What is the Value of a Palmer Education?


For many patients it’s the single most influential factor in choosing a provider. One study found that patients exhibit a clear preference for chiropractors who are known for their technical skills—even over those with stellar bedside manner.

That’s why, when it comes time to choose a chiropractic college, prospective students need to ask two critical questions: will this school give me a solid technical foundation to build on? And will it enhance my reputation as a chiropractor?

Value of a Palmer Education

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Palmer College of Chiropractic offers both. With campuses in Iowa, California and Florida, it’s the largest accredited chiropractic school in the United States, responsible for educating more than 20 percent of the nation’s chiropractic students. Nearly a third of all practicing chiropractors are Palmer graduates.

Palmer is the oldest chiropractic college in the world. It was established by the founder of chiropractic, D.D. Palmer, in 1897. In fact, a majority of the chiropractic colleges currently in operation sprang from Palmer alumni.

“Our graduates are known for their success,” said Chancellor Dennis Marchiori, D.C., Ph.D., adding that they often mention the school by name in their advertisements. “They are proud of it; it is a note of distinction. That’s just something you don’t see at a lot of institutions.”


Among colleagues as well as patients, the Palmer name carries prestige—not just because of its history, but also because of its reputation for groundbreaking research and its track record for training some of the world’s pre-eminent chiropractors.

Healthcare professionals work in a rapidly changing field. New technology and research propel continual advances in patient care, and learning to navigate these changes is critical. Chiropractors who want to stay ahead of the game need an education that’s informed by the latest research and taught by faculty who remain on the leading edge of chiropractic.

Home to the largest institutional chiropractic research effort in the world, Palmer plays an influential role in steering the development of the chiropractic profession. Our faculty not only regularly publish their trailblazing research in notable journals, but they’ve written many of the textbooks used at other chiropractic schools—including Palmer faculty member Dr. Thomas Souza’s “Differential Diagnosis and Management for the Chiropractor”, a textbook used by every chiropractic college in the world for nearly two decades.

Recognized for its groundbreaking discoveries, the Palmer Center for Chiropractic Research draws funding from both private and federal sources such as the National Institutes of Health and the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration, which have awarded the school more than $35 million since 2000.

More recently, Palmer has partnered with the RAND Corporation and the Samueli Institute to conduct the world’s largest clinical trial evaluating the effectiveness of chiropractic, a project funded by a $7.4 million grant from the Department of Defense Congressionally Directed Medical Research Program. The grant represents the biggest single award for a research project in chiropractic history.

All this research does more than just advance the profession. It also informs the teaching at Palmer so students receive an education that incorporates the most up-to-date knowledge of chiropractic techniques. Both in the classroom and the exam room, Palmer instructors teach evidence-based clinical practice, placing students on the front edge of health-care innovation.


Learning techniques based on the latest research provides a solid foundation for chiropractic success, but to properly integrate their knowledge, students need the opportunity to apply it in a clinical setting. Working directly with expert practitioners in a hands-on environment helps them gain the confidence and expertise required to develop a thriving practice.

At Palmer, graduates spend the final term of their senior year as interns in a chiropractic clinic, where they have the chance to observe the work in action, absorb critical business skills and, in most cases, administer care to patients. This ensures they gain both the technical and business skills they’ll need to become successful chiropractors.

A chiropractor at Facebook, Daniel Lord, D.C., 2008 San Jose Campus graduate, has provided care to members of the America’s Cup racing team, attributes his thriving career to his Palmer education.

“Palmer’s Sports Council gave me the opportunity to learn from well-researched doctors who cared for Olympic athletes and professional sports teams,” he said. “I felt like I was getting an elite education.”

As the world leader in chiropractic research and education, Palmer College of Chiropractic gives students both the technical expertise patients demand and the prestige that comes with a global track record for excellence. It takes time to build a reputation as a chiropractor, but a Palmer education gives students a head start.

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