ANJC Board Member Since 2020 • ANJC Member Since 2006
Introducing a spotlight on a luminary in the chiropractic community and stalwart of the ANJC Board of Directors, Dr. Dennis Long. Herein lies the story of a chiropractor’s path, his enthusiasm for the practice, and his vision for the future of chiropractic healthcare.
About Dr. Dennis Long:
I grew up in the Greenville section of Jersey City and am a 1991 graduate of Seton Hall University in South Orange. I attended chiropractic college at NY Chiropractic College, now Northeast College in Seneca Falls. After completing my clinic in Levittown, Long Island, I graduated in 1998.
I lived in Port Washington, New York after graduation, while my wife worked in Manhattan. I got my first associate job in a family practice in Center Moriches, NY. Following that associate position, I took another associate position on the Grand Concourse in the Bronx, which was primarily no-fault and workers’ compensation. It was very different from the practice I was at prior, and I learned a lot. I found that I really enjoyed that type of practice. As luck would have it, a chiropractor was selling his practice in Jamaica, Queens and was probably the only practice which I could (barely) afford and continue practicing there today.
Early mornings and late nights commuting to Queens were tough as our son was two and our daughter was on the way. Again, as luck would have it, a practitioner in Emerson, NJ with a home office was retiring. It was the right opportunity at the right time. We sold our home in Glen Rock and moved our family to Emerson where I built a busy practice. I was working seven days a week between the Queens and Emerson offices. I hired an associate to help in Queens, allowing me to work from my home office four days a week. This gave me the opportunity to spend time with my family and coach my kids’ baseball, basketball and softball teams.
Last year I closed the Emerson office, moved to Old Tappan, NJ and practice solely out of my Queens office.
How did you get involved in the ANJC?
My involvement in the ANJC began as a general member, as most people do. In 2006 as the ANJC, as we know it today, was being formed from about seven other New Jersey organizations to form one, powerful, united organization with a singular voice to represent the profession and fight for every chiropractor. The ANJC created a buzz and an energy felt not just in New Jersey, but throughout the country. The ANJC was on the forefront, and watching and being a part of was amazing. As our organization was battling insurance companies, expanding scope, fighting for the ability to perform an extremity adjustment, ANJC quickly became one of the leading chiropractic state associations. We were repeatedly asked by our colleagues throughout the country for advice and guidance as we were a strong ally.
There was a point where I felt that the ANJC was doing so much for me as a member I was compelled to give back and see how I could help.
Shortly after, I was recruited by Dr. Tom D’Elia who was a Board Member and Insurance Committee Chair, to join the committee.
Why are you passionate about chiropractic?
I am passionate about chiropractic because I am blessed to be part of the world’s best healthcare profession.
Our profession provides hope and help to patients when other healthcare professions have given up on them, or they have lost faith in other healthcare professionals. Chiropractors are uniquely trained to provide an avenue to true healthcare, without the use of drugs or surgery, often with just the use of our bare hands. We are amazingly trained, amazingly good at what we do, and oftentimes have the most appreciative and satisfied patients.
What is your favorite thing about being a chiropractor?
My favorite thing about being a chiropractor is the gratitude and appreciation I receive from helping my patients.
It is extremely rewarding and, after all, helping people was the primary reason that I chose chiropractic as my profession. On most of my days, the good far outweighs the bad. Because every day I have helped my patients to the best of my ability; I taught something; I learned something; I shared, I cared, I loved, I laughed AND I get paid for this.
I’m grateful to be a chiropractor and I’m lucky to be a chiropractor.
What do you value the most from your ANJC membership?
When you are in practice, you are in the trenches.
You’re fighting what you believe to be your own battle.
However, when you step out of your trenches and attend a Regional Meeting or Annual Conference and speak to your fellow chiropractors, you realize we are all fighting similar battles on a daily basis. Fighting battles are not new to chiropractors. It almost seems like it’s part of our DNA. It is what keeps a sharp and how we survive. If you have not been an active member, I highly recommend you start to put a little bit more energy and focus into our profession as an ANJC volunteer or committee member.
The rewards you will get out of it will be far greater than what you put into it.
What is the biggest challenge facing NJ Chiropractors today?
We face many challenges, but I think our biggest challenge is ourselves.
Our commitment to ourselves and our commitment to our profession. There will always be trials and tribulations, hurdles to overcome. We need to be ready, willing, and able to address each circumstance to dictate the outcome. If we had every single ANJC member step up with time, money and/or resources then no challenge will seem too great to overcome.
In your opinion, what is the best way an ANJC member can help their colleagues?
I think the best way an ANJC member can help their colleagues is by helping the profession. By focusing on making a positive impact on the profession, they are directly helping themselves and their colleagues. Get involved by attending a Continuing Education event, Regional Meeting, Annual Conference and learn about volunteer opportunities including the many ANJC committees. Reach out to ANJC Executive Director Suzanne Corson, and share what skills, experience, hobbies and interests you have.
Everyone has something to give and we will be able to find a group or project that will be fun and rewarding. And, I promise, you will get more out of it than what you put into it.