ANJC Board Spotlight: Dr. Joseph D’Angiolillo

Mar 19, 2024 | ANJC News & Updates

Board Service: 2004–2023

What inspired you to be a chiropractor? How have you developed (and moved/built) your practice over the years, and what do you enjoy about the profession and treating patients?

There is so much to say in answering this question. I knew from an early age that I wanted to be involved in healthcare, and being an athlete, I had my share of injuries, from sprains/strains, fractures, and concussions to lacerations. In high school, while playing football, I injured my neck with pain radiating down my right arm with numbness and tingling in my thumb, index finger, and middle finger. I was brought to the “family doctor,” who gave me pain medications. I went through the referral wheel of doctors, including seeing an orthopedic surgeon, and after three years of “medical care,” I had no results. Chiropractic is the only thing that resolved the pain and numbness that I had experienced.

In order to pay for my college expenses, I worked for the Middlesex Anesthesia Group at what was then Middlesex General Hospital, which is now Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital. In the process of discerning what path to take, I initially had qualms about joining a profession that was viewed as being nothing but a group of “quacks,” but I was encouraged by my bosses to pursue the career.

Several of the anesthesiologists were chiropractic patients themselves and early adopters of nutrition protocols for health and wellness. Upon opening my doors, they became some of my first patients and referrers.

Prior to graduating from Palmer College in September of 1984, I was able to sit for the New York Chiropractic Licensing exam, passed the exam and landed a job working at the World Trade Center Chiropractic Center. The type of practice and the commute were nothing I relished, so I quit after one week. I then worked as a glorified chiropractic assistant, as I had to wait until January of 1985 to take the New Jersey Board and then wait for it to be “graded by hand” to receive my license sometime in the late spring of 1985. Once I received my license, I set to opening my own office in my hometown of North Brunswick. After 25 years in that location, moved to Somerset, NJ, where I currently practice.

What I enjoy most about practicing are the patients, not so much the hassles of the ever-changing protocols
of the insurance game. I think I have a practice that resembles how most chiropractors in New Jersey practice, with a broad range of different types of patients. I see infants that are days old through geriatrics, acute sports, and motor vehicle injuries, as well as patients who have chosen the chiropractic paradigm to maintain a healthy lifestyle. Every patient is different, and every day in the office is different; all the patients I attract are generally happy and interesting in their own way. Many of my patients have been patients for 20 to 30 years, with me now caring for the children of those who were once children in my office decades ago.

The entry of patients into the office has changed since I started. When I commenced practice, the chiropractor was the patients’ last-resort doctor; they had already been to the “biggest and best,” with a stack of films and reports in their arms as they entered the office for the first time. Now, patients choose the chiropractor as their physician of first choice. Rarely do they have any films or reports to share. Chiropractic is mainstream in healthcare and no longer “alternative medicine.”

How has the ANJC contributed to your journey, both personally and professionally?

I have been fortunate in my journey leading up to the formation of the ANJC. In addition to roles I had in the Regional and State Associations, which merged into the ANJC, I was also a member of the NJ Chiropractic FORUM, where I was able to meet, discuss, and gain consensus with the representatives of the other societies in the state. At times, we may not have seen eye to eye, but we were all on the same page most of the time. As time progressed and the ANJC became a reality, the representatives of these former organizations became trusted colleagues and friends. I have learned to respect the differing opinions, styles of practice, and debates, which allows all of us to see things from a different perspective.

Professionally, educational opportunities have exposed me to topics I may not have chosen on my own, which have broadened my level of competency. Having an organized association has helped protect and expand our practice rights and support us with the ever-changing regulations and reimbursement challenges. The association has taken on the fights, so I don’t have to personally fight on my own, allowing me to focus on my true mission of caring for my patients.

What volunteer roles have you held at the ANJC?

I was a Central Region Board of Directors member from 2004 through 2017, a member of the ANJC Board of Directors from 2007 to 2023, Chair of the Legal Committee, Chair of the Awards Committee, Member of the Finance Committee, Member of the Chiropractic Board Committee, Member of the PAC Committee, Second Vice President, and President.

What accomplishments and events are you most proud of?

With respect to accomplishments while serving the ANJC, I don’t think any one person can take the full credit. I have had the privilege of working with a great team that has synergistically moved the profession forward. There is a saying, “People vote with their feet.”

We have had the vast majority of the practicing chiropractors in New Jersey as members of the ANJC, which says something about how satisfied the profession is with the mission and accomplishments of the ANJC. Not only has our ANJC Board been a great team, but our members are also part of the team, enabling us, through their dues, to fight the fights.

As the Legal Committee Chair since 2007, the profession has seen the ANJC win many battles in defense of our practice rights and reimbursement issues. While president, the ANJC expanded our continuing education offerings by creating the Technique and Rehabilitation Councils and expanded opportunities for members to be DOT Certified. Being a strong society has also allowed the ANJC to financially help chiropractic associations in other states and, with our experience, something we can all be proud of.

What advice would you give a young or new practitioner building their practice in New Jersey?

First, become an active member of the ANJC. Get involved in a committee that resonates with you, keeping you connected with the inevitable changes that continually occur in healthcare.

Second, I would say embrace and have confidence in what makes you different as a chiropractor. Patients don’t come to us because we are like the MD down the street; they seek us out because we are different from allopathic care.

Third, have persistence. It takes time to build a practice, so hang in there and pick some seasoned practitioners’ brains at ANJC events. Chiropractic has reached the “100th monkey” in terms of adoption of the chiropractic paradigm, so half the battle experienced by our chiropractic forefathers in creating a practice has been won.

As the ANJC celebrates its 20th anniversary, what do you hope the next 20 years bring for the organization and profession?

Over the course of my career, there have been so many changes, and I expect that there will be more as our
profession matures and healthcare technology evolves. Just 40 short years ago, a chiropractor’s only option was to open their own office, as opportunities were limited. Chiropractic is an integral part of the healthcare team, whether you are:

  • an athlete
  • a pregnant mom
  • suffering from a chronic condition
  • or looking to maintain optimal health

I see a bright future for the profession with a multitude of opportunities, allowing each doctor the option to practice in whatever niche excites them. There will be a mix of independent practices, those who will be staff members in multidisciplinary health centers, hospitals, and care centers.

During our first 20 years, the ANJC became the “trusted source” building bridges, allowing us to write and pass a new scope of practice, solidifying our role as physicians, creating a licensed paraprofessional class of assistants, and establishing the credibility to represent the profession to regulators when there is a challenge concerning reimbursement with a carrier.

Looking toward the next 20 years for the ANJC, I see strong, vibrant organization that provides educational opportunities for our members and a resource for the public at large, inclusive of legislators and regulators.

About the Author:

After graduating Summa Cum Laude from Palmer College of Chiropractic, Dr. Joseph D’Angiolillo returned to his hometown, North Brunswick, and established the D’Angiolillo Chiropractic Center in 1985. In 2010, he relocated his office to Somerset, NJ.

Visit Dr. D’Angiolillo online at: