NWHSU Faculty Present at ACC-RAC  

NWHSU Faculty Present at ACC-RAC

The Association of Chiropractic Colleges (ACC) hosted their annual Research Agenda Conference this year from March 23rd-25th in the vibrant New Orleans, Louisiana. Northwestern Health Sciences University faculty members Drs. Christie Weibel-Manuum, Alex Sundin, Michele Maiers,  Matthew Thronson, Jodell Skaufel, Christopher Petrie, Christopher Smoley, and Dean Dr. Katie BurnsRyan presented.  

Every year the ACC brings together educators, researchers, doctors and students to evaluate and collaborate on the current and near future practices in education and research. In a fast paced and ever-changing environment, the ACC strives for excellence in innovative and insightful methodologies in teaching and clinical research.  

Digital Assessments in the Classroom

Dr. Weibel-Maanum presented on the use of digital assessments of students in Methods Labs, using the data to inform faculty on needed changes to course content delivery. The intention is to provide feedback on student performance, giving professors the opportunity to meet their needs in a timely matter by focusing on areas where improvement is needed.  

“As a professor your observations and perceptions are important, but you cannot detect everything, especially in a skills lab like methods,” explained Dr. Weibel-Maanum. “Having measurable data to confirm that students are developing the skills they need and meeting their course competencies helps to ensure their success.”  

Explaining Spinal Manipulation

Dr. Sundin’s research poster proposed the question: how do chiropractors explain spinal manipulation to patients?  In the descriptive literature review, his goal was to find evidence that shows a consistent or inconsistent explanation for how chiropractors explain the mechanism of spinal manipulative therapy (SMT) to patients.  

Dr. Sundin projects that this is the beginning of a larger undertaking in research that will hopefully present more clinically relevant evidence, providing insight into how clinician language impacts patient outcomes. 

“As an academic actively working on projects, it is a thrill to share our results,” shared Dr. Sundin. “Even though this first project wasn’t very revealing, it does bring attention to the need for evidence which provides clear, accurate and consistent messaging regarding what SMT does. The communication aspect of the patient-doctor relationship, and all human relationships is so important, and I look forward to continuing our work in hopefully uncovering the key aspects of those encounters that influence patient outcomes.”  

Other topics of interest presented at the conference included business education, laboratory safety, patient care, and diversity and inclusion.  

Story by Kit Harlow, Chiropractic Student