Thomas A. Gelardi, D.C., Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic’s founder and first president, is interim president at Sherman. Gelardi founded the college in 1973, fulfilling a long-standing dream of advancing the chiropractic profession centered on the vertebral subluxation. He led Sherman’s progress for nearly three decades, including its accreditation by the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools and the Council on Chiropractic Education. He served as president until 1997 and, later, as member and chair of the Board of Trustees from 1997-2002.
What are your areas of greatest strength for the chiropractic student and the profession?
A: Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic’s strength is in the recognition and great belief that something of extraordinary value lies within the present vertebral subluxation model and practice.
Sherman College brings a vision of chiropractic’s place in health care as that profession that works side by side with all health care practitioners, contributing to health through the correction of vertebral subluxation. In addition to preparing its students and practicing chiropractors to be ever more clinically competent, caring and ethical, Sherman is preparing them to be highly successful in managing the business concerns of practice.
What are your plans for the future of the college with regard to chiropractic?
A: Sherman College is focusing on three major programs. The first is its clinical approach to the analysis and correction of subluxation. For the past two years, the Sherman College clinical science faculty has defined the Sherman Package. It encompasses the philosophy, science and art of analyzing and correcting vertebral subluxations anywhere in the spine.
Second, the college is increasing its commitment to be the recognized leader in scholarly activity, institutional research and clinical research centered on vertebral subluxation. We also are embarking on improved imaging methods and exploring ways to bring into our adjusting labs more objective means of analyzing simulated and actual adjusting.
Sherman’s third area of focus is taking place through its newly created Leadership and Practice Management Institute. The Institute will offer programs and courses in leadership, practice management and professional and personal success. These certification programs will be offered in several cities across the country and will be a seamless, integrated approach to all areas of personal development, practice management, leadership skills, asset accumulation and protection and more. Chiropractors make a major investment to join and participate in this profession, so they should be fairly compensated for that investment and the responsibility they assume. Our Institute will ensure that chiropractors learn how to lead and manage more effectively, serve more abundantly and enjoy life more fully.
Where do you see the chiropractic profession headed?
A: What is perhaps most fascinating about the chiropractic profession is that it has a truly valuable gift to bring to humanity, a gift that great numbers of people who are looking for an alternative to reductionism and therapies are glad to accept.
I see chiropractic at the proverbial fork in the road, with one group caring for the subluxation through vertebral adjusting and the other caring for conditions through spinal manipulative therapy and other allopathic methods. I see the therapeutic road as missing the chiropractic mark, the profession’s reason for being, and leading to the downturn of a beautiful profession.
I look down the other road and see a flourishing profession of doctors of chiropractic who are enthusiastic about changing lives through the correction of subluxation. I see a chiropractic profession with a relevant educational process that is not only patient centered, but also humanity centered. This is the road we choose at Sherman College.