Message from the Principal Investigator of the R25 Grant

Long_CynthiaDear Colleagues:

As you can see from your fellow Palmer colleague’s “Tales from EBCP Training” pieces below, the R25 grant continues to support faculty development in EBCP principles, practice and teaching. We will be putting on 2 more annual EBCP workshop retreats hosted at the University of Iowa: this year’s is scheduled for November 20-21. In August, Katie Hoyt will be sending you the information regarding applying for support to attend it. We encourage you to apply!

We also want to share with you information on some emerging resources. One is the Consortium of Evidence-Informed Practice Educators (CEIPE) that was created by R25 grantees at chiropractic colleges. It is a cooperative, volunteer organization that was formalized last summer, with the board of directors elected in November. Palmer College is a member institution. The first initiative is the Educators Exchange, which will enable faculty to upload useful educational materials to share and download materials to use. Katie Hoyt is Palmer’s institutional representative to the CEIPE, but we are looking for a representative from each campus. Please contact Katie for more information. We will send you more information when the CEIPE Educators Exchange launches.

Another resource resulting from the R25 grants is the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC) Project to Enhance Research Literacy (PERL). The PERL website presents material disseminated from the 7 ACCAHC member institutions funded with the R25 grants in a user friendly, annotated guide intended to enhance research literacy and competency in EBCP in the CAM academic setting.

We are also in the process of making 4 EBCP e-learning booster sessions available to you. They were created through Dr. Mike Schneider’s grant “Distance Education Online Intervention for Evidence-Based Practice Literacy (DELIVER)” for practicing doctors of chiropractic to supplement the NWHSU e-learning modules.

Feel free to contact me or Katie Hoyt for more information about these resources.

Cynthia R. Long, PhD;

Tales from EBCP Training

RoeckerPreparing tomorrow's doctors of chiropractic

Submitted by Christopher B Roecker, DC, MS, FACO 

Like many of you, I’m motivated to prepare chiropractic students for clinical success, but sometime struggle with how to best explain complex topics. This past November Palmer organized a two-day workshop, titled Improving Chiropractic Education (ICE) through Evidence-Based Clinical Practice (EBCP), and I was able to attend.

This workshop had something to offer everyone involved with chiropractic education and was focused on preparing our students to thrive in modern-day health care. We discussed the fundamental concepts of EBCP, used examples from real-world clinical scenarios, discussed how to quickly evaluate evidence, and even played a few games.

I particularly enjoyed how this workshop was organized. Presentations by highly-qualified individuals, such as Dr. Mark C. Wilson, provided valuable perspectives on a wide range of material. There were also several “breakout” sessions, where we collaborated in small groups to discuss the finer points of topics that are particularly relevant to our students. I also liked how this workshop allowed everyone to ask questions and get clarification on areas of confusion.

Another takeaway from this workshop was the vast amount I learned from my fellow colleagues. There always seemed to be discussions on how to best incorporate this information into a variety of educational settings. We were all able to share tips from past experiences and provide tricks for making challenging information easy to understand and clinically relevant for our students. Altogether, I picked-up a lot of new information and am excited to bring it back into the classroom at Palmer.

It’s important to remember that the students of today are tomorrow’s doctors of chiropractic and it’s our duty to best prepare them for what lies ahead. Opportunities, such as this workshop, allow us to continue developing our skills and I recommend others take advantage of similar opportunities in the future.

RowellWhat a long strange trip it's been

Submitted by Robert Rowell, DC, MS 

As I think about what to write here, I am reminded of the title of the Grateful Dead album: What a long strange trip it’s been. In 2007, Palmer was awarded a grant to advance Evidence Based Clinical Practice (EBCP) in Palmer’s curriculum. At that time, I was asked to be on a committee (the early adopter’s group) of faculty who would start to include EBCP in our classes. I was interested in learning EBCP and doing it. A few meetings seemed like enough to accomplish that task. And now here we are 7 years later and I’m getting closer and closer to that goal. I had no idea when I started out on this EBCP trip that I wasn’t going to learn EBCP but instead I was going to live it.

My original commitment to a few meetings a year for a couple of years has turned into a journey with some strange twists and turns for me. That first grant included funding to send faculty members to McMaster University to participate in a week long workshop entitled How to Teach Evidence Based Practice. I applied to go almost hoping I would be denied. I would be working with physicians from every discipline from all over the world. That was just too scary for me. There was no way I was smart enough for this. “Unfortunately” my application to attend the workshop was approved, and I had to go! The workshop at McMaster was exactly what I expected and it was completely different. I was placed in a group of physicians from around the world. There were internists, a psychiatrist, a nurse, a naturopath, and others. They all taught EBCP at their home institutions. I was so intimidated. Yet, the experience was amazing. I learned concepts of EBCP that I thought I knew but didn’t, and others that I knew I didn’t know. Everyone took a turn teaching some concept of EBCP in a setting that was as close as possible to the way they would teach at home. Everyone was supportive and the environment was cooperative. I went from dreading the experience to actually enjoying it.

