Dr. Adrien Robichaud performs a chiropractic procedure on his wife, Francine. Robichaud is celebrating 50 years in business on Monday, May 19, with a celebration at his home/office at 3 p.m.
Dr. Adrien Robichaud says there have been many changes in his profession on the last half century.
AMHERST – Much has changed since Dr. Adrien Robichaud went into the family business.
The longtime Amherst chiropractor will celebrate 50 years in business on Monday, May 19, when he welcomes many of his present and former patients into his home office for a bit of a party.
“It’s hard to believe how much things have changed since I first started, but one thing has remained the same and that’s the patients and the relationship I’ve developed with each and every one of them,” Robichaud said.
Born and raised in Richibucto, N.B., Robichaud attended St. Joseph’s College in Memramcook and studied at the Founding College of Chiropractice in Davenport, Iowa, Upon graduation in December 1963 he faced a decision about where to go.
“I could have went up north because there were lots of opportunities there, but I didn’t want to go that far away from my family so I decided to give Amherst a try,” he said. “I didn’t know it would a 50-year stay.”
He opened his practice in the old Amherst Hotel on Station Street on May 19, 1964 and after three months he moved to a location above the former Goodwin’s Supermarket, where he stayed for five years.
His office has been located at his 165 Victoria St. East home since 1969 and his wife, Francine, has been the office manager for 40 years.
Having the office at home has helped him stay in the business for a long as he has, but Robichaud said being able to continue working with his patients is what has really kept him going.
One of the biggest changes he has seen in a half century is more acceptance and more knowledge of the chiropractic fields. There were times, he said, when patients were reluctant to tell their doctor they were seeing a chiropractor and there were doctors who refused to refer their patients to a chiropractor.
He said doctors today have a greater understanding of the chiropractic field and are more willing to work with a chiropractor to the benefit of the patient as opposed “to it being him or me.”
At one time, in the early 1970s, there were only a dozen or so chiropractors in Nova Scotia. Today, he believes there are more than 100.
Unlike other medical fields, Robichaud said chiropractic is special in that there are no drugs involved. Everything is done by using hands trained to feel any misalignment in the spine.
Chiropractic really is a family business for the Robichauds with 12 chiropractors in the family, including his son, Tony, who operates his own business in downtown Amherst. He said there are a few others in the next generation studying in the field.
Besides his chiropractic work, Robichaud has also taught ballroom dancing and played basketball, was a Scout leader and participated in pistol shooting competitions.
He also taught at St. Joseph’s College and now enjoys playing with his five grandchildren. He also loves jazz and playing the saxophone.