A STALWART of chiropractics has marked his 46th year at the helm of his family firm by receiving a national award.
Dr Graeme Wight, 74, took over the running of the Wight Chiropractic Clinic from his father, who founded the business in Edinburgh in 1924, and was recognised as Chiropractor of the Year at a prestigious seminar in Birmingham at the weekend.
Eleven members of his staff attended the 2011 United Chiropractic Association Annual Conference to see him receive the award, for which colleague Jill Hislop was also a nominee
The event, which boasted international speakers, was the largest gathering of chiropractors and staff seen in the UK.
Speaking about the accolade, Dr Wight said: “I was delighted with it and it came out of the blue.
“As far as chiropractics goes in this country, this award is from one of the biggest associations.
“Seeing the Chiropractors Act going through parliament 15 years ago and subsequently having a chiropractors council has been helpful in increasing awareness. Because people are becoming more disaffected with what’s going on with the health service they are looking for alternatives to the orthodox treatments and we are filling the gap.”
Dr Wight’s firm, which is the longest serving chiropractic clinics in Scotland and one of the oldest in Europe, was established by his father Leslie and his uncle David.
Graeme had initially left school to study civil engineering, but after nine years he undertook a career change and received a scholarship to the National College of Chiropractic in Chicago, USA, graduating with honours in 1968.
The practice began to grow and in the early 1970s, Dr Mary Cox from Wisconsin, USA, and Dr Kenneth Bramberg from Sweden joined the practice. Satellite clinics were opened in Perth in 1981 and later in Melrose in 1983.
In 1983, after nearly 60 years in practice, Dr Leslie Wight died, but the practice continued under the management of Graeme and his brother Stuart.
By 1990 Dr Wight launched the first purpose-built chiropractic clinic in the United Kingdom, based in Roseburn Place, near Murrayfield. The new clinic in Edinburgh was opened in 1990 and in 1994 a further satellite clinic was added in Stirling, followed in 1997 by the fourth in Haddington.
Because of the restrictions on overseas graduates coming to practice in the UK and therefore there being a shortage of chiropractors, they were forced to close the Perth and Stirling practices in 2010.
A spokesperson for the Wight Chiropractic Clinic said: “We were so proud when Dr Graeme Wight was given this huge accolade for his commitment, passion and works done for the chiropractic profession.”