VA Chiropractic Education and Training - Rehabilitation and Prosthetic Services
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VA Chiropractic Education and Training

Chiropractic Residency Programs

The Integrated Clinical Practice chiropractic residency programs focus on the provision of chiropractic care in integrated healthcare systems, collaborating with primary care, specialty care, and other medical and associated health providers and trainees.

The residencies provide advanced clinical training in multimorbid case management, allowing recent graduates to increase their scope and depth of clinical knowledge, experience and acumen. Residents are mentored by senior VA chiropractors who are national leaders in integrated chiropractic practice. These clinicians share their expertise in patient care, academics and research to provide a robust educational experience.

These hospital-based training programs expand the residents’ ability to collaborate with other healthcare professionals in team care, as trainees learn with and from other healthcare providers during interdisciplinary rotations. Residents develop their knowledge of hospital practice, policies and procedures, and are better prepared for future positions in VA, other healthcare systems, and/or academic settings.

Curricular overview
Residents provide full diagnostic and management services of musculoskeletal and neuromuscular conditions under the mentorship of senior VA doctors of chiropractic (DCs). This includes team-based management of complex conditions in collaboration with other medical specialists and healthcare providers. Residents also engage in clinical educational rotations through services including primary care, medical or surgical specialties, mental health, and rehabilitation disciplines. Additionally, residents participate in various scholarly activities and attend and give presentations at multiple academic/research venues of the VA facility and/or its affiliates.

Eligibility requirements
Applicants must hold or be scheduled to receive a DC degree from a CCE-accredited school prior to the start of the residency program. Applicants must meet all VA employment requirements including United States citizenship, and Selective Service registration when applicable. Licensure is not required prior to the start of the program. Accepted residents, prior to program completion, must obtain a full, active, and unrestricted chiropractic license in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the US, or in the District of Columbia.

Programs are full-time (40 hours/week) for 12 months. Additional weekly time may be needed for scholarly or other training activities. Programs run from July 1 to June 30.

Salary is adjusted annually by VA Office of Academic Affiliations, and ranges from $36,000 to $45,000 per year based on geographic location. Residents receive paid Federal holidays, and accrue vacation and sick leave. Residents are also eligible for life and health insurance. Residents are protected from personal liability while providing professional services at a VA health care facility under the Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act, 28 U.S.C. 2679 (b)-(d).

Facility Established Council on Chiropractic Education Accreditation Status  Attending DC Faculty
Canandaigua VA Medical Center 2014 Initial: July 2016
Comprehensive Site Visit: Spring 2020
Status Review Meeting: July 2020
Michael Barbato, DC
Paul Dougherty, DC (Director)
Christopher Farrell, DC
Lindsay Rae, DC
Cincinnati VA Medical Center 2020 Initial application in process Frank Bucki, DC
Michael Clay, DC, MPH (Director)
Miami VA Healthcare System 2020 Initial application in process John D’Amico, DC
Charles Penza, DC, PhD (Director)
VA Central Iowa Health Care System 2020 Initial application in process Nathan Hinkeldey, DC (Director)
Heather Meeks, DC
Julie Olson, DC, LAc
VA Connecticut Health Care System 2014 Initial: July 2016
Reaffirmation: July 2019
Next Comprehensive Site Visit: Fall 2025
Lauren Austin-McClellan, DC, MS
Christopher Coulis, DC, MS
Todd Kawecki, DC
Anthony Lisi, DC (Director)
Nathaniel Majoris, DC
VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System 2014 Initial: July 2016
Reaffirmation: July 2019
Next Comprehensive Site Visit: Spring 2025
Paul Barkmeier, DC
Valerie Johnson, DC (Director)
Enya Katz, DC
Benjamin Liang, DC
Robb Russell, DC
VA Palo Alto Health Care System 2020 Initial application projected for submission by May 2021 Annie Babikian, DC
Peter Hibl, DC
Kevin Kaldy, DC
Alec Schielke, DC
Charles Sullivan, DC
Robert Walsh, DC (Director)
VA Puget Sound Health Care System 2020 Initial application in process Edward Bednarz, DC
Clinton Daniels, DC, MS (Director)
VA St. Louis Health Care System 2014 Initial: July 2016
Reaffirmation: July 2019
Next Comprehensive Site Visit: Spring 2025
Ross Mattox, DC
Jason Napuli, DC, MBA (Director)
VA Western New York Healthcare System 2014 Initial: July 2016
Comprehensive Site Visit: Fall 2019
Status Review Meeting: July 2020
Jonathan Danner, DC
Andrew Dunn, DC, MS (Director)
Derek Golley, DC

Application process
Selection is through a competitive process considering factors such as chiropractic college performance, additional professional experiences, letters of recommendation, and interviews. A call for applications is issued each year on the first business Monday of January. Applications are only accepted during the open call.

As of 2020, all VA Chiropractic Residency Programs are following a standardized application and Match process to fill available slots. Match processes are commonly used for residencies and fellowships in medicine, dentistry, psychology, podiatry, optometry and other health professions. General background information on match programs in other disciplines is available from National Matching Services (currently not affiliated with the VA chiropractic program).

The VA Chiropractic Residency Match
  • The VA Chiropractic Residency Match (the “Match”) is staffed by 2 VA DCs who are not part of the selection team at any VA chiropractic residency program.
  • Applicants submit a Match Registration Form to the Match email address. This indicates the programs to which the applicants are applying in no rank order. Applicants may apply to as many programs as they wish. The registration form also identifies the 3 individuals who will be serving as references for the applicants.
  • Applicants inform their references to submit the Reference Form directly to the Match. Only one reference form per applicant is needed from each referee.
  • Applicants submit a Program Application Form and their CV directly to each program. Applicants may apply to as many programs as they wish, but must submit a separate Program Application Form and CV to each particular program.
  • The Match forwards each program the names of the individuals applying to that program (without disclosing any other programs to which the individuals may be applying), and the Reference Forms from the respective referees.
  • Each program determines which of its applicants will be offered interviews, and contacts those applicants directly to schedule. Interviews may take place by telephone, video call, and/or in person. Interviews may consist of one or multiple rounds. During interviews, programs and applicants do not discuss any ranking considerations. All interviews will be completed by the common interview deadline.
  • After all interviews, applicants who have been interviewed submit to the Match their desired positions listed in rank order. Similarly, each program submits to the Match its list of desired applicants, in rank order.
  • The Match follows an unbiased, transparent algorithmic approach to enable both applicants and programs to receive the best placements possible. This stage is “applicant-proposing,” meaning that the preferences of the applicant are rated higher than the preferences of the program. However for a match to occur, both the applicant and the program must rank each other. Further description is available here. (currently not affiliated with the VA chiropractic program)
  • The Match contacts each applicant and program to notify them of their match, or unmatched status.
  • Matched applicants will then be contacted directly by the respective program for next steps.
  • If any programs have unmatched slots, those programs may, at their discretion, contact any remaining unmatched applicant on Scramble day. Any residency slot offers made on that day must be accepted or declined within 24 hours. If any programs remain unmatched after Scramble day, those programs may, at their discretion, continue to contact any remaining unmatched applicant. However due to the overall level of competitiveness, the majority of applicants will remain unmatched and will not obtain a residency slot.

2021 Important Dates  
 Item Action Date
Application Period opens n/a Monday, January 4, 2021
Deadline for Match registration  Applicant submits Match Registration Form to the Match Friday, January 15, 2021
Deadline for applications and CVs Applicant submits Program Application Form, and CV, to individual program(s) Friday, January 29, 2021
Deadline references forms Referee submits Reference Form to the Match Friday, January 29, 2021
Interview period ends  n/a Friday, March 5, 2021
Deadline for interviewee match rankings Interviewees will receive instructions in advance Monday, March 8, 2021
Match Day n/a Monday, March 15, 2021
Scramble (if needed) n/a Tuesday, March 16, 2021

2021 Application Forms
Match Registration Form
Program Application Form
Reference Form

Additional information
Webinar  - Overview of the VA Chiropractic Residency Program. December 2017.
Report - Overview and update of the VA Chiropractic Residency Program.