Seneca Falls: On Saturday, July 30, New York Chiropractic College held commencement exercises in the Standard Process Health and Fitness Center for all seven of its graduate programs: 27 from the Doctor of Chiropractic (DC), 26 from the Master of Science in Acupuncture and the Master of Science in Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (MSA and MSAOM), 71 from the Master of Science in Applied Clinical Nutrition (MSACN), 36 from the Master of Science in Human Anatomy & Physiology Instruction (MSHAPI), one from the Master of Science in Diagnostic Imaging (MSDI), and one from Master of Science in Clinical Anatomy (MSCA). Conferral of degrees and hooding of candidates was performed by Frank J. Nicchi, DC, (’78) MS, president of NYCC and Michael A. Mestan, DC, EdD, executive vice president and provost.
Associate Professor Hunter Mollin, DC, (’80) served as grand marshal. Following a welcome by Dr. Mestan, Dr. Nicchi introduced the NYCC trustees, officers, and dignitaries present. Thomas DeVita, DC, (’75) chairman of the NYCC Board of Trustees, greeted the graduates on behalf of the Board, and Dr. Nicchi proceeded with recognition of awards and academic excellence. Khomal Khattak, executive president of the Student Government Association, delivered the student address. Jason Wright, MS, LAc, past dean and adjunct associate professor of the Finger Lakes School of Acupuncture & Oriental Medicine of NYCC, delivered the faculty address, encouraging the new graduates to stay in touch with each other, the faculty, and the institution.
NYCC President, Dr. Frank. J. Nicchi speaking at the July Commencement exercises.
Daniel Seitz, JD, EdD, founding dean of NYCC’s AOM programs, delivered the commencement address. Dr. Seitz shared five important insights instrumental in the evolution of medicine in recent decades. While the insights themselves are not new, “the fact that they are becoming more widely understood in the conventional medical world and accepted by the public is new,” and these graduates will likely contribute to this ongoing evolution. First, “the universe of medicine is much bigger than modern conventional medicine alone.” Providing optimal care often takes an integrative approach and conventional medical schools are increasingly offering introductory courses in integrative medicine, and many hospitals and clinics now have practitioners from various healthcare fields on staff. Second, “It takes a team of diversely trained practitioners to effectively deliver truly open-minded, truly integrated, and truly effective healthcare to patients.” Practitioners must recognize that no one person has all the answers and that a different approach may best serve the patient’s need. Third, the “sick care system” is giving way to a “health and wellness movement” recognized by practitioners, insurance companies, policy makers, corporations, and others, helping guide individuals to lifestyle changes and preventive treatments to maintain health and well-being. Fourth, each patient needs to be considered individually to identify underlying causes of illness and determine best treatment. This can be seen in the functional medicine movement and mind-body medicine. The fifth and final insight was, “Science and alternative medicine are not mutually exclusive.” Research can inform all types of healthcare, however, even some of the world’s most prestigious medical journals have stated there is unreliable research out there, due in part to the fact that some research is funded by entities with a financial interest in the outcomes. New research models need to be developed that take into account each patient’s individual nature and include the simultaneous application of multiple therapies. He assured the graduates that their disciplines embody important ideas about what it means to support genuine health and healing, and that they are in an optimal position to provide the best care possible to patients. “They – you – will no doubt play an essential role in the positive evolution of healthcare.”
Dr. Seitz holds a Master of Arts for Teachers degree from the University of Chicago, Juris Doctor degree from Boston University School of Law, and doctorate in Higher Education Administration and Leadership from the University of Massachusetts. For more than 30 years, he has been involved in the field of complementary and alternative medicine education, accreditation, and regulation. Currently, he is executive director of the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education and a member of the National Organics Standards Board, which sets the standards for organic food in the U.S. He was president of the New England School of Acupuncture for nine years, has been the chair of the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, and is a former chief of the Acupuncture Unit for the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine.
For information about NYCC and its programs, please visit www.nycc.edu.