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Family Practice

Family Practice

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Winter/Spring 2007


For the Meylors, chiropractic is all in the family

Members of the Meylor family, all Davenport Campus graduates, welcome Molly Meylor, fifth from left, as their latest Palmer chiropractor during the October 2006 Davenport Campus convocation. From left, Jade Meylor, D.C., ’04, Cliff Meylor, D.C., ’77, Davenport Campus President Dr. Kern, Dean Meylor, D.C., ’74, Molly, Wayne Meylor, ’79, and Lee Meylor, ’83.
The Meylor family with Dr. Kern at graduation ceremony

Author Alex Haley once said, “Family is the link to our past (and the) bridge to our future.” For the Meylors, family and chiropractic are the links to their past and future.

“In our immediate family, we have 25 Doctors of Chiropractic,” said Dean Meylor, D.C., Davenport ’74, of Greensboro, N.C. “With extended family members—through marriages and such—we number close to 40.” Last year alone, the Meylor family had eight students working toward chiropractic degrees, so the legacy continues.

“We’re all Palmer graduates,” Dr. Meylor said. “Two of us graduated from Palmer’s West Campus, while the rest of us graduated from Palmer in Davenport.”

It all started with R.J. “Jay” Meylor, D.C., Dean’s uncle from LeMars, Iowa, who graduated from Palmer in 1958. He started a trend that would continue for nearly 50 years. So far.

To a young Dr. Dean Meylor, chiropractic was an important part of growing up. “Any time we went out with my Uncle Jay, I can’t recall a time when people didn’t come over and pat him on the back,” he said. “It was really something to see him have the respect of his peers in the community. Every time we went out to eat at a restaurant, someone would approach my uncle and pat him on the back or otherwise acknowledge the help he had given him through chiropractic.”

It wasn’t until he came to Palmer that he learned not everyone held chiropractors in such high esteem. In 1976 LeMars, Iowa, where Dr. R.J. Meylor and his brother Dr. Don Meylor practiced, there were more chiropractors than medical doctors in practice.

“Most of our family are from small towns in northwest Iowa, such as LeMars, Cherokee, Storm Lake and Sioux City,” he said. “It’s the little bitty towns with chiropractors that can make a big difference. For example, my brother Wayne (Davenport ’79) was recognized in 2004 as having referred the most students to Palmer.”

Incidentally, Dr. Dean Meylor’s daughter, Jessica Meylor- Benningfield, D.C., Davenport ’05, also married into a chiropractic family. Her father-in-law, Robert Benningfield, D.C., Davenport ’75, of Peoria, Ill., was the top referral doctor for 2005.

Why are there so many chiropractors in the Meylor family and beyond? “I think chiropractors are good role models. When I was growing up, the ones I knew had sterling reputations and helped a lot of people,” said Dr. Dean Meylor. “My three brothers and I followed in our uncle’s footsteps and became chiropractors. My daughter just graduated last year, and my son, Adam, is currently a student at the Davenport Campus.

“My dad’s two brothers and sister went to Palmer, too,” he continued. “Then add in the nieces and nephews and cousins … and those chiropractic family members through marriage. For three generations, we’ve been involved in chiropractic. It’s a way of life for us.”

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