Skip to content

Tanner Zimmerman

Hands-on with pottery, peer mentoring & spinal cadavers

Tanner Zimmerman is a first-generation potter, tutor, wrestler, guitar and banjo player, football player, cross country runner, trap shooter, sprinter, oldies-music-listening, Spanish-speaking Iowan who’s also a fourth-trimester student at Palmer College.

“I love to make and build things with my hands so chiropractic is tied in well with that,” he said. “Using art and other creative outlets to balance the science curriculum in chiropractic school helps me a ton.”

Tanner, who watched his childhood chiropractor have an effect on patients without the use of surgery or prescriptions, connects his love of pottery-making to chiropractic care and knowing how much pressure to use at each phase.

One of Tanner Zimmerman's pottery pieces homing a growing plant.“When you start a new piece, pottery is not about being delicate at the very beginning, you want to be more forceful at first. But, as the walls go up, the piece thins out and you have to apply just the right pressure,” he explains.

Not only has Tanner found his calling in life, but he has already fallen in love with the motion palpation technique. His involvement with the corresponding club, The MoPal Club, has been a huge synchronicity for him. “I love MoPal because students travel to seminars around the Midwest. It stands for integrating other modalities beyond the adjustment, so soft tissue work or whatever you see fit,” he said. He has also been involved with the McKenzie Method Club, which focuses on the assessment of patients.

Regardless of technique, he wants all of his future patients to know that he cares about their well-being, “I want to help them get better, even as I am just learning about it, it gets me up in the morning!”

Mentoring as a PASS (Palmer Academic Success Services) tutor for the spinal cadaver lab is another way Tanner shows his care for those around him. PASS tutors work with the Academic Support Center to support first and second-trimester students as they adjust to chiropractic school.

A true go-getter, Tanner was also elected for Palmer Mentors by his peers, which is a student leadership role advising new students as they enter the program, “I love providing a helping hand for the new students who don’t know anyone yet. They may need help with the material or just someone to talk to. It’s a great way to make close friends quickly and then they know at least one person on campus,” he stated.

When asked about advice for other students, Tanner emphasized the importance of not being afraid to be your own person. “You never want to put yourself in a mold with no room to grow, explore, be creative or change your mind!”

Palmer College of Chiropractic is the first and largest chiropractic college. More chiropractors have graduated from Palmer than any other chiropractic institution. Interested in learning more about attending Palmer College? Visit