San Jose, Calif., Campus ’94 alumnus Saul Luengas, D.C., served as chief of chiropractic services at the 2011 Pan American Games, held Oct. 14-30, in Guadalajara, Mexico, which featured more than 6,000 athletes competing in 36 sports from 42 nations in the Western Hemisphere, and also marked the first time that chiropractic care was available to all athletes in the polyclinic.
Dr. Luengas, who maintains a practice in his hometown of Querétaro, Mexico, ranks the Pan Am Games experience as the highlight of his career. He provided care for more than 300 athletes, working each day from 8:30 a.m. to 7 p.m. and said the team spirit among the Polyclinic sports care staff reflected that of the athletes.
“Getting to work with the other doctors was an extraordinary experience. We worked hand-in-hand with the medical doctors, and received multiple referrals. In fact, chiropractors served as the primary physicians at multiple events,” added Dr. Luengas, who has worked closely with the Mexican national men’s martial arts team, and presented the first study of chiropractic care for athletes in Mexico as part of his master’s degree from the University of Querétaro.
Dr. Luengas was inspired to pursue a career in chiropractic following his positive experience as a patient following a soccer injury he suffered in high school. Since arriving at the San Jose, Calif., Campus in 1992, he has been focused on achieving one primary goal: earning an appointment as a member of the Mexican Olympic sports care staff.
His Pan Am Games appointment took him one large step closer to that goal. And he gives much of the credit to his Palmer education.
"The foundation for my career in the field of sports chiropractic is due largely to the sports programs at Palmer West,” said Dr. Luengas, a featured speaker at the 24th Pan American Congress of Sports Medicine.
“I learned from some of the best teachers in the field, like Dr. (Edward) Feinberg and Dr. (Thomas) Souza, and had opportunities to apply my classroom education and build strong clinical skills caring for athletes at on-field events. I had an extraordinary experience at Palmer West and am proud to say I'm a Palmer graduate—because Palmer helped me achieve my goal of becoming a sports doctor.”