We recently connected with Dr Nikki Dority and have shared our conversation below.
Hi Dr Nikki, thanks for joining us today. Looking back at internships and apprenticeships can be interesting, because there is so much variety in people’s experiences – and often those experiences inform our own leadership style. Do you have an interesting story from that stage of your career that you can share with us?
When I was first commissioned as an officer in the US ARMY, I was well versed in the camaraderie and support that was part and parcel in the organization. I had spent four years doing AROTC, as well as basic and advanced training and multiple schools, including Air Assault schools. I was in love with the idea that a full group of people, working together, would set out and complete a mission, as a team. I was in love with the idea that a smorgasbord of people from all walks of life could come together to do something important.
My first medical unit was both a fixed hospital and deploying unit. My first job was responsible for human resources for the entire medical unit. And, I learned from the absolute best non-commissioned officer how to do my job. Beyond the day to day, she (and our amazing unit) taught me how to believe in other people, to trust a team, to trust in myself. Her teachings have been the bedrock of who I am and how I lead.
As a team, that unit was able to manage over 200 medical soldiers lives, deployments, licensures, facility accreditations and so much more. And, we did it together. As a team.
Dr Nikki, before we move on to more of these sorts of questions, can you take some time to bring our readers up to speed on you and what you do?
My clinical practice is called Balanced PT (dba under MDStrategies). I specialize in chronic pain of all types, with a speciality in spine and pelvic care management. With twenty years and 100 plus clinical continuing education courses. I have developed an holistic approach to taking care of my patients. I integrate musculoskeletal work, massage, myofascial release, trigger point work, visceral manipulation, manual therapy, dry needling and more; biomechanics and functional movement with integration into sport and exercise; neurological quieting and down regulating work; and a TEAM approach.
My client knows their body better than anyone else, so coming together to build the right plan, that is sustainable and long term is the goal.
I am also a co-founder of Nurture, a health and wellness collective here in Denver.
I am involved in numerous other projects to include a family retreat project and a wellness tour project.
I am writing my memoir, and work in mental health advocacy and education, including doing a TED Talk here in Denver a year and a half ago, as well as other talks and podcasts.
Other than training/knowledge, what do you think is most helpful for succeeding in your field?
I believe the most helpful way to succeed is to surround yourself with the experts, learn from them, admit all that you need to learn and understand, and show up vulnerable and unafraid, ready to take on the mission. As a brand new officer, clinician, entrepreneur, you have very basic knowledge that you have learned,The majority of learning comes once you are in “the field.”. The secret to success is to find the experts and stand beside them. From there, you will be able to adjust your style, approach, what have you, but you will have a nice foundation from what to execute the task at hand.
The other single most important thing to me is passion. We must feel with all of our body that what we are doing is our very best work at that time.
Let’s talk about resilience next – do you have a story you can share with us?
As a professional coming up through the ranks, I was committed to my education and the quality of my work. I earned a bachelors of science in biology/chemistry in undergrad, taking over 21 credit hours per semester plus AROTC. A times this was a bit too much, but I would look in the mirror and adjust when needed.
Once I began graduate school, I earned my Masters Degree in PT, then an MBA and then my Doctorate in PT. I have taken hundreds of CE credits to better my knowledge and quality of care.
In business, I have surrounded myself with the best of the best, founding 5 start ups and continuing to work on new projects. I am committed to learning as much as I can from the best, to work as hard as I can, and to get back up after I have fallen.
I suffered a very challenging time with my mental health and it has continued to remold me as things evolve. From this i will always get back up, dust myself off, learn and grow.
My hope is I can inspire someone else to do the same through this thing called life.
- Website: www.mdstrategies.com and www.visit nurture.com
- Instagram: @nikki_dority and. @visitnurture
- Facebook: Nikki Mercaldo Dority
- Linkedin: @Nikki Dority
credits: Richard Eden