CF 055: w/ Dr. James Lehman – The Future Of Chiropractic, Chiropractic Specialization, & Chiropractic Integration  

Today we’re going to talk to one of the giants in our profession, Dr. James Lehman. We will be talking to Dr. James Lehman all about all sorts of things but mostly about the future of chiropractic. What is it looking like for those of us in the profession over the course of the next 15-30 years?

Dr. James Lehman, FACO - University of Bridgeport Connecticut

But first, here’s that delicious bumper music

Integrating Chiropractors


OK, we are back. Welcome to the podcast today, I’m Dr. Jeff Williams and I’m your host for the Chiropractic Forward podcast.  We will get to Dr. James Lehman soon. 


You have fluttered into Episode #55 kind of like the feather on Forrest Gump. Come on, you know the feather from literally one of the best movies of all time. Yes, that feather. 

Diplomate of the Academy of Chiropractic Orthopedists

This is normally the point in the program where I mention the DACO program and how I am progressing through it but, for reasons that will become obvious fairly quickly, we are going to save that talk for just a little later in our program. 

However, I will tell you I have 80 online hours at this point and some of my more recent classes have been Why does my shoulder keep hurting and how to diagnose a tension-type headache. If you recall from a week or so ago, two classes on migraines were among the classes so, after this last week, I’m getting a handle on the headache mystery. 

I have just about completed all of the Diagnostic Drills. There are 40 of them and I’ve finished 39 of them. The last one is on ankle sprain and what we really need to know about them. Then, we move on to Communication Drills that reinforce these Diagnostic Drills and help you write to your colleagues in an effective and professional way to describe your findings. I’m looking forward to those!

Introduction of Dr. James Lehman

Now, let’s go ahead and get on with the reason we’re all here. Before we speak with Dr. James Lehman, I want to go through a little background information on him for you so you are well aware of who he is and where he is coming from. 

Dr. James Lehman is an Associate Professor of Clinical Sciences at the University of Bridgeport/College of Chiropractic and Director of Health Sciences Postgraduate Education (HSPED). 

Dr. James Lehman completed his MBA at the University of New Mexico and a doctorate in chiropractic medicine at the Logan College of Chiropractic in St. Louis, Missouri.

Dr. James Lehman is a board-certified, chiropractic orthopedist. He teaches orthopedic and neurological examination and differential diagnosis of neuromusculoskeletal conditions. In addition, he provides clinical rotations for fourth-year chiropractic students and chiropractic residents in the community health center and a sports medicine rotation in the training facility of the local professional baseball team. 

As Director, Dr. James Lehman developed the three-year, full-time resident training program in chiropractic orthopedics and neuromusculoskeletal medicine. The program offers training within primary care facilities of a Federally Qualified Health Center and Patient-Centered Medical Home. While practicing in New Mexico, he mentored fourth-year, UNM medical students. 

Welcome to the show Dr. James Lehman, it’s an honor to have you on the Chiropractic Forward Podcast this week. 

Questions for Dr. Lehman

How did the job at UofB become a reality for you? How did you make that happen or even make it a possibility?

Can you tell me about your position at UofB? 

What are your responsibilities? 

What does a regular day for you look like? 

Dr. Lehman and I became acquainted with each other through the DACO program. In case you have been hiding under a rock, zoning off during our podcasts, or maybe this is the very first podcast you’ve listened to of ours, DACO stands for Diplomate of American Chiropractic Orthopedists. 

What got you so interested in the Orthopedic side of our profession? 

What was it that made you want to specialize originally?

Can you tell us a little about your experience with chiropractic integration over the years? 

Have you had some battles to fight internally against medical practitioners?

What are some of the pitfalls and what are some of the rewards beyond seeing the patients recover?

Can you tell us about FQHCs? I had no idea they existed, especially in my city, until you showed me. Integrating into an FQHC was something that was never on my radar until we talked in Dallas.

At this point in our discussion, I need to tell you, the audience, that Dr. Lehman has played a vital role in furthering the DACO program. Through his position at the University of Bridgeport Connecticut, and through a partnership of sorts with online education through Chiropractic Development International out of Australia, obtaining the DACO has become very do-able and very attainable for all that may be so inclined. 

Dr. Lehman, can you tell us a little about how you and the University of Bridgeport got involved in the DACO and how it’s going so far? How did you identify the need and then go about filling that need?

Can you tell us why you feel like specialization like the DACO is so important to doctors of chiropractic these days? 

Why has this become your mission?

