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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.

Mission

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, interprofessional education, and scholarly activities.

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.

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).

 

P. Cris Barkmeier, DC earned a BA from California State University Long Beach in 2002 and a Doctor of Chiropractic degree in 2008 from SCU. He is a Veteran, serving from 1992 to 1998 in VAGLAHS Chiropractic Residency Handbook (updated June 30, 2021) Page 7 the United States Marine Corps. He has been a chiropractic attending since 2011 and full-time staff.

 

Enya Katz, DC 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.

 

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.

Location

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). The chiropractic program at VAGLAHS is among the first within the VA program nationally with on station chiropractic services offered since January 2005. The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System is one of The VAGLAHS is the largest health care system within the Department of Veterans Affairs. It consists of a tertiary care facility (West Los Angeles Healthcare Center, also known as VAGLAHS two ambulatory care centers and 8 community-based outpatient clinics. VAGLAHS GLA provides comprehensive ambulatory and tertiary care to Veterans in five counties in Southern California, with 716 beds, over 5,000 employees and an annual operating budget of over $810 million. The VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System directs the Department of Veterans Affairs’ largest educational enterprise. We serve as a major training site for medical residencies with over 500 University residents, interns, and students are trained at the VA Greater Los Angeles Healthcare System each year. The institution sponsors 16 medical residencies and numerous associated health residencies and internships in chiropractic, dentistry, podiatry, optometry, pharmacy, clinical psychology, social work and dietetics. 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 Overview

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. Interprofessional 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).

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.

 

Completion Designation

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

Compensation

The resident stipend is set annually and is based on geographic location by VA Office of Academic Affiliations. The compensation for academic year 2022-2023 at Greater West Los Angeles VAMC is $42,371.

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.

2022 Important Dates

Item Date
Item Application Period opens Date January 17, 2022
Item Application Period closes Date February 11, 2022
Item Interview Period ends Date March 18, 2022
Item Match Ranking deadline Date March 21, 2022
Item Match Day Date March 28, 2022
Item Scramble (if needed) Date March 29, 2022

Valerie Johnson DC, DABCI, DACBN

Lead Chiropractor/Chiropractic Residency Director

VA Greater Los Angeles health care

Phone: 310-478-3711, ext.44370

Email: Valerie.Johnson4@va.gov