Monday, May 5, 2014

Palmer College of Chiropractic West Homecoming

I’ve just returned from helping celebrate Homecoming at PCCW. In addition to all the instructional courses that doctors and students could attend, there was also a visit, for a “meet and greet,” with National Football League Hall-of-Famer Jerry Rice. Mr. Rice, an engaging and friendly man, also spent an hour with 35 prospective students, making it a college visit it is not likely they will forget.

But what struck me, and it struck me hard, was to finally realize how far we have come in so short a time.  I began my chiropractic studies in 1976, and I graduated in 1979. I began my career as an educator in 1980. At the time I did so I could not have conceived, and I am not sure that anyone else could have either, where we would be professionally in 2014. This was brought home in 3 sessions that I attended.
The first was with our own Dr. Christine Goertz. It was not so much her topic, which was how to use scientific date to talk to policy makers. It was more that Dr. Goertz began her career as a program officer at NIH. And from that, she has become a tremendously powerful force in our profession, working for both PCORI (Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute) and for a AMA committee on health policy. Here we have a chiropractor working within the AMA- a past enemy- and at a high governmental level.

I then heard my former student Dr. Brian Justice speak. He spoke about primary spine care as a real-world approach to chiropractic practice in an evolving healthcare system. He did so as the medical director for Excellus/Blue Cross Blue Shield of upstate New York. Yes, he now heads a BCBS program and directs not just DCs but other professionals as well. And he argues that it is all about the patient as he goes about modelling effective care pathways.

And finally, I listed the estimable Dr. Bill Moreau. Bill is the medical director overseeing medical care delivered through the United States Olympic Committee. Thus, a chiropractor heads all medical services our elite athletes receive from the USOC.
Other speakers were involved with major league baseball, football and basketball teams. Some worked the America Cup in yacht racing. None of this could have been foreseen back in 1980.

It made me proud of what we have accomplished. And it starts here, in the classroom- you all made it happen!

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