After the dust had settled and the ballots were tallied, on April 15, 2005, the International Chiropractors Association had elected a new president in a landslide vote. Who is this doctor who inspired such an impressive mandate by the oldest national chiropractic organization in the world, and what is his vision for chiropractic? Find out, in the following interview between The American Chiropractor (TAC), and Dr. John Maltby.
TAC: First of all, congratulations on winning the ICA election. Was it a surprise to you?
Maltby: Though I was cautiously optimistic, the overwhelming support of the electorate was both a surprise and quite humbling.
TAC: Tell us about yourself.
Maltby: My wife, Debbie, and I will be celebrating our 30th wedding anniversary this September. I have two children: Melisa, who lives in Lancaster, PA, and my son John II, who is presently serving in the US Air Force, stationed in Japan. I also have two grandchildren: Jesse, four, and Eden, one and a half. I loved being a dad, but I was born to be a grandpa.
I graduated from Palmer College of Chiropractic, Davenport in 1977 and have been in private practice since that time in Blythe, CA. I have served as President of the International Chiropractors Association of California, as well as Chairman of the Board and am presently serving as the 15th President of the International Chiropractor’s Association, as well as program co-coordinator for the Council of Applied Chiropractic Sciences.
TAC: We understand that you are still a 100 percent practicing chiropractor. Tell us what makes your practice unique and why.
Maltby: I don’t know that my practice is unique. During the winter months, I have a large volume of winter visitors, “snow birds,” so much of my patient base is in excess of 70 years old. Our office works on one principle: Love everyone who walks through the door.
I have never turned down anyone for financial reasons and I don’t keep statistics on volume. The success of my practice is not based on the money I make or the number of patients I see. It is based on the love and quality of care I give, one patient at a time.
TAC: As a speaker, what topics do you cover?
Maltby: I have spoken on a number of topics. “Clinical Implications of Chiropractic Care for the Elderly,” “It’s OK to Adjust,” “Clinical Documentation and Record Keeping” for the Chiropractic Certification in Spinal Trauma Program, and “Ethics in Chiropractic.”
TAC: What valuable feedback have you received from your audiences?
Maltby: Probably the most common thing I hear is that I don’t talk down to the audience. I am a practicing chiropractor, just like them, dealing with the same problems they do. I try to make sure that they know they are not alone and that I am there to help.
TAC: Do you have any special concerns regarding the profession of chiropractic?
Maltby: Several. First, it is absolutely imperative that chiropractors get involved in their state and national associations. Less than 15 percent of the profession are members of any national association. Participation by every practicing D.C. is the key to our future.
Secondly, there needs to be a greater emphasis on research done by chiropractors. I recently visited the research department at Parker College, as well as reviewed a research proposal from New Zealand Chiropractic College. I am excited that this is happening, but we need to develop more ways the practicing D.C. can participate.
TAC: How do you see ICA affecting the chiropractic profession now and in the future?
Maltby: The ICA has always maintained the primary purpose of defending the chiropractor’s unique right to correct the subluxation. This is being challenged by 3rd party payers, the courts, legislature and other health care providers. It will continue to be ICA’s main focus to protect the chiropractor’s right to practice chiropractic.
TAC: How will chiropractors benefit from the actions of the ICA?
Maltby: The main benefit for chiropractors will be knowing that there is a national association which has one major concern: their right to practice chiropractic, and their unique expertise as the only ones qualified to correct subluxation by the chiropractic adjustment.
TAC: Any immediate plans for the upcoming year?
Maltby: Right now, the ICA is getting the word out to all chiropractors to get involved by joining the ICA. This is not about who gets the credit for doing the job; this is about getting the job done, and the ICA’s job is to protect chiropractic. We are also planning an “80th Anniversary Celebration” in conjunction with our annual meeting, May 6, 2006, in Washington, DC. This will be a time of celebrating the 80 years of service to chiropractic by recognizing the pioneers of the profession, as well as the ICA’s many accomplishments.
TAC: Where do you see the future of chiropractic headed?
Maltby: I feel the future of chiropractic is bright. There is nothing I would rather do. Everyday, I have the opportunity to change somebody’s life through the wonders of chiropractic. It doesn’t get any better than that.
TAC: Do you have any other issue you’d like to present to our readers?
Maltby: My motivation for involvement in the ICA and chiropractic is that I owe. I owe it to B.J. Palmer who founded the ICA 80 years ago. I owe it to the hundreds of chiropractors who went to jail practicing ethical chiropractic. I owe it to my son, who serves this country and someday wants to be a chiropractor, so we have the freedom to choose. I owe it to my grandchildren, Jesse and Eden, to be able to grow up with chiropractic available to them, as it was to their parents. And lastly, I owe it to chiropractic, which saved my life when I was 19 years old.
Dr. Maltby may be reached by email at