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Dynamic Chiropractic – November 19, 2007, Vol. 25, Issue 24

In Memoriam: Joseph C. Keating Jr., PhD

By Tina Beychok, Associate Editor

Chiropractic historian and longtime Dynamic Chiropractic columnist, Dr. Joseph C. Keating Jr., passed away on Sunday, Oct. 14, 2007, in Kansas City, Mo.

He was 57 years old.

Dr. Keating leaves behind three sisters: Diane M. Krout of Maryland, Mary L. Rasmussen of Seminole, Fla., and Kris Morison of St. Petersburg, Fla.

image - Copyright – Stock Photo / Register Mark Dr. Keating received his PhD in clinical psychology and clinical research methods from the State University of New York at Albany in 1981. He then completed a postdoctoral clinical residency at a specialty physical medicine and rehabilitation hospital in Schenectady, N.Y. From 1984 to 1986, he maintained a collaborative private practice with a urologist, specializing in the conservative treatment of lower urinary tract infections. He also was a practicing clinical psychologist in the state of California for 16 years.

By far, however, his biggest contributions have been within the field of chiropractic. He was vice president of the Association for the History of Chiropractic (AHC) at the time of his passing, and a former president (1994-1995). He also served on the board of directors and as vice president of the National Institute of Chiropractic Research (NICR), a nonprofit corporation involved in fundraising, grant-making and conducting research within the field of chiropractic. He had recently moved to Kansas City, Mo., from Phoenix, and was working for the Cleveland Chiropractic College as their "Historian of the Profession."

Since 1981, he also had served as clinical researcher, faculty member, administrator and historian at several institutions, including: the University of the Pacific's Department of Psychology, Behavioral Medicine Program; Palmer College of Chiropractic West; Northwestern College of Chiropractic (as director of research); Los Angeles College of Chiropractic; and Western States Chiropractic College.

In 1992, Dr. Keating began contributing a regular column on chiropractic history to Dynamic Chiropractic. "Ivory Tower Review" ran from 1992-1994; "Historical Perspectives" ran from 1995 until his passing. He also was a very active editorial board member for several peer-reviewed publications, including Clinical Chiropractic, the Chiropractic Journal of Australia, the Journal of the Canadian Chiropractic Association and the Journal of Manipulative & Physiological Therapeutics. He was an accomplished author in his own right, having published close to 100 peer-reviewed publications since 1983, as well as numerous books. Published books include:

  • A History of Los Angeles College of Chiropractic (Southern California University of Health Sciences, 2001);
  • B.J. of Davenport: The Early Years of Chiropractic (AHC, 1997);
  • A History of Chiropractic Education in North America (AHC, 1998); and
  • Toward a Philosophy of the Science of Chiropractic: A Primer for Clinicians (Stockton Foundation, 1992).

"It is hard to describe just how prolific Dr. Keating was as a writer, but it has been said he was the author of perhaps 500 chiropractic papers and articles (about 20 per year), in addition to several books. Yet somehow he found the time to correspond with many of us about our research projects, and found additional time to talk with us over dinner or a drink after a long research meeting. Even then the topic of discussion never varied far or for very long from chiropractic. To say he was driven to try to understand and improve chiropractic health care would almost be an understatement," said friend Rob Leach, DC, MS, FICC, CHES.

"Yet perhaps Dr. Keating's greatest contribution will not be permanently recorded in Index Medicus, CINAHL or any other search engine. Dr. Joe, as many came to know him, found the time to mentor an entire generation of chiropractic students, scientists and scientist/practitioners, through personal contacts, phone calls and uncountable e-mail communications. It is a legacy that will live on through scores of us for years to come," said Dr. Leach. "Whether testifying before Congress, addressing the American Chiropractic Association House of Delegates, or teaching weekend seminars to a few dozen chiropractors at a state meeting, Keating never varied in championing the good, ridiculing the quackery, and in urging us to explore and empirically test chiropractic."

"Dr. Joe touched many lives from college presidents to researchers and from policy makers to practitioners. Most likely, we have heard from only a fraction of those he influenced during the 24 years he was with our profession. He famously ended many of his communications and conversations with the words, "God Bless." It may well be argued that because of his work and the legacy he left for our profession - God did," added Dr. Leach.

An online memorial book has been created ( obituaries.php?a=memorials&id=1568) for anyone wishing to share their thoughts about Dr. Keating and his remarkable life. He will be missed by everyone at MPA Media, and by the chiropractic profession as a whole. While Dr. Keating's contributions can never be replaced, DC will continue to document chiropractic's rich history in 2008 and beyond.


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