by David Parish, DC, MS, CSCS, DACBSP, ICCSP
Logan University values integrated care opportunities for its students. Through partnerships with local organizations, students have been able to dip their toes into all the facets of chiropractic, from pediatrics to sports, and benefit from real-world experience before the diploma reaches their hands.
It was nearly 10 years ago that Logan first introduced the Master’s in Sports Science and Rehabilitation, a degree program that complemented the flagship Doctor of Chiropractic degree and offered a specialized focus for sports injury management.
As leaders in the area, we took on the responsibility of providing students the experience, training and confidence needed to work with modern-day athletes. Today, the sports science and rehabilitation program has made a name for itself in the area of athletic performance. Logan students are afforded the opportunity to participate in multidisciplinary clinical settings with professional, collegiate and high school sports teams, while athletes benefit from chiropractic care designed to maximize performance and prevent injuries.
As our program and enrollment has grown, so has the number of partnerships with elite athletic programs at institutions such as the University of Missouri and Harris-Stowe State University in St. Louis.
And we continue to lay the groundwork for future growth.
Last fall 2015, Logan began a partnership with Southern Illinois University Edwardsville (SIUE), providing an educational opportunity in a clinical sports medicine setting for Logan student interns, while simultaneously providing the benefit of chiropractic care to SIUE student athletes in conjunction with its current athletic training program.
Through the partnership, Logan student interns provide chiropractic care to SIUE student athletes under the supervision of Lacey Miller, DC, resident in Logan’s Human Performance Center, and other clinicians and Doctors of Chiropractic. This gives students an opportunity to work in an integrated setting with physicians and athletic trainers on SIUE’s campus, and work on a one-on-one basis with the student athletes themselves.
At SIUE, Logan interns work alongside Dr. Miller to provide care to 16 to 20 student athletes a week in a variety of sports, particularly women’s volleyball, soccer and basketball, and men’s soccer, wrestling, and, most recently, basketball. The interns visit the Edwardsville campus twice a week, allowing SIUE athletes the chance to receive follow-up care within the same week. In addition, we are working on expanding the partnership to include pregame care.
The result? Athletes receive immediate, personalized care and our students gain valuable knowledge in an integrated health care environment.
Not only is the partnership beneficial for both universities, but it is also beneficial for chiropractic as a whole. It validates chiropractic’s role in sports in providing the ability to maximize performance, but also in treating injuries and helping to prevent future injuries.
The more we work with the student athletes, the more we find that the athletes rely on us for care. The athletes, too, become more knowledgeable about chiropractic and how it can help their game. In short, the relationship with SIUE, and with other institutions and organizations we’ve partnered with, is health care integration at its finest.
Those who we work with say that the relationship is symbiotic in that it provides an educational opportunity for Logan students, while also benefitting SIUE with chiropractic care.
Logan has been successful at building relationships with top athletes who have the potential to be drafted into professional sports teams through consistent and quality chiropractic care, keeping them in top condition on and off the field. It’s a unique relationship in that we are not here to replace care provided by other health care professionals, but to augment and bring value to what athletes already receive.
Ensuring the success of future leaders in sports chiropractic is as much about providing the knowledge and tools to become skillful practitioners as it is about identifying the right integrated opportunities where we can make an impact. The need for sports chiropractic will, in fact, continue to grow as we make our presence more known through successful outcomes.
David Parish, DC, MS, CSCS, DACBSP, ICCSP
Dr. David Parish is the Associate Dean Clinical Care and Director of Sports Science and Rehabilitation. He has extensive experience in chiropractic sports injury care and rehabilitation including work as a team physician with professional, college and high school sports teams, including serving as a Team USA chiropractic physician for the ParaPan American Games, 2012 Paralympics Games and, most recently, the 2016 Paralympic Games.