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Dynamic Chiropractic – July 13, 1998, Vol. 16, Issue 15

A Moment of Silence for Dr. Walter Rhodes

Pioneer of Chiropractic Consulting

By Editorial Staff
Dr. Walter Rhodes, who helped found the American Board of Chiropractic Consultants in 1988, passed away on April 6 in Bedford, Texas. He was 65.

Dr. Rhodes was born on July 27, 1932 in Forth Worth, Texas.

He attended Polytechnic High School in Fort Worth and went on to study chemistry at Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas and Memphis State University in Tennessee.

After serving in the U.S. Army, Dr. Rhodes decided to pursue a career in chiropractic. He enrolled at Texas Chiropractic College upon his discharge from the army and graduated as a salutatorian from TCC in 1959.

That same year, Dr. Rhodes was asked by Dr. Julius Trolio, president of TCC and Dr. William Harper, dean of the college, to take the Texas basic science certificate examination. At the time, the American Medical Association and the Texas Medical Association were continually making claims about chiropractors lacking proper education in their colleges.

The results of Dr. Rhodes' taking the exam were very positive for chiropractic. The test was taken by 159 candidates, all of which were either medical doctors or osteopaths, except for Dr. Rhodes. Nearly one-third (52) of the candidates failed the exam. Dr. Rhodes, meanwhile, placed either first, second or third (the TCC officials were given no further information about the results). Dr. Rhodes thus became the first chiropractor in the state of Texas to pass the basic science examination.

Passing the exam was just the beginning in a line of firsts for Dr. Rhodes. In 1966, he became the first (and only) chiropractor to have a complete edition of the Texas Chiropractic Journal dedicated to his work on a theory regarding the functional mechanism of the nervous system. He was also appointed as an ad hoc consultant to the president of the Texas Chiropractic Association by Dr. J.P. Johnston, becoming the first person to ever hold such a position.

In 1987, Dr. Rhodes worked with Texas Chiropractic College to begin a series of classes to certify chiropractic consultants. That class was the first of its type in the nation. The following year, Dr. Rhodes helped found the American Board of Chiropractic Consultants. He was later awarded the first diplomate status in chiropractic consulting, an honor he shared with Dr. John M. Nash. The Texas Chiropractic Association also honored him by making him a lifetime member of the TCA.

In addition to his accomplishments in chiropractic, Dr. Rhodes led a full and honorable personal life. He authored seven books and appeared in numerous professional publications. He was a member of the Bridgewood Church of Christ and was a bible class teacher for several years. He served as a leader in the city-wide benevolence aide program. He was also an avid photographer and a member of the Metroplex Photographers Association. and Chuck Tordiglione, Carol and Kenneth Wilson, and Kim Rhodes; his brother, Dale; and four grandchildren, Lilly and Dane Wilson and Alexandra Olivia and Tony Tordiglione.

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