Chiropractic Residency Program
The Miami VA Healthcare System chiropractic clinics are administratively aligned within physical medicine and rehabilitative services. Chiropractic residents rotate in primary care, PM&R, pain medicine, mental health, neurosurgery, women’s clinic, GRECC, spinal cord injury and other sub-specialty clinics. Residents learn from or participate in chiropractic faculty’s ongoing research projects and engage in scholarly activities at the facility.
Program: Integrated Clinical Practice Established: 2020
Accreditation: The chiropractic residency program at the Miami VA Healthcare System is awarded programmatic accreditation by The Council on Chiropractic Education, 10105 E. Via Linda, Suite 103 - 3642, Scottsdale, AZ, 85258-4321, Phone: 480-443-8877, Website: www.cce-usa.org
Period: 12 months, July 1 to June 30 annually Positions: One
Director: Gina Bonavito-Larragoite DC, MBA, FIAMA
Attending DC Faculty: Bret White, DC, MHSc, DABCO, CCSP, John D'Amico, DC, DABCO, Terry Rubin, DC, CCAP
The mission of the Miami VA Healthcare System Chiropractic Integrated Clinical Practice Residency 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
The Miami VA Healthcare System is a 1A Complexity Facility that serves Veterans in three South Florida counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe, with an estimated Veteran population of 149,704. The Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Miami VAMC) is located on 26.3 acres with an attached four-story Community Living Center. The MVAHCS chiropractic clinics are administratively aligned within physical medicine and rehabilitative services. Chiropractic residents rotate in primary care, PM&R, pain medicine, mental health, neurosurgery, women’s clinic, GRECC, spinal cord injury and other sub-specialty clinics. Residents learn from or participate in chiropractic faculty’s ongoing research projects and engage in scholarly activities at the facility.
• 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
• 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
• 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
• Residents will engage in research activities, and/or present scholarly material, and/or clinical
workshops to staff and/or trainees at VA and/or academic affiliate venues
Program DC Faculty
Gina M. Bonavito-Larragoite, DC, FIAMA - Residency Director
Dr. Bonavito-Larragoite is the residency program director (RPD). She received a Bachelor of Art in music, with a minor in chemistry from Northern Arizona University in 1998, and her Doctorate in Chiropractic from Life Chiropractic College West in 2002. Dr. Bonavito-Larragoite completed her acupuncture fellowship from the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture in 2009 and her Master of Business Administration Healthcare Management in 2022 from Parker University. She started with the Iowa City VA Medical Center (ICVAMC) in 2014 following 12 years in private practice in Arizona, where she was the Chiropractic Section Chief and the Director of the In-house Chiropractic Training Program. In 2019, she was appointed as the communications coordinator and the Midwest regional lead for the chiropractic field advisory committee (FAC). She continues to serve as a mentor for newly hired VA chiropractors. In 2021, Dr. Bonavito-Larragoite transferred to the Miami VA Healthcare System (MVAHS) to assume the role of Chiropractic Residency Director. She serves on both local and VISN whole health committees and as an Advisory Board member for Keiser University. She currently holds academic affiliations at Keiser University, Palmer College of Chiropractic, and Parker University.
Bret White, DC, MHSc, DABCO, CCSP-Residency Faculty
Dr. White earned his Doctorate in Chiropractic degree in 1995 from the New York Chiropractic College (now Northeast College of Health Sciences). He earned his Master of Health Science degree in 2020 from Nova Southeastern University, with a concentration in higher education. He has earned board certification as a chiropractic sports physician (1997, American Chiropractic Board of Sports Physicians) and a diplomate in orthopedics (2001, American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedists). Dr. White has been in practice for over 27 years, including one year in western New York, ten years in Boston, and the rest here in south Florida. His primary focus in private practice was sports injuries and family practice. He has previously served as a member of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners Part III Standards Setting and Test Development Committee. He was one of the first faculty members hired in the new College of Chiropractic Medicine for Keiser University, where he was an Assistant Professor from 2017 until 2023 and continues to serve as an Adjunct Assistant Clinical Professor. He previously held faculty appointments at the New York Chiropractic College, the Muscular Therapy Institute, and Tufts University School of Medicine. In 2023, Dr. White left Keiser University to serve as a full-time attending chiropractic physician for the Physical Medicine & Rehab Services of the Miami VA Healthcare System where he provides team-based, person-centered care to our veterans. Dr. White will continue to play an active role in the education of our chiropractic residents and student clerks.
