Miami VA Healthcare System
Chiropractic Residency Program
Program: Integrated Clinical Practice
Accreditation: Miami VA Healthcare System’s (MVAHS) Chiropractic Residency Program application to the Council on Chiropractic Education is projected for submission by October 2020
Period: 12 months, July 1 to June 30 annually
Director: Gina Bonavito-Larragoite DC
Attending DC Faculty: Terry Rubin, DC
The mission of the Miami VA Healthcare System Chiropractic Integrated Clinical Practice Residency is to prepare chiropractic residents for clinical practice in hospitals or other medical settings, and/or academia, through hospital-based clinical training, interprofessional education, and scholarly activities
The Miami VA Healthcare System is a 1A Complexity Facility that serves Veterans in three South Florida counties: Miami-Dade, Broward, and Monroe, with an estimated Veteran population of 149,704. The Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Miami VAMC) is located on 26.3 acres with an attached four-story Community Living Center. The MVAHS chiropractic clinics are administratively aligned within physical medicine and rehabilitative services. Chiropractic residents rotate in primary care, PM&R, pain medicine, mental health, neurosurgery, women’s clinic, GRECC, spinal cord injury and other sub-specialty clinics. Residents learn from or participate in chiropractic faculty’s ongoing research projects and engage in scholarly activities at the facility.
• Residents will acquire postgraduate clinical experience in hospital-based chiropractic care
• Residents will provide supervised patient care at satisfactory levels of competence, to a broad population of musculoskeletal cases, most commonly spinal, in the context of collaborative team-based care
• Residents will gain experience in managing a range of complex/multimorbidity cases
• Residents will engage in interprofessional educational experiences with relevant medical, surgical and associated health specialties
• Residents will complete clinical rotations in primary care, physical medicine and rehabilitation, other relevant medical or surgical specialties, behavioral medicine and other associated health disciplines
• Residents will participate in scholarly activities to gain experience relevant to integrated practice and/or academia
• Residents will complete scholarly assignments, online didactic courses, and collaborate with other chiropractic residents to complete group assignments
• Residents will attend scholarly presentations among available hospital and/or academic affiliate offerings
• Residents will engage in research activities, and/or present scholarly material, and/or clinical workshops to staff and/or trainees at VA and/or academic affiliate venues
Program DC Faculty
Gina M. Bonavito-Larragoite, DC, FIAMA - Director
Dr Bonavito-Larragoite received a Bachelor of Art in music, with a minor in chemistry from Northern Arizona University in 1998, and her Doctorate in Chiropractic from Life Chiropractic College West in 2002. She completed her acupuncture fellowship from the International Academy of Medical Acupuncture in 2009. She started with the Iowa City VA Medical Center (ICVAMC) in 2014 following 12 years in private practice in Arizona. At the ICVAMC, she was appointed as the Chiropractic Section Chief and the Director of the In-house Chiropractic Training Program. In 2019, she was appointed as the Midwest regional lead (2019-2021) and the communications coordinator (2019-current) for the chiropractic field advisory committee (FAC). She serves as a mentor for newly hired VA chiropractors. In addition to her VA staff privileges, Dr Bonavito-Larragoite serves as an adjunct assistant clinical professor at Keiser University, College of Chiropractic Medicine, Palmer College of Chiropractic and Parker University. In 2021, she transferred to the Miami VA Healthcare System (MVAHS) to serve as the Director of the Integrated Chiropractic Residency Program.
Terry Rubin, DC, CCAP-Residency Faculty
Dr. Rubin graduated from Syracuse University in 2010, receiving bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science. He then went on to earn his Doctorate in Chiropractic (DC) degree from New York Chiropractic College in 2013, completing his clerkship at the Miami VA Healthcare System (MVAHS) during his final year of the program. Following graduation from chiropractic school, Dr. Rubin remained in South Florida working in private practice at a multi-disciplinary clinic specializing in sports medicine for 8 years. In 2021, he was hired by the MVAHS to return as a full-time attending chiropractic physician within the Physical Medicine & Rehab department of the hospital. Dr. Rubin is a Certified Chiropractic Acupuncture Physician and full body Active Release Technique (ART) provider, among many other evidence-based treatment certifications he has received over the years that he utilizes in clinic on a daily basis. Dr. Rubin also has an academic affiliation with Keiser University, serving as an adjunct assistance clinical professor within the chiropractic program.
Training takes place at the Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Miami VAMC, 1201 NW 16th St, Miami, FL 33136) and William "Bill" Kling Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic (9800 West Commercial Boulevard, Sunrise, FL 33351) campuses. The MVAHS is well-known for its excellence in healthcare provider training. The Miami VAMC is affiliated with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital and trains approximately 700 residents and fellows per year. Additional affiliations with Florida International University for medical students and nursing, along with multiple ancillary staff training affiliations, exist in the pharmacy, social work, dietetics, radiology, and other medical and allied health specialties.
The Miami VAMC chiropractic department is collocated with physical and occupational therapy in the outpatient rehabilitation gym within the PM&R wing located on the second floor of the hospital. The chiropractic service has three dedicated 120 sq. ft. individual private treatment rooms, one shared 120 sq. ft. individual private treatment room, two dedicated administrative desk/work stations, one dedicated workstation on wheels (WOW), two shared desk/work stations, and one shared/overflow WOW in the outpatient rehabilitation suite, which is adjacent to the PM&R offices, EMG lab, and inpatient therapy gym. To enhance the on-site chiropractic facilities, two of the three dedicated treatment rooms have been upgraded with new state-of-the-art flexion distraction chiropractic tables
The chiropractic department at the William "Bill" Kling VA Clinic is collocated with physical and occupational therapy in the outpatient rehabilitation gym. The chiropractic service has two dedicated120 sq. ft. individual private treatment rooms and two dedicated administrative desk/work stations.
The resident stipend is set annually, based on geographic location, by VA Office of Academic Affiliations. For Academic Year 2021-22 the stipend for a MVAHS chiropractic resident was $39,523. The resident receives paid Federal holidays and accrues vacation and sick leave. The resident is also eligible for life and health insurance. The resident is protected from personal liability while providing professional services at a VA health care facility under the Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act, 28 U.S.C. 2679 (b)-(d).
Certificate of Completion
Upon satisfactory completion of program requirements, the graduate will receive an official Certificate of Residency, and records will be maintained at the MVAHS and the VHA Chiropractic National Program Office.
Applicants must hold or be scheduled to receive a DC degree from a CCE-accredited school prior to the start of the residency program. Applicants must be eligible for, or hold a current, full, active, and unrestricted chiropractic license in a State, Territory or Commonwealth of the US, or in the District of Columbia. Applicants must meet all VA employment requirements including US citizenship, and Selective Service registration when applicable.
The program follows the VA Chiropractic Residency Match process. A call for applications is issued each year on the first business Monday of January. Applications are only accepted during the open call. Applicant assessment is through a competitive process considering factors such as academic background, relevant experience, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and telephone, video, and/or in-person interviews. Applicant rankings are made by a review committee of the residency director and DC faculty.
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