Through email, you suggested to me that, for the chiropractic profession to gain the respect of the healthcare system, a reasonable definition of chiropractic would be a good starting point. You offered a definition that doesn’t restrict providers nor does it highlight ‘subluxation.’ That definition is as follows:

“The evidence-based practice of differential diagnosis, patient-centered treatment, and prevention of pain and human disease as taught by CCE-approved chiropractic colleges, institutions, or schools.”

Tell me how you came up with this definition. 

Just to tell a quick personal experience, I have been introduced before by one neurosurgeon to another neurosurgeon using a disclaimer. He said, “He’s not one of THOSE chiropractors. He’s one of the good guys.” Which, I have to say that I appreciated the vote of confidence but at the same time it made me think, “With such a prevailing sentiment toward our profession, how will we ever integrate successfully or is it even possible?”

Do you think that even those of us that are specializing are going to be forever introduced with a disclaimer? I personally don’t see how a profession as split as ours progresses and integrates successfully. Is there a solution to this or are we just stuck with the split and the internal fighting?

With the knowledge that PTs are now utilizing spinal manipulative therapy, what do you feel is going to happen with our profession in the next 15-30 years?

In the two classes I’ve sat through with you as a speaker, you were adamant about Informed Consent. I read your paper on that topic after I got back from Dallas and thought it was pretty interesting. Informed Consent doesn’t sound like a particularly interesting or sexy topic to the general population so, would you mind telling us about that and what interested you enough in a topic like Informed Consent to actually publish a paper on it?

We covered the vast divide in our profession, what are some other big obstacles you see on the horizon for our profession right now?

In our private Chiropractic Forward Group, when we discussed you episode coming on the show, Dr. Brandon Steele said I need to ask you this question, “What can students do right now to prepare for current trends in Healthcare? Are there residencies, certifications, internships or other equivalents they should be considering going through to prepare for their future after graduation?”

Also in the private group, Dr. William Lawson, who has been a guest with us before, told me to ask you about rural healthcare centers and how a chiropractor can work in or own a rural healthcare center. 

 being with us and taking time out of your day. I really appreciate you and what you are doing for our profession. I don’t know where we would be without folks like you and others just like you. 

Integrating Chiropractors


The Message

I want you to know with absolute certainty that when Chiropractic is at its best, you can’t beat the risk vs reward ratio because spinal pain is primarily a movement-related pain and typically responds better to movement-related treatment instead of chemical treatments like pills and shots.

When compared to the traditional medical model, research and clinical experience show that many patients get good or excellent results through chiropractic for headaches, neck pain, back pain, joint pain, to name just a few.

Chiropractic care is safe and cost-effective. It can decrease instances of surgery & disability. Chiropractors normally do this through conservative, non-surgical means with minimal time requirements or hassle to the patient.

And, if the patient develops a “preventative” mindset going forward from initial recovery, chiropractors can likely keep it that way while raising the general, overall level of health of the patient!

Key Point:

Patients should have the guarantee of having the best treatment offering the least harm.

That’s Chiropractic!


Send us an email at dr dot williams at and let us know what you think of our show or tell us your suggestions for future episodes. Feedback and constructive criticism is a blessing and so are subscribes and excellent reviews on iTunes and other podcast services. Y’all know how this works by now so help if you don’t mind taking a few seconds to do so.

Help us get to the top of podcasts in our industry. That’s how we get the message out.


We can’t wait to connect with you again next week. From the Chiropractic Forward Podcast flight deck, this is Dr. Jeff Williams saying upward, onward, and forward.



Social Media Links

Chiropractic Forward Podcast Facebook GROUP




Player FM Link



About the Author & Host

Dr. Jeff Williams – Chiropractor in Amarillo, TX, Chiropractic Advocate, Author, Entrepreneur, Educator, Businessman, Marketer, and Healthcare Blogger & Vlogger

CF 029: w/ Dr. Devin Pettiet – Is Chiropractic Integration Healthy For The Profession?

CF 039: Communicating Chiropractic

CF 046: Chiropractic Effectiveness – Chiropractic Integration – Chiropractic Future

One comment on “CF 055: w/ Dr. James Lehman – The Future Of Chiropractic, Chiropractic Specialization, & Chiropractic Integration

  1. “Dr. James Lehman’s insightful interview on the future of chiropractic, specialization, and integration was truly eye-opening. His knowledge, passion, and dedication to advancing the chiropractic profession are inspiring. I appreciate the thoughtful discussions and valuable information shared in this episode. Keep up the great work in spreading awareness and driving positive changes in chiropractic care! Thank you, Gary Ford.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *