Chiropractic + Naturopathic Doctor

Features Education Profession
The New ‘U’


July 28, 2011
By Maria DiDanieli

Topics

If you enjoy observing an enterprise as it harnesses the
opportunities afforded by its cultural, fiscal and political milieus and
expands its potential to impact the society it serves, then you would
enjoy keeping an eye on the various chiropractic schools around the
world.

If you enjoy observing an enterprise as it harnesses the opportunities afforded by its cultural, fiscal and political milieus and expands its potential to impact the society it serves, then you would enjoy keeping an eye on the various chiropractic schools around the world. Whether they are independent colleges or university-based/affiliated programs, the institutions that train doctors of chiropractic are among the most progressive and dynamic health-care organizations in our societies today. They espouse focused training in chiropractic clinical and philosophical principles, along with overall health and wellness programs, research, patient-centred interdisciplinary outreach and lifelong learning. They work tirelessly on honing their offerings – as individual schools and as part of a professional network – in all of these areas in the face of challenges that would appear unsurmountable to others, never failing to underscore their efforts with the most sacred of bottom lines, i.e., the well-being and safety of the patients who come to them for help.

 campus  
The Parker University campus in Dallas, Texas.

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In Dallas Texas, there resides a chiropractic program that is among the leaders within this paradigm. I would like to tell you that it is called  Parker College of Chiropractic but, in fact, I would be a liar if I did so. For, as of April 11, 2011, this particular institution announced its change of status, and concomitant name change, to Parker University, and proceeded, some weeks later, to matriculate its first class of graduates, under that name, into the community. According to its website, Parker University is now accredited to award the certificate, bachelor of science and doctor of chiropractic degrees. With this transformation come a number of potential new relationships with other educational institutions, as well as with the community. Parker will now be able to expand its offerings to its students, as well as bring instruction on chiropractic and wellness lifestyles to the public and other health-care professionals.

But, as chiropractic educators are not known for resting on their laurels, Parker hasn’t stopped there.  Having cultivated a relationship with the Universidad Estatal del Valle de Ecatepec(UNEVE) in Ecatepec de Morelos in the Estado de Mexico, Mexico, Parker University has developed an academic exchange program whereby American and Mexican students can expand their clinical experience as well as learn the culture and the language of the country they are visiting.

THE STORY DOES NOT END THERE
Canadian Chiropractor is privileged to present a discussion with Parker faculty regarding the institution of Parker University, its goals and the impact of university-level, community-based, interprofessional and patient-centred learning on the profession of chiropractic, as well as on the public it serves: 

Canadian Chiropractor: What do you think will be the impact of Parker gaining university status for chiropractic education? For chiropractic as a whole?

Dr. Ken Thomas: This change sets the stage to pursue a new vision that includes the addition of new chiropractic healthcare-related bachelors and masters degrees in chiropractic education.  Additionally, this change will raise awareness within the community, allowing for partnerships (through articulation agreements) with regional universities, research collaboration with other universities and community health services.

Also, this change provides an opportunity for the profession to enter new arenas that are not yet exposed to chiropractic. For example, the new agreements with traditional universities will provide opportunities for prospective students to consider chiropractic. Prior to this change, students in regional universities may not have had the opportunity to consider chiropractic as a career.

CC: What are some interprofessional opportunities that Parker University is actively pursuing for its students at this time?

Dr. Greg Page: Parker University’s External Programs is actively pursuing more opportunities for our students to get exposure to interdisciplinary models. Currently Parker University has a relationship with the VA Hospital in Dallas where students attend an eight-week rotation treating our veterans. Students in the VA Program get the opportunity to co-manage many chronic complex cases. This rotation offers the students the opportunity to work with other departments within the VA. Chiropractic services are offered to veterans through the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Department under the supervision of Lee Moses, DC and Webin Yang, MD.

adjusting  
Parker University chiropractic intern working in the school’s clinic


 

Parker University’s External Programs have also recently established a relationship with Cancer Treatment Centers of America (CTCA) in Tulsa, Oklahoma. This program will provide the opportunity for a student to mentor under the supervision of John Sibley, DC, in his private practice and during his rotation at CTCA treating cancer patients on Mondays and Wednesdays. On Tuesdays, through this 11-week rotation, the students will be observing every department to fully understand the interdisciplinary approach to care. The student will visit with oncology, naturopathic, inpatient, nutrition, acupuncture, mind/body, pharmacy, radiology and surgical services. This will truly be a great comprehensive view of the interdisciplinary model of CTCA.

Finally, Parker University External Programs is working to establish a relationship with the Department of Defense at Bethesda Naval Hospital in Washington, D.C. This program is directed by Bill Morgan, DC, and is a six-month rotation. Dr. Morgan accepts applicants from several chiropractic colleges. This program is scheduled to accept Parker students beginning in May 2012, once the new curriculum allows for a six-month rotation.

CC: What would be the benefit for chiropractic education, in general, if students in all chiropractic schools had regular exchange opportunities with other chiropractic schools throughout the world?

Dr. Juan Sanchez: Chiropractic was established upon solid philosophical principles, equally encompassing the importance of art and science. If we consider these premises as “living” principles, it is only normal to expect to see them evolve with time. I believe our founders and specially, D.D. and B.J. Palmer, established solid chiropractic principles and premises, but never expected them to remain static.

In making these considerations and responding to the question at hand, I believe any international academic exchange program represents a unique opportunity for our profession to potentiate the evolution of chiropractic principles and their practice.

Participants in our abroad programs are unavoidably exposed to different ways of thinking, different health conditions, and among many other things, different cultural aspects that ultimately will influence the way chiropractic is practised in each country. We have seen the good and fruit of Parker University Abroad Program in each participant, and we use every opportunity available to spread the interest for creating similar programs in other chiropractic college/universities around
the world.

CC: Besides Parker Seminars (which are well known and respected), how does Parker University support doctors of chiropractic in lifelong learning?

Dr. Ken Thomas: Parker has been a supporter of lifelong learning from the beginning. In fact, Parker Seminars started in 1951 as a way to teach chiropractors how to build successful practices, and it is no different today. Parker Seminars successfully hosts thousands of chiropractors, and chiropractic assistants, at the largest gathering in the profession each year.  Additionally, Parker Continuing Education offers innovative training and CE opportunities in topics such as animal chiropractic, pediatrics and sports chiropractic.

The Parker Alumni Association hosts events for current students that expose future doctors to real-world practice situations; sponsors assemblies on campus where the biggest names speak on a variety of subjects; and offers “Lunch-n-Learn” opportunities for students and alumni to visit with practicing doctors.

Ultimately, Parker looks for every opportunity to expose the public to the benefits of chiropractic, hosting in-clinic talks and participating in regional health fairs and other events focused on health and wellness.

Canadian Chiropractor offers its congratulations to Parker University, its students and its faculty on their recent and ongoing achievements, and commends chiropractic colleges around the globe for their dedication to patient-centred education and to the profession, and its principles.

The concept of “The New ‘U’” has been adopted by Parker University and is explained on its website, at www.parkercc.edu .


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