Fast forward to 2013. Once again I was given the opportunity to go to McMaster University to the EBCP workshop. This time I jumped at the chance. The first time I was so scared that I would embarrass myself that I didn’t take any risks. I presented a topic to my small group that I was already comfortable with. I was pegged (rightly so) as the quiet one in the meetings. This time I wanted it to be different. As much as I learned the first time, I wanted to try new teaching methods and attempt to teach things that I wasn’t comfortable with this time. What a difference that made. The experience was still one of multidisciplinary sharing of EBCP concepts in a fun and friendly environment, but I had so much more fun this time and learned so much more. I stepped out of my comfort zone and taught a topic I have never taught in a way that I don’t do in the classroom.

I realized early on that I would never know everything I ever needed to know about chiropractic, EBCP, or anything else. EBCP has helped me to be a more efficient life-long learner, better teacher, and better chiropractor. My time at McMaster has literally been life changing. In fact next June I am going back to McMaster as a tutor trainee (that is the person who facilitates the small groups). From terrified to go, to excited to go back and take an even larger role: what a strange trip this continues to be.

CoopersteinMy thoughts on EBCP training and my experience

Submitted by Robert Cooperstein, MA, DC 

The training program at Palmer Chiropractic College heavily emphasizes the twin pillars that support the contemporary practice of chiropractic: evidence-based and patient centered health care. Toward that end, all 3 campuses have been sponsoring faculty to participate in training programs for evidence-base health care, so that they would be able to return to their colleges and in turn encourage other faculty – and of course, students – to move in that same direction. So many faculty have participated, some more than once, that it might be fair to say we have reached the critical mass of trained individuals necessary for this movement to be self-propagating, even as the training continues.

I have participated in both the McMaster Evidence-Based Practice Workshop in Hamilton, Canada, a 5 day program; and a similar 2 day program in Iowa City titled: ICE: Improving Chiropractic Education through Evidence-Based Clinical Practice. The purpose of these programs is not so much how to practice evidence-based care, but rather how to teach and promote evidence-based care. This is a fine distinction, but central to the overall purpose.

To the maximum extent possible, these programs are hands-on, just like chiropractic technique laboratories. Just like instructors in laboratories, there are session leaders, who are called “tutors” and “tutor-trainees.” We take turns presenting “snippets,” 5 minutes long focused oral, slide-free presentations on matters pertaining to research methods, and then receive feedback from the audience and tutors. Then, the tutors get feedback on their feedback, to complete the circle. The most overarching theme of all is that we want to encourage active learning. A person cannot be truly said to have mastered a skill unless and until that person has demonstrated the ability to teach that skill to yet other persons.

I must confess that presenting snippets, giving and receiving constructive feedback, is not always for the faint of heart. In attempting to teach a point, you may find you don’t understand it as well as you may have supposed. Even criticism intended to be constructive can feel harsh in front of people you may not know very well. But at the end of the road, following one of these training sessions, you return to the college, well, road-hardened. Within a day, I invariably feel it was well-worth it. I do encourage anyone given the opportunity to participate in one of these training programs to not miss out!

GingrasMy journey to becoming a lifelong learner

Submitted by Michelle Gingras, DC 

Moving from a field doctor into the academic world was very intimidating. I was able to get many helpful pointers from colleagues that helped in the transition. I graduated in a time where there was no emphasis on research or evidence based practice. I had a general intimidation around the subject of research. Chiropractic school has changed a lot since I had graduated, and I knew I needed help in such a vast topic.

The EBCP workshop changed my life as a chiropractor, as faculty and as a practicing physician. I now realize evidence based is not limiting what is accomplished in the field, but actually helps to support it. I have confidence now as I search and read evidence based literature. I am able to discern the legitimacy and scope of work each project presents.

I am grateful to be able to give back to my colleagues who have helped me so much. Most importantly I feel I am able to better assist students with the demands of modern practice. I am teaching them how to use this critical thinking skill set in a clinical environment. Thanks to the EBCP workshop, research is no longer intimidating and it has prepared me to continue my journey as a lifelong learner at McMaster University this June.