Parker University’s Dean of Graduate Programs and Special Projects, Dr. J. Donald Dishman, Recognized

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Doctor of Chiropractic Team Member for the American Physical Therapy Association’s Clinical Practice Guidelines for Vestibular Rehabilitation

Parker University is excited to announce that its very own Dr. J. Donald Dishman, the Dean of Graduate Programs and Special Projects, was recently invited to be a team member for the prestigious American Physical Therapy Association’s Clinical Practice Guidelines (APTA CPG) for vestibular rehabilitation!

Chiropractic Participation

After three years of work, the manuscript is now officially complete. Dr. Dishman’s experienced team is comprised of the world’s best-known experts in the field of vestibular evaluation and treatment, and he is now the first Doctor of Chiropractic ever to be invited to be a panelist or author.

This global metanalysis of literature rates the evidence and makes best-practices recommendations. What should you know about this project and Dr. Dishman’s prestigious role? “Vestibular dysfunction is a significant worldwide health problem and a global burden. The APTA CPG was designed to be an evidence-based, clinical guideline to move toward a consensus in the treatment of those individuals who suffer from vestibular dysfunction,” Dr. Dishman shares.

This project is based on innovation for the chiropractic profession. Dr. Dishman believes having a chiropractic physician on the panel was a sign of increased acceptance and interdisciplinary collaboration in studying and treating patients with vestibular dysfunction. “In the past, a ‘dizzy’ patient was most likely managed by a physical therapist or ENT medical physician. I think the inclusion of a DC on the panel was innovative and a sign of the increase in collaboration for the betterment of our patients,” Dr. Dishman shares.

Incorporating Chiropractic Goals

What were Dr. Dishman’s goals when he put together this manuscript? He wanted to participate in what many feel is the leading CPG for the conservative management of this disorder. He says, “My participation as a chiropractic neurologist, researcher, and educator, I feel, will open up the opportunity for more interdisciplinary care for this population of patients.”

The panelists and authors of this guideline were from around the world. Teleconferencing was therefore required. Progression of the project was further confounded by the arrival of the global pandemic. However, the team of professionals carried on and found a way to establish communication throughout the project.

Dr. Dishman shares, “I would like Doctors of Chiropractic to take information from this vast meta-analysis of the world’s literature and appreciate what practices are evidence-based in the management of the vestibular patient. Traditional chiropractic techniques have shown great value in these patients, and proper cervical spine function is essential to proper vestibular function. I would like to see more Doctors of Chiropractic incorporating these evidence-based rehabilitation techniques in addition to their chiropractic protocols for these patients.”

This unique and groundbreaking study helping to grow the reach of the chiropractic profession is now in press in the Journal of Neurologic Physical Therapy. To learn more or check out the study, go to