Take Me Out To The Ball Game Part 2: Extended Interview with Dr. Rick Bishop

We recently interviewed Dr. Rick Bishop, Professional Baseball Chiropractic Society (PBCS) Director and visiting team chiropractor for PNC Park in Pittsburgh. He introduced the history and purpose of the PBCS.

During an extended interview, Dr. Rick Bishop shares additional insights about the organization expanding to provide chiropractic opportunities and education for members.

WHAT IS THE HISTORY OF THE PBCS?

In 2012 Dr. Alan Palmer, Arizona Diamondbacks Chiropractor, and myself were appointed to head the PBCS. Our first task was to publish a directory of chiropractors and distribute it to each Head Athletic Trainer in Major League Baseball.

Baseball is a unique sport at the Major League level because half the season is spent on the road. We wanted to assist the training staff of teams in need of chiropractic services while traveling. We reached out to Major League Baseball teams to see if they were using a chiropractor and compiled a directory. This way traveling teams could seek the services of a qualified chiropractor utilized by a particular team within a particular city.

Next we decided to appoint a Board of Directors within the organization to delegate responsibilities. The first PBCS annual meeting was held in Las Vegas in December 2012 during the annual ProSport Conference. There we voted on a board of directors. This has truly put us in a position to work in unity with the teams’ training and medical staff for the best outcome of individual players. We have been blessed with a PBCS Board of Directors that shares the same vision to serve and educate. This has helped the organization spread its wings and expand over the years. We have made great progress thanks to a strong team, a vision of education, and working together in harmony.

IN WHAT WAYS HAS THE PBCS EXPANDED?

We have expanded into the Minor League of professional baseball. In 2014 our group in Major League Baseball was basically solidified. Most of the teams were utilizing chiropractic services at the time. We wondered what was going on with the 200 Minor League affiliates.

Richard Stark, Minor League Medical Coordinator of the Cincinnati Reds, was eager to help. He oversaw all the Minor League baseball trainers. Then we appointed Dr. Sonny Haight, who attended chiropractic school with me and shared a love of baseball, as the PBCS Minor League Coordinator. Richard Stark and Dr. Sonny Haight worked together to develop a Minor League initiative.

Every year we distribute a survey to all the Minor League coordinators. They oversee all the training staff throughout Minor League baseball. Then the survey trickles down to the Head Athletic Trainer of each affiliate team. The survey basically asks, “Do you use a chiropractor? If yes, who? If no, do you want a chiropractor?” We have been instrumental in placing chiropractors within Minor League affiliates throughout the country in collaboration with the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS). We have an extensive vetting process to find a qualified Chiropractic Dr. who can work with a professional team and team Head Athletic Trainer.

WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP IN THE PBCS?

We feel very blessed to have the platform of working within professional baseball. This work is not just about us. We work with our field doctors and team. We have always had a strong desire to expand our vision. In fact, we have actually expanded beyond team chiropractors. We have several associate members within our organization, which are field doctors that are not working with a professional team.

There are different membership benefits for associate members, but the biggest perk is the chance to collaborate with us, communicate with us, and really pick our brains. We have provided the opportunity for associate members to learn from chiropractors working with a team at the highest level of professional baseball. This provides insights about working with a team and taking care of athletes. The Minor League teams often look to us to supply chiropractors. We start with the associate membership when those opportunities arise.

We also provide opportunities for chiropractic students. Students will become chiropractors and replace us one day. They will someday be team chiropractors. Every fall we have a baseball performance conference. This gives students an opportunity to attend and rub shoulders with personnel from Major League Baseball, whether it is team chiropractors, trainers, or players.

I got hurt playing baseball in college. It was my dream to play professional baseball, until it got shot down in an instant. I have been in the chiropractic field my entire life. If I had known that an organization like the PBCS existed when I first started my chiropractic career, I would have jumped at it. I would have gone anywhere to be a part of it. I want to give that back. I want others to experience the opportunity that I never had. The PBCS provides an opportunity to give back and educate.

DOCTOR HOY’S™ is a proud sponsor of the Professional Baseball Chiropractic Society! Our products compliment the services of team chiropractors to keep athletes at the top of their game.

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