This past weekend I attended the 20th Association of Chiropractic Colleges meeting, which as always was combined with the Research Agenda Conference, now in its 15th year; the last 9 years have held a combined conference. As always, the conference brings together researchers, academics, administrators and practitioners to share ideas that look at both teaching and research. This year was no different.
The open plenary session started with a presentation by Dr. Norton Hadler, a prominent professor of medicine and microbiology/immunology at University of North Caroline. Dr. Hadler is author of many books, the latest of which are “Worried Sick: A Prescription for Health in an Overtreated American” and “Stabbed in the Back: Confronting Back Pain in an Overtreated Society.” His discussion looked at the personal, social and policy implications of low back pain, noting the impact it has on our lives and yet how little we know for how much we spend looking at it. He was followed by the Dr. Georges Benjamin, the executive director for the American Public Health Association, which he has led since 2002. Dr. Benjamin is a long-time friend of the chiropractic profession, and he led the audience through an overview of how we can help improve population health, asking us to work to involve more of our profession in the public health movement. The final speakers of the morning were Drs. Scott Haldeman, Pierre Cote and Don Murphy, who looked at how our understanding of the purported role of manipulation and stroke is changing as we gather more evidence and show that stroke after manipulation in incredibly rare. We all know Dr. Haldeman, but Dr. Cote is a DC, PHD working at Toronto Western Research Institute and Toronto Western Hospital, while Dr. Murphy is a chiropractor who has assignment at the Albert Medical School of Brown University.
Workshops at ACCRAC included a discussion of back and spinal pain as it relates to public health, a session on the role of ethics in research (near and dear to my heart, but could have been better, just saying), and ones on understanding and implementing boundaries in college and practice, strategies for teaching and assessing clinical reasoning, understanding evidence-based practice, trends in supporting a transition from clinician to educator, taking care of geriatric patients, applying management tools to streamline work efforts in colleges, and accessing the chiropractic literature. We also had a session that looked at the advances made in several of the chiropractic colleges that have received an R25 award. Ours was presented by Dr. Cynthia Long.
Throughout the course of the program paper sessions presented new research to attendees. We were well represented in that effort by papers from Palmer faculty, including Bob Cooperstein, Morgan Young, Makani Lew (all PCCW), Todd Hubbard, Lisa Killinger, Rita Nafziger, Michelle Barber, Maria Anderson (PCCD),Christopher Meseke, Niu Zhang, Xiaohua He, Kim Keene, Anne Canty (PCCF). Palmer faculty and administration were involved in several of the workshops, including Lisa Killinger, Judy Silvestrone, Robert Percuoco, Phyllis Harvey and Cynthia Long. And many Palmer faculty had posters at the program, including Ron Boesch, Bob Cooperstein, Casey Crisp, Todd Hubbard, Stephen Grand, Kenice Morehouse, Dave Juehring, Mike Tunning, Barbara Mansholt, myself, Katherine Pohlman, Maria Hondras, Cynthia Long, Andrea Haan, Dewan Raja, Bahar Sultana, Hong Yu and Xiaohua He. All told, our college was incredibly well represented. We should be proud, and if you see any of the presenters here, give ‘em a pat on the back.
I am proud to say that 2 Palmer papers won prizes given by the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, one by Niu Zhang and Xiaohua He ("Understanding the intrigue of extraocular muscles and Oculomotor, Trochlear and Abducens nerves through physcial examination: an innovative approach"), and one by Rita Nafziger, Christopher Meseke and Jamie Meseke ("Collaborative testing: the effect of group formation process on overall student performance"). Only 9 total prizes were awarded and we won 2 of them.
Next year’s session has as its general theme “integration.” A new call for papers will be out soon, with a new deadline of late August of this year, so time is already close at hand. Please think about going; it is a fertile arena with which to share ideas and well worth attending.