Her Farmington business is growing, and so is her family
Annie Mickelson has wanted to be a chiropractor since before she could even pronounce the word.
Mickelson's father has his own chiropractic practice, and Mickelson grew up watching him help people feel better. While other little girls were daydreaming about being princesses, Mickelson was thinking about adjustments.
"I wanted to be a chiropractor since I was 5," said Mickelson, who bought Farmington's Family Chiropractic Center in April.
Mickelson saw the work her father did, saw the impact it had on his patients, and she knew she wanted to do the same thing.
"I've just seen the power of it," she said. "It helps the body heal itself."
So far, it's working out about as well as she could have hoped. Mickelson got a bachelor of human biology from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, then was the valedictorian of her class when she earned her doctor of chiropractic degree from Northwestern Health Sciences University. She worked a few months for her father, then took time off when she had her first child. When she was ready to go back to work, Mickelson considered finding another chiropractor to work for, but ultimately decided to go out on her own. She got the interest in being her own boss from her father.
"He's an entrepreneur and I've always had that in my blood," Mickelson said.
There might have been a moment of uncertainty when she discovered she was pregnant with her second child, but so far she hasn't regretted her decision. Mickelson found Family Chiropractic Center - formerly Aaron Chiropractic -- in a classified ad. She spent a month with former owner Molly Aaron getting to know the business before she took over in May.
"I don't know if it was the pregnancy or the practice, but I didn't sleep much in May," Mickelson said.
She might be sleeping better now, if only because she's worn out from her day at work. The first week Mickelson took over the clinic, she saw eight patients. Now she sees more like 94 patients a week. Most of that growth has come from word of mouth. She's done very little so far to spread the word herself.
Mickelson has added an x-ray machine to the clinic, but otherwise things are much like they were. The x-rays have helped spot problems that might otherwise be harder to see. She used it recently to identify the cause of a young boy's bed wetting, and it caught a thyroid tumor on another patient.
Mickelson has already started making plans to bring in a relief doctor when her second child is born, but she doesn't want to be away from her other new baby for too long.
"I'm excited to be here," she said.