A Short History of Chiropractic Pediatric Education

By Peter Fysh, DC, FICCP
Professor Emeritus, Palmer College of Chiropractic West


In 1991, a movement was started to provide education in quality chiropractic pediatric and maternal health care. That was the year that the International Chiropractors Association (ICA) organized and held its first pediatric conference in San Diego, California. With more than 500 doctors in attendance, enthusiasm soon developed for the formation of a more formal pediatric post-graduate education program.

In 1992, the Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics was established under the auspices of the International Chiropractors Association. The Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics’ three-year post-graduate education program was developed by a small group of practitioners with academic and teaching experience that included Maxine McMullen, Joan Fallon and myself.

The program was first presented in Chicago in 1993 with the sponsorship of Palmer College of Chiropractic and the first class graduated in Chicago in May 1996 with a group of 27 doctors earning board certification and the DICCP credential (Diplomate in Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics) from the International Chiropractors Association Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics.

The DICCP board certification program has been presented in United States, Canada, Australia and New Zealand with support and assistance from chiropractic colleges in those countries. At the time of writing this editorial, 240 chiropractors have been board certified at the end of their 3 years of post-graduate study.

The Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (JCCP)

In 1995 the need was recognized for a peer-reviewed journal to showcase the work of the many chiropractic clinicians, educators and researchers dedicated to the advancement of quality pediatric and maternal care. An editorial board was established and the first issue of the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics (JCCP) was published in January 1996. Publication has continued since that time.

JCCP continues to provide quality articles under the editorial guidance of Drs. Sharon Vallone and Cheryl Hawk. Since 2014, JCCP has been published as an open-access online journal available, free of charge, to a wide audience of interested readers. JCCP is committed to publishing research, scientific and professional papers, literature reviews, case reports and clinical commentaries relevant to the health and treatment of the pregnant, postpartum and pediatric patient. Articles are received for publication from around the world, making this a truly international review of the work being carried out in many countries.

The year 2016, a momentous year for Chiropractic Pediatrics

In December 2016 at a Conference in Hawaii, the ICA Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics celebrated 25 years of pediatric education it has organized and presented in countries around the world. Special thanks to Molly Rangnath for having expertly guided all facets of this program since its inception.

Chiropractic care for children is increasingly becoming a vital part of a family’s health care program. The educational opportunities and access to pediatric research provided by the ICA Council on Chiropractic Pediatrics and the Journal of Clinical Chiropractic Pediatrics offer doctors of chiropractic the knowledge and tools they need to meet the challenges of family practice with a greater level of skill and confidence.

I believe it is both a privilege and duty of our profession to care for the health of our children and to continue to advance knowledge and research in the field of chiropractic pediatrics.

To the doctors who have dedicated their professional careers to the advancement of chiropractic care for the pediatric patient, we applaud and thank you.

Some time ago, someone gave me an inspirational plaque that sits on my desk to this day. It reads:

“A hundred years from now it will not matter what your bank account was, the sort of house you lived in, or the kind of car you drove… But the world may be different because you were important in the life of a child.”