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Family Practice

Family Practice

For some families, when it comes to attending Palmer, it's all relative
Winter/Spring 2007


The jury is in: The Judge family is dedicated to chiropractic

Surrounded by the Judge family graduates of Palmer College, Dr. Kern, front row, fourth from right, welcomes two new Judge graduates after the ceremony that took place Oct. 22, 2006, on the Davenport Campus. To the left of Dr. Kern is James E. Judge, and to the right is Christopher Michael Judge.
The Judge Family with Dr. Kern at graduation ceremony

The legacy of chiropractic runs strong in some families, continuing through multiple generations. When Drs. James E. and Christopher Michael Judge crossed the stage to receive their Palmer College of Chiropractic diplomas at Palmer’s Davenport Campus on Oct. 20, 2006, they became the newest chiropractors in their family. With the graduation of Dr. James and his cousin, Dr. Christopher, 32 members of the Judge family are chiropractors, nearly all of them Palmer College graduates, spanning four generations.

“It was definitely a huge milestone for our family,” said James E. Judge, D.C. “It’s kind of hard to realize the impact that my grandfather and his uncles left on all of us, but seeing us all on stage really hit home. It is a big family, but we manage to stay really close through the years and chiropractic and Palmer truly have a lot to do with that. It is our fountainhead and I don’t know what life would be like if things were different.”

Around a hundred members of the Judge family came to Davenport for the October graduation to honor its two newest chiropractors. Many of them hail from the LaSalle-Peru, Ill., and Phoenix, Ariz., communities. Seventeen members of the family, all Palmer alumni, were on stage to participate in the diploma award ceremonies for Drs. James and Christopher Judge. To honor the Judge family’s legacy at Palmer, the College hosted a reception following graduation for the 100 or so family members.

“Today’s graduation is a continuation of a family tradition—serving people and helping them to become healthier,” said Daniel K. Judge, D.C., a 1970 Davenport Campus graduate practicing in Apache Junction, Ariz., and a member of the third generation of Judges in the profession. “Chiropractic is a way of life for our family. My father and all four of his brothers were chiropractors after World War II, and came to Palmer on the GI Bill.”

The first generation of Judges to become chiropractors was represented by James Bernard Judge, D.C., a 1925 graduate of the then Palmer School of Chiropractic. He died in 1956, after practicing first in Iowa, then in British Columbia, Canada, and finally in his hometown of Albia, Iowa.

According to a family history, “whenever illness occurred among the nine brothers and sisters and their spouses and progeny, there was never a question of where to go. ‘Doc’ took care of everything except obstetrics and broken bones. If a patient wasn’t up to a trip to town, he would hang a sign on his office door and make a house call.”

While serving in the Navy in World War II, Dr. James B. Judge’s nephew, John J. Judge, decided to enter the profession, and the second generation made its entrance. Dr. John’s brother-in-law, George Dickerson, entered Palmer, then a few months later, John’s brother, Thomas, became a student, too. Eventually, all four of John’s brothers, three in-laws and one cousin graduated from Palmer following the war.

There will be even more Judges practicing chiropractic in the years to come. Currently, there are three members of the fourth generation of Judges at Palmer’s Davenport Campus: Kalie Elizabeth Judge, T.J. Sheedy and Zack Sheedy.

It seems that some families have a kind of chiropractic gene. Donald Kern, D.C., president of Palmer’s Davenport Campus and a member of a five-generation Palmer family, had this to say: “I think that generations of families who’ve become chiropractors are a continuing testimony of the attraction of service to humankind. A person must embrace a specific value system before considering the healing arts as a career choice. Then, in many cases, that same value system is passed on to their children.”

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