Q & A

with Dr. Mark Heslip

Insights asked Palmer Trustee Dr. Mark Heslip to talk about the past, present and future of the College and chiropractic.
Dr. Mark Heslip

Mark Heslip, D.C., graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic’s West Campus in 1992. He has been in practice in San Francisco, and Novato, Calif. since then. He received his Diplomat in Applied Spinal Biomechanical Engineering in 1994. In 1996 he became certified as a Qualified Medical Examiner, earning Ergonomic Specialist Certification a year later, providing him the opportunity to act as an injury prevention consultant for United Airlines, Marriott Hotels and Lockheed Martin Corporation. Other responsibilities include testing candidates for the Part IV exam of the National Board of Chiropractic Examiners and serving as chiropractic director for the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco. Dr. Heslip is a member and past president of the California Chiropractic Association’s San Francisco Chapter. Outside of his profession, Dr. Heslip is involved in various homeless shelters and food banks in his community and runs a small family winery. Active in alumni programs at Palmer, Dr. Heslip was appointed to the Palmer Board of Trustees in 2006.

Tell us what strengths you bring to the Board?

I bring a high level of enthusiasm and a healthy dose of optimism to any endeavor I take on. Additionally, I have always been a solution-oriented person and am relentless in the pursuit of finding common ground amongst those with differing opinions and perspectives.

While each board member brings their own unique experiences to Palmer, it is our task to build consensus for the betterment of chiropractic. As a second generation chiropractor, my experiences have been very personal regarding this profession. Chiropractic is the source of my passion. While this passion is very personal, I will never lose sight of the responsibility I have to be objective about the decisions that I help make for the advancement of Palmer and our profession.

What issues in the chiropractic profession or in education concern you most?

The healthcare delivery system of the future will increasingly demand that treatment be evidence-based. The responsibility of meeting these criteria for chiropractic lies with its teaching institutions. I want to make sure Palmer’s curriculum, as well as the research it conducts, reflects this objective. If we do this well, not only can we better define our position in the healthcare spectrum, we will better convey to other professions and the public at large exactly how we can help them. I don’t believe that as a profession we have always done a very good job of this.

What is your vision of the three campuses of Palmer College in 25 years?

Having three campuses with different learning environments is a major strength of Palmer and offers students choices no other chiropractic school can. Twenty-five years from now I envision that there will be enough flexibility that we can utilize three different methodologies to deliver the same strong chiropractic program that is second to none.

What are your favorite memories of your time at Palmer?

In 1989, during my first quarter at Palmer’s West Campus, we had the Loma Prieta Earthquake. It was devastating to the entire Bay Area and quite disruptive to our daily living. We had no power for two weeks and no hot water for a month. At times, we even held class outside because classmates were afraid to be inside due to the aftershocks. It brought a new class closer together and made us feel if we could get through that experience, we could get through anything.

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