Objective: The purpose of this study was to determine if diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for the cervical and cranial spine taught to students during the undergraduate program at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College are required to be used during their internship by their supervising clinicians and, if so, to what extent these procedures are used. Methods: Course manuals and course syllabi from the Applied Chiropractic and Clinical Diagnosis faculty of the undergraduate chiropractic program for the academic year 2009–2010 were consulted and a list of all diagnostic and therapeutic procedures for the cranial and cervical spine was compiled. This survey asked clinicians to indicate if they themselves used or if they required the students they were supervising to use each procedure listed and, if so, to what extent each procedure was used. Demographic information of each clinician was also obtained. Results: In general, most diagnostic procedures of the head and neck were seldom used, with the exception of postural observation and palpation. By contrast, most cervical orthopaedic tests were often used, with the exception of tests for vertigo. Most therapeutic procedures were used frequently with the exception of prone cervical and “muscle” adjustments. Conclusion: There was a low degree of vertical integration for cranial procedures as compared to a much higher degree of vertical integration for cervical procedures between the undergraduate and clinical internship programs taught. Vertical integration is an important element of curricular planning and these results may be helpful to aid educators to more appropriately allocate classroom instruction.

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Author notes

Charmody Leppington, Lisa Fortunato, Nicole Doucet, and Kyle Vandervalk are in private practice.

Brian Gleberzon is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Chiropractic Therapeutics at Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College.