Changemaker Dr. Gordon McMorland helps to make inroads into primary care


In this blog series, we recognize the CAA Changemaker award recipient, Dr. Gordon McMorland. Learn more about him and the words of wisdom he has to offer.

The CAA Changemaker Award recognizes innovative chiropractors who are driving the profession to new heights and contributing to the profession’s integral work within primary healthcare. This year’s recipient is Dr. Gordon McMorland. While maintaining his clinical practice five days a week, for the past 32 years, Dr. McMorland has contributed to the profession’s integral work within primary healthcare. He is a member of the Strategic Clinical Network (SCN) at the Alberta Bone and Joint Health Institute (ABJHI), playing an integral role with their current initiatives: the MSK-Transformation Project and The Map To Motion Project. More specifically, in addition to being a member of ABJHI’s core committee,  Dr. McMorland serves as one of the Tri-leads for the spinal health committee, whose work will integrate allied healthcare with traