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Integrated Clinical Practice Chiropractic Residency Program

VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System Integrated Clinical Practice Chiropractic Residency Program focuses 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 Mission of the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System (VAGLAHS) Chiropractic Integrated Clinical Practice Residency program is to prepare chiropractic residents for clinical practice in hospitals or other medical settings, and/or academia, through hospital based clinical training, inter-professional education, and scholarly activities.

Accreditation Status

The Integrated Clinical Practice chiropractic residency program at VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System has been accredited by the Council on Chiropractic Education since July 2016 and reaffirmed July 2019. Our next site visit will be during the spring of 2026. Inquiries regarding the accreditation status of our residency program may be directed to: 

Program Overview

Established: 2014

The program provides the resident with extensive clinical experience in hospital-based chiropractic care, including the full scope of diagnosis and treatment of patients with nonoperative musculoskeletal and neuromuscular problems. The curriculum is organized into three main categories:

1. Patient care: The resident gains experience in team-based case management including complex conditions under the mentorship of senior VA chiropractors. Patient cases can include traumatic brain injury, post-operative spine, inflammatory arthritis, radiculopathy, peripheral neuropathy, chronic pain syndrome, neuromuscular degenerative pathology, deformity, and complicated medical and VAGLAHS Chiropractic Residency Handbook (updated June 30, 2021) Page 4 psychosocial co-morbidity. Approximately 67% of the overall residency worked time (approximately 1,250 hours) is allotted to patient care in the chiropractic clinic.

2. Inter-professional education: The resident rotates through other services to gain exposure to a wider variety of cases, learn about the roles and approaches of other disciplines, and foster interdisciplinary teamwork and collaboration. Learning opportunities focus on providing residents a better understanding of clinical practice in various specialties and facilitating future communication and collaboration in team care settings. Approximately 14% of the overall residency worked time (approximately 250 hours) is spent in clinical rotations.

3. Scholarship: The resident completes didactic assignments, individual and group projects, attends ongoing scholarly presentations, gives lectures/presentations to other departments, obtains and appraises literature relevant to clinical care, presents critically appraised topics and/or case reports, and assists or participates in ongoing faculty research projects. Approximately 19% of the overall residency worked time (approximately 350 hours) consists of scholarly activities at VAGLAHS and/or the academic affiliate, Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU).

Resident Goals/Objectives

  • Residents will acquire postgraduate clinical experience in hospital-based chiropractic care
  • Residents will provide supervised patient care at satisfactory levels of competence, to a broad population of musculoskeletal cases, most commonly spinal, in the context of collaborative team-based care.
  • Residents will gain experience in managing a range of complex/multimorbidity cases.
  • Residents will engage in interprofessional educational experiences with relevant medical, surgical and associated health specialties.
  • Residents will complete clinical rotations in primary care, physical medicine and rehabilitation, other relevant medical or surgical specialties, behavioral medicine and other associated health disciplines.
  • Residents will participate in scholarly activities to gain experience relevant to integrated practice and/or academia.
  • Residents will complete scholarly assignments, online didactic courses, and collaborate with other chiropractic residents to complete group assignments.
  • Residents will attend scholarly presentations among available hospital and/or academic affiliate offerings.
  • Residents will engage in research activities, and/or present scholarly material, and/or clinical workshops to staff and/or trainees at VAGLAHS and/or academic affiliate venues.


Training takes place at the VA West Los Angeles Healthcare Center (11301 Wilshire Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90073) and VA Sepulveda Ambulatory Care Center (16111 Plummer Street North Hills, CA 91343).

Clinical Facilities

The chiropractic clinic is aligned administratively within PM&RS and located on two campuses. In West Los Angeles, it is physically situated in the PM&RS Polytrauma Center in adjacent to the main hospital. The WLA chiropractic clinic is composed of three exam/treatment rooms furnished with state-of-the-art exam/treatment tables, computers, and other necessary equipment. The SACC chiropractic clinic is composed of two exam/treatment rooms furnished with state-of-the-art exam/treatment tables, computers, and other necessary equipment. Library support through VAGLAHS and the VISN 22 Online Library.

Program Duration

Full-time (40 hours/week) for 12 months, from July 1 through June 30 of the following year.

Additional weekly time may be dedicated to scholarly or other training activities.


Certificate of Completion

Upon satisfactory completion of program requirements, the graduate will receive an official Certificate of Residency, and records will be maintained at the VAGLAHS and the VHA Chiropractic National Program Office


The resident stipend is set annually and is based on geographic location by VA Office of Academic Affiliations. The compensation for academic year 2024-2025 at Greater West Los Angeles VAMC is $44,905.

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 be eligible for, or hold a current, full, active, and unrestricted chiropractic license in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the US, or in the District of Columbia. Applicants must meet all VA employment requirements including US citizenship, and Selective Service registration when applicable.

Application Process

Selection is through a competitive process considering factors such as academic background, relevant experience, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and telephone and/or in-person interviews. A call for applications is issued each year on the second Monday of January. Applications are only accepted during the open call.

Program Faculty

The resident is mentored by an accomplished core faculty 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. 

Valerie Johnson, DC (Residency Program Director) is the residency director for VAGLAHS and a graduate from Southern California University of Health Sciences (SCU). In 2005, she became the first chiropractor appointed by the VA in California and to the VAGLAHS medical staff. In 2006 helped establish an academic affiliation between VAGLAHS and SCU. Prior to the VA, she worked in a worker comp integrative clinic caring for employees of the City of Beverly Hills and with an orthopedic group. She has taught online courses in Primary Care/Preventive Medicine and been published in peer reviewed journals. Dr. Johnson is board certified and has a diplomate in Diagnosis and Internal Disorders (DABCI) and Clinical Nutrition (DACBN).

Enya Katz, DC, MS earned a bachelor’s degree in biology from Yeshiva University in Manhattan, NY in 2014 and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from the University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic in 2018. Additionally, she completed her master’s degree in human nutrition from the University of Bridgeport while in attendance. During her time as a chiropractic student, Dr. Katz did her clerkship at the West Haven VHA hospital. After graduation she worked in private practice in Miami, FL before starting her residency at the VAGLAHS. Upon graduating from the residency program, Dr. Katz joined the PM&RS staff at VAGLAHS in 2020 as a chiropractic attending and full-time staff.

Kaitlin Dick, DC earned a bachelor’s degree in Kinesiology from San Francisco State University in 2015 and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Palmer College of Chiropractic – West in 2021. She completed a clinical student clerkship with the VA Palo Alto HCS in Monterey, CA and was the VAGLAHS chiropractic resident from 2022-2023. She joined the PM&RS staff at VAGLAHS in 2023 as a chiropractic attending and full-time staff.

Robb Russell, DC is a graduate from San Diego State University and Los Angeles College of Chiropractic. He was Chairman of the Chiropractic Section of Pacific Hospital of Long Beach and has held leadership positions with the California Chiropractic Association, an expert for the California Board of Chiropractic Examiner, and an examiner for the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners. He is published in chiropractic journals and made presentations before chiropractic and medical conferences. He transitioned to an academic and administrative position at SCU and served as the SCU’s Spine Care program. He is the Assistant Vice President and Clinical Chief of Staff, SCU Health. He helped establish the VAGLAHS chiropractic residency program and has been an attending since 2014.

Benjamin Liang, DC earned a bachelor’s degree from UCLA in psychology in 1999. He earned a Doctor of Chiropractic degree from Cleveland Chiropractic College in 2012 after completing his remaining chiropractic education at SCU.  He attended a clinical student clerkship at VA WLA and Sepulveda between 2011 and 2012.  He owns a private practice and was the first VAGLAHS chiropractic resident from 2014-2015.  He and been a part-time attending since July 2015.

Meet the Team


Valerie Johnson DC, DABCI, DACBN

Lead Chiropractor/Chiropractic Residency Director

VA Greater Los Angeles health care

Phone: 310-478-3711, ext.44370