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Matt Eckard

student Matt Eckard smiling with two other people.Matt Eckard, a ninth-trimester student on Palmer’s Main Campus, is looking forward to November when he’ll be precepting for a sports rehabilitation clinic in Florida. 

Precepting is an exciting milestone in the Doctor of Chiropractic program. It gives students the opportunity to gain clinical and business experience with a Doctor of Chiropractic at their private practice setting. 

As Matt’s time as a student is close to an end, looking back, he didn’t always know what path in the health care field he would take, but he always considered chiropractic. 

“Chiropractic was always at the forefront of my mind because of my dad,” he said. “People in my hometown still tell me how much he has impacted their lives, which inspired me to want to help people in health care, too.” 

While studying at his undergraduate university, Ave Maria University, he made the official decision to follow in his father’s footsteps and go to Palmer to become a Doctor of Chiropractic. 

“There was also an inspiring professor at my undergrad college who was a Doctor of Chiropractic, so that is what helped seal the deal for me,” he said. 

Matt made a difficult decision to give up playing college baseball to really hone in on pre-chiropractic studies. He studied in Naples, Florida, Iowa City, Iowa, and even Ireland. When he was admitted to Palmer, he was more than prepared. 

Exercise science and sports performance not only spoke to him from a selfless perspective of wanting to help others, but he had begun to take a personal interest in endurance sports.  

“After competing in sports my entire life, I was missing the competition and ready for something new. Now I enjoy triathlons, cycling racing and ultra-trail running, and hope to help others achieve their goals in sports and life! Chiropractic care has been crucial to helping keep my body in shape for races and to recover after injury.” he said.  

As Matt learns Selective Functional Movement Assessment (SFMA), he has reflected on all the hours his dad put into working with him and his high school teammates when there was no athletic trainer available.  

“My dad coached me through my high school sports and kept us all going safely. I want to be able to do that, too, and have that kind of flexibility in my schedule! I’ll use the same tool he uses (SFMA) to assess patient function and find the functional problem to provide the appropriate chiropractic care,” Matt said.    

After graduating in February 2023, Matt will be joining his father’s practice in Okoboji, Iowa, an announcement he only recently made. 

Looking forward Matt is keeping an open mind, “I wouldn’t be opposed to working with endurance athletes on the road. I love learning about nutrition, optimal readiness and optimal functionality for endurance sports. Working with these types of athletes to help them reach their full potential is my dream. Maybe I’ll work for a sponsored team one day!”