Kellee Leonard headshot

Kellee Leonard

Hometown: Wadsworth, Ohio
Undergrad degree: bachelor’s of science in health sciences, University of Cincinnati

How do you complete your chiropractic education in the middle of a global pandemic? For Dr. Kellee Leonard (D.C. ’20) the answer was easy: just keep working.

“I was one-and-a-half weeks into my external clerkship through the University Hospitals in Cleveland when the shut-down happened. Because I was working at a hospital, I was allowed back into my clinical experience before many of my classmates,” she says.

Working under the direction of fellow Northeast graduate, Dr. Sarah Prosak, Leonard was able to work with Prosak’s patients steadily throughout the pandemic. “Being outside of the school clinics was an unforgettable opportunity, and I'd recommend anyone interested to consider internships/externships.”

Leonard, from Wadsworth, Ohio, is now employed with Starkey Chiropractic and Wellness in her hometown, “which has been fun,” she says. “The population is very connected. I see patients that are cousins or friends of people that I went to high school with.”

With her focus on patient comfort and relief, it’s no surprise to find out what Leonard considers the best lesson learned at Northeast. “It sounds simple, but the best advice that I received from the faculty and staff at Northeast was to care,” she says. “If you care about your patients, your colleagues, and staff, the overall experience will be positive for everyone involved.”

Quick Questions with Dr. Kellee Leonard

What certifications did you earn at Northeast? Have they been helpful?
I took several certificate electives while at Northeast: Activator, ConnecTX, Whole Foods Nutrition, Advanced Lower Extremity, and Rocktape. I use ConnecTX on probably 75 percent of my patients, and they love it. Activator has also been tremendously helpful; I'm working on becoming Advanced Proficiency Rated right now. It's a great option to have for acute patients, those who don't like the traditional adjustments, or when it's unsafe to perform a diversified adjustment.

Can you share something you learned during your clinical experience that you might not have gotten in the classroom?
It's such a rewarding experience to meet new patients and bring relief to their pain. It's amazing to be able to earn patients' trust. I feel like I'm still doing that today. Not everyone is comfortable with being adjusted at first. If they learn to trust you, it becomes a sacred bond.

What is some advice that you would share with other new chiropractors?
Funny story: I had just gotten my passing part IV board exam scores back and had already been hired. When one of my bosses had to quarantine and the other had an injury, both were unable to practice. They had to call the Ohio State Board to get my license fast-tracked or they wouldn't have had anyone to cover their patients. I got my license, paid for my malpractice insurance, and started seeing patients the next day. So, I guess my advice would be to jump in with both feet!