it very often.
Since coming to Thompson, he and wis wife have embraced ice fishing as one of their favourite activities,
“One of our first purchases was nice fishing auger,” Osborne says. “That Christmas, we got nice fishing tents. And slowly we've accumulated pretty much all the ice fishing gear we need.”
For summertime recreation, they’ve purchased a camper and access to the outdoors is one of the things that makes Thompson great in Osborne’s eyes.
“One of my complaints in the big city is that any of the entertainment that you want to do, a lot of its structured, is paid — restaurants, bars. It gets really repetitive, really expensive and, quite honestly, pretty boring. Here there's not as much structured entertainment. But if you buy the equipment and are adventurous, there’s a million ways you can kill the day here, whether it's going out to the lake or hiking, snowshoe trails, whatever.”
2023 has been a big year for Osborne, with his wife giviing birth to their first child in January and then his taking over the clinic in February. But while it sometimes seems like there’s more to do than time in the day to do it, there are benefits to being the boss, even if it involves working through lunch hours and having a to-do list that seems to get two new things added to it every time that one gets crossed off.
“It allows me to control what happens with the clinic,” he said. “You have, obviously, full authority to resolve problems as you see fit.”
With a young child and a busy practice, Osborne says it is nice to know that he can work long hours and get some much-needed sleep and still be at work all day.
“There’s no morning rush or hassle to get to work,” he said. “You can be here working late and working hard when you only have a five-minute commute to get home. You can’t really beat that. You wouldn’t want to be seeing patients past six o’clock sometimes when you than have an hour commute as well on top of that.”
Despite having spent more than two years working in Thompson, Osborne says he still gets called “the new guy” by some patients.
He also says that he is proof that there are people who choose to and want to be in Thompson.
“My wife and I essentially plan on being here for quite a while,” he said. “We aways have a lot of negativity in town about businesses here and people closing. Hey, someone actually wants to provide a service here.”
He would also like to help people understand more about what chiropractic services are abut — it’s not just someone realigning your neck and spine, he says — and to make adjustments that enable them to enjoy their lives as much as they can.
“We live in a society that kind of makes us scared to do things,” he said. “For example, you’ve heard that running is bad for your knees, or that someone with a knee problem shouldn’t ski anymore. It’s a lot of ‘don’t do that, you can’t do that, it’s bad for you.’”
Reality is a little bit more nuanced.
“Most of the evidence suggests, for a lot of these types of problems, that activity modification, rather than elimination, is one of the most important things we can do.,” he says. “One of my biggest motivations, as a chiropractor, is just to try to help teach people what they are capable of and make some of those modifications and changes so that they can do those things they want to do. One of the biggest, most rewarding aspects of what I’ve been doing so far with some of my patients is that they’ve gone years without doing something that they want to do and helping them get back to doing it again.”
Osborne takes a holistic view of health, viewing the physical and mental aspects as complementary.
“If you can’t do the things you want to do and you can’t stay active, it really affects the mental health,” he says. “My job is just to help people with the physical side.”