Education as a passion leading to better patient care for Dr. Trevor Esau

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Education, reassurance, and advice to stay active: these are the tenants by which Dr. Trevor Esau (BKin ’17) lives.

Though simple, these three points ensure Trevor can provide the best individualized care to his patients. It’s a detail he takes very seriously in his practice as a chiropractor.

Dr. Esau began his career in junior league hockey. He played for several teams, including the Prince George Spruce Kings. His love of sports guided him to pursue a career in sports injury.

While playing hockey, Dr. Esau enrolled in a range of courses at various universities. He investigated different courses and different disciplines before deciding on kinesiology. After he retired from hockey, Dr. Esau came back to Abbotsford, his hometown, and attended the kinesiology program at UFV.

As a latecomer to his degree, Dr. Esau knew he had to make decisive choices about his educational pathway. When he compared UFV’s two kinesiology degree options, he discovered the courses he transferred in with placed him on the pedagogy track rather than the exercise science track. This seemed like a step back at first, but Dr. Esau quickly learned that pedagogy is something vital to the field, something critical to being a good practitioner.

“In my courses with Joanna Shephard, she forced you out of your comfort zone and pushed us to get out there to speak, talk, communicate, collaborate and work with people and teams,” says Dr. Esau. “And that’s what health care means. You need to be able to sit in a room and be comfortable with a patient and build rapport as quickly as possible so that they trust you and they’re buying into what you think is the best care for them.”

“There’s a lot you can learn when you ask the right questions.”

It’s this experience that sits at the centre of Dr. Esau’s practice. This means that he is not serving patients as customers; rather, he wants them to both feel better and to feel heard. By treating patients as people, he feels he provides the best chiropractic care he can give.

“When a patient comes to me with a complaint, usually more to the story than ‘I hurt here’. There’s a lot you can learn when you ask the right questions,” says Dr. Esau.

This means that Dr. Esau’s practice frequently evolves He ensures that he stays on top of current knowledge so that he can provide the best evidence-based care possible. This means continual study in patient care, kinesiology, chiropractic, and other fields that are relevant to his work.

“And that’s really something that I push: I cannot learn something, read something, and then just willingly ignore it,” he says.

Recently, he expanded his practice away from only clinical hours into running the GLA:D Canada program, an exercise-based program for osteoarthritis management. He also offers teleconsultation services to clients; from this, he is able to listen to a client’s needs and assess if he can teach them methods to mitigate their pain in place, or if their condition requires them to make an in-person visit.

Whichever the response, education is at the forefront of what Dr. Esau does.

I feel that splitting the time in the clinic and classroom would allow me to make the most meaningful difference in healthcare.

Taking what he learned from his time at UFV, expanded with the knowledge gained through his current practice, Dr. Esau hopes to become an instructor for future students of kinesiology.

“I don’t see myself as being in the clinic for eight hours a day cramming in as many patients as I can,” says Dr. Esau. “I don’t think that’s conductive of quality care. I think there’s so much more to offer. So, if I could diversify my job description from Chiropractor to ‘Chiropractor and educator’, I feel that splitting the time in the clinic and classroom would allow me to make the most meaningful difference in healthcare.”

Dr. Trevor Esau operates out of Abbotsford and can be found online at