Although Dr Tim Latham’s medical degree originated with chiropractic, he’s stemmed from this specific practice and branched out to work in lifestyle medicine as a dietitian and nutritionist. Think he could be more qualified? He’s also a personal trainer, strength and conditioning coach. All of this traces back to a shoulder injury that Tim incurred as a college baseball player. He went to a family friend in sports chiropractic and as the timing aligned with Tim deciding on a college major, things just fell into place. “It seemed like a good lifestyle, I wanted to work with my hands and help people, and work with active populations–so, the timing was right for me.” The Pittsburgh-native has now settled at VEGA, who found Ashley and Stephanie with his wife Dr Laura Latham when they moved up to Rhode Island. Even though Laura came in for the original interview, Tim’s background and shift toward lifestyle medicine and desire to focus on helping people with chronic diseases, set him apart from the typical chiropractor and aligned with VEGA’s mission. We couldn’t picture his dedicated and diligent spirit anywhere else, so give a warm ‘hello’ to Dr Tim Latham:
How would you describe what you do?
There’s a big difference in the old-school chiropractors and the new-school chiropractors. I think you’ll see a lot more diversity in the new-school chiropractors, which you can see with us [Laura and I] – we went to the same school and we have very similar backgrounds, we do a lot of the same continuing education seminars and workshops but we apply that science differently and we work with different patient populations. I wanted to help people with chronic diseases, so trying to integrate exercise, movement, diet, nutrition, sleep, the big things that we know we should all be doing that have a huge impact on our health — but there don’t seem to be any health care professionals that are really mastering all of them — they jump around from specialty to specialty. So I’m trying to bring that all together under one roof with different medical providers who are specialists and trying to be a source of education and information to people.
Can you discuss the work you did in Kuwait earlier this year?
Kuwait was an opportunity that was presented to me by a friend, who’s big in the crossfit community. He was invited to go over there and treat at a clinic for a couple weeks. He knew that we were still looking for space up here so he said, ‘You’re free, you’re a good clinician, come over here and work with me for a little bit.’ It was a fantastic experience. I would do it again, for sure, if we didn’t have this. I was doing physical rehab type stuff, mostly treating crossfit athletes, office workers with back pain, all pretty simple orthopedic conditions–back pain, neck pain, shoulder pain.
How do you practice what you preach to your patients?
I think it’s really easy, personally. I would never want to be a hypocrite. People are jealous all the time because they say, ‘Well you teach people about eating right, physical activity all the time so it’s easy for you.’ Whereas, other people don’t have that daily accountability. They don’t have to look someone in the face and be 40 pounds overweight and say, ‘Eat this, don’t eat that.’ So, I think it just comes naturally from being competitive, athletic people growing up and not wanting to be hypocrites.
Do you have a guilty pleasure?
I’m a salty, savory kind of guy. I don’t have a go-to, though, maybe red wine, Scotch, or Chinese food.
How do you reground yourself after a long day?
Just spending time in nature, regardless of what it is. Nature in general gives me a good perspective on life and makes me realize how small we are and how whatever I was stressed out about is probably not a big deal in the grand scheme of things. Whether it’s in the woods, or walking along the ocean, just being outside helps, and usually walking the dog.
What type of dog do you have?
We think she’s a Husky mix with the energy of a Border Collie, so she keeps us very active.
What’s one thing you have to do everyday?
Read. I’m crazy competitive in general and like being the best at whatever I’m doing. So, when I was in college playing sports, I would work extremely hard in the weight room to be the best at that. And in the professional world, I want to know everything. I just want to help my patients as much as I can. My biggest pet peeve is the professionals who are stuck in an area and they refuse to grow or read things that contradict what they might be doing in practice. So, I constantly challenge myself, challenge my beliefs and the biggest way I do that is reading and continuing education.
What are you reading right now?
The signs of stress and sleep, also some evolutionary biology–why our bodies are in the shapes they are and events throughout history that made us different from other species.
Describe the VEGA space and atmosphere in five words:
Welcoming, bright, inspiring, comfortable, collaborative.