Dr. N. Ray Tuck, Jr., leads one of only three multidisciplinary state licensing boards.
By Sienna Shoup
Being a leader can be one of the most rewarding ways to give back to your community. N. Ray Tuck, Jr., DC, of Christiansburg, Va., has learned the value of being involved through leadership in organizations that share his mission and vision. He has held various national and state positions over the years, including president of both the American Chiropractic Association and the Virginia Chiropractic Association, but his latest post as president of the Virginia Board of Medicine, an integrated board that governs both the medical and chiropractic professions in the state, is a new adventure.
The Virginia board is comprised of 18 members across multiple disciplines, including 11 medical doctors, one doctor of osteopathy, one podiatrist, one chiropractor and four public members. It is one of only three states in the U.S. – Illinois, Kansas and Virginia – that have multidisciplinary licensing boards. The rest of the U.S. states and territories have boards that are chiropractic specific. Dr. Tuck is the sole chiropractor serving on the board.
“That’s what I love about the Board – the fact that we all work together with patients at the center of everything we do,” explains Dr. Tuck, who became president in July, having previously served as the organization’s secretary-treasurer and vice president.
The Virginia Board of Medicine is the state agency responsible for overseeing competent patient care through the licensing of physicians, the establishment and enforcement of standards of practice, the education of practitioners and the public, and the evaluation of complaints. In short, the role of the board is to protect patients.
As the only DC currently on the Board, Dr. Tuck says he has faced no challenges or resistance from fellow board members. From the beginning, he felt respected and valued as an expert physician. He says his fellow board members recognize the vital role that doctors of chiropractic play in the healthcare system.
Doctors from different disciplines can learn a lot from each other, notes Dr. Tuck. They share the same patients and work together in the same direction to help those patients. “When you have a group of people centered on one clear, defined mission, you can get some amazing work done,” he says.
As president, Dr. Tuck’s responsibilities on the Board include facilitating internal and public meetings, appointing committees, responding to complaints appropriately, signing off on everything, and serving as the liaison to other organizations. It may sound daunting to some, but he is accustomed to juggling demands as president and CEO of Tuck Chiropractic Clinic, a group practice featuring 17 doctors in 10 different locations across Virginia.
When Dr. Tuck isn’t busy with his leadership roles, he enjoys participating in Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, beekeeping, gardening, working on old cars and traveling, but most of all, he enjoys spending time with his family. He makes sure to surround himself with people he cares about, and those who care about him, as these are the people who are the most supportive and who understand his vision for providing the best care possible for patients. Dr. Tuck stresses that no matter where you’re at in life, it’s important to keep your mission in mind and give your attention to the things that are right in front of you.
He encourages DCs to get involved in their state licensing boards if they have the opportunity. “Being on the Board has been one of the most enriching experiences I’ve had in terms of clinical development,” he says. When it comes to being a leader, Dr. Tuck explains that there is a common misconception that you need to be the president or CEO in order to lead, but the truth is that you can be a great leader in your role right now by being the person that everybody can depend on, garnering respect, and doing what’s right while no one is watching.
“We all lead every day,” he says, “even if it’s just leading ourselves.”
For those interested in learning more about leadership and finding the leader within themselves, Dr. Tuck recommends reading Linchpin by Seth Godin and checking out the many books on leadership by John C. Maxwell.