Evidence Informed and Theory Driven Chiropractic
Robert A. Leach, DC, MS, FICC, CHES
Robert A. Leach was born in Des Moines, Iowa, and after initially receiving undergraduate training in journalism, was graduated from Life Chiropractic College in 1978. He wrote the first edition of his classic textbook, The Chiropractic Theories, in 1980, and his first research on correction of cervical hypolordosis was published in the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics in 1983. In that same year, at age 27, he became one of the youngest chiropractors ever inducted as a Fellow into the International College of Chiropractors.
By 1985 the second edition of his work was published by Williams & Wilkins medical publishers of Baltimore. He was appointed to the postgraduate faculty of National Chiropractic College (NCC) in 1986, after an invitation to apply was extended by the late chiropractic author, scientist, and President of NCC, Dr. Joseph Janse.
Dr. Leach gives credit to Dr. Sid Williams and the teachings of B.J. Palmer and others for instilling zeal and provoking the imagination of chiropractors for the better part of the last century. However, he credits other pioneers from chiropractors Solon Langworthy and C.O. Watkins to Janse, and modern day scientists and practitioners from Scott Haldeman to Jay Triano, with instilling in the profession a new desire for a modern, science and evidence based vision and practice. He has given lectures and presentations about chiropractic science and theory, and how theory can inform clinical practice, across the United States and Canada at state association meetings, chiropractic scientific meetings, and for smaller groups as well. He says the influence of these pioneers was critical to his early thinking that rather than dismissing subluxation altogether, or worshiping it as religion, as a modern healthcare profession chiropractic physicians must learn and apply critical thinking and literature retrieval skills to their practices for them to be evidence informed and based, as well as theory driven.
Dr. Leach lectures widely across the United States and Canada, and presented PulStar Research at the prestigious Chiropractic Research Agenda Conference in Kansas City. Here he is shown in a lecture in Pittsburgh in 2002.
At the Grand Centennial in Washington D.C., in 1995, he chaired a platform presentation on subluxation theory before a standing room audience of doctors and guests. On numerous occasions he has presented papers or summaries of his research at chiropractic science meetings and conferences, including original research on subjects as diverse as: hypolordosis correction, adjustments for children with attention deficit hyperactivity, correlates of the flexion/relaxation electromyography test with other clinical variables used in practice to monitor back pain, PulStar fixation analysis reliability testing, the use of the PulStar for infantile colic, and regarding the use of mediator and outcome measures relevant to chiropractic research and practice. The fourth edition of his textbook was released in 2004 and is available through the publisher, Lippincott, Williams and Wilkins of Baltimore, or from your favorite bookseller or chiropractic college bookstore. More than 22,000 chiropractic students and others have now purchased at least one of the textbooks since 1980.
In 2006, after 3 academic years of coursework and completion of a thesis, he fulfilled a goal he had since graduation from chiropractic college, and earned a Master of Science degree in Health Education. His thesis research has been accepted and will appear in the July/August 2008 issue of the Journal of Manipulative and Physiological Therapeutics. In 2007 he became a Certified Health Education Specialist, and in December of 2007 was named, “Health Educator of the Year” by the Mississippi Alliance of Health, Physical Education, Recreation and Dance (MAHPERD).