Terry Rubin, DC, CCAP-Residency Faculty
Dr. Rubin graduated from Syracuse University in 2010, receiving bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. He then went on to earn his Doctorate in Chiropractic (DC) degree from New York Chiropractic College in 2013, completing his clerkship at the Miami VA Healthcare System (MVAHS) during his final year of the program. Following graduation from chiropractic school, Dr. Rubin remained in South Florida working in private practice at a multi-disciplinary clinic specializing in sports medicine for 8 years. In 2021, he was hired by the MVAHS to return as a full-time attending chiropractic physician within the Physical Medicine & Rehab department of the hospital. Dr. Rubin is a Certified Chiropractic Acupuncture Physician and full body Active Release Technique (ART) provider, among many other evidence-based treatment certifications he has received over the years that he utilizes in clinic on a daily basis. Dr. Rubin also has an academic affiliation with Keiser University, serving as an adjunct assistance clinical professor within the chiropractic program.
John D'Amico, DC, DABCO-Residency Faculty
John D’Amico, DC, DABCO was a biology major at Stony Brook University and received his Doctorate in Chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College in 1992. He completed a rigorous postdoctoral educational program and earned his Diplomate American Board of Chiropractic Orthopedics (DABCO) in 2000. Dr. D’Amico was one of the first chiropractic pioneers to enter the Veterans Affairs (VA) Health Care System. In 2005, he became the first chiropractor appointed to the medical staff at the Miami VA Healthcare System (MVAHCS). He developed processes for integrating hospital-based clinical services and interprofessional clinical education. In 2008, he established an academic affiliation with New York Chiropractic College (NYCC) for a DC student-training program; he serves as an adjunct assistance clinical professor at NYCC and CPKU. He has served on numerous VA chiropractic professional boards and provides peer mentorship for newly appointed staff chiropractors.
Training takes place at the Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Miami VAMC, 1201 NW 16th St, Miami, FL 33136) and William "Bill" Kling Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic (9800 West Commercial Boulevard, Sunrise, FL 33351) campuses. The MVAHS is well-known for its excellence in healthcare provider training.
The chiropractic clinic is located on the second floor the Bruce W. Carter Medical Center, in the Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services (PMRS) wing, adjacent to the administrative offices, EMG lab, the outpatient and inpatient therapy gyms. The chiropractic treatment area has been upgraded to a 1000 square foot space, comprised of five individual treatment areas, with three administrative desks, and one dedicated workstation on wheels. To enhance the on-site chiropractic facilities, all treatment areas have been upgraded with new state-of-the-art chiropractic tables.
At the William “Bill” Kling community-based outpatient clinic (CBOC), the chiropractic clinic is collocated with the PMRS acupuncture clinic. The chiropractic treatment area is approximately 1100 square feet of dedicated space, comprised of five individual patient treatment areas and a central charting station with the capacity to allow for three providers. This clinic has also been updated with new state-of-the-art chiropractic tables.
The resident stipend is set annually, based on geographic location, by VA Office of Academic Affiliations. For Academic Year 2023-24 the stipend for a MVAHS chiropractic resident is $39,616. The resident receives paid Federal holidays and accrues vacation and sick leave. The resident is also eligible for life and health insurance. The resident is 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).
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 MVAHS and the VHA Chiropractic National Program Office.
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.
The MVAHS Chiropractic Residency participates in the national chiropractic residency common application and match process. For further information and to apply go to Chiropractic Residency Match.
The application process opens the first week in January each year. Applicants are assessed on characteristics such as academic background, relevant experience, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and telephone, video, and/or in-person interviews. Applicant rankings are made by a review committee including the residency director, DC faculty, and current DC resident.
For additional information contact: Gina.Bonavito-Larragoite@va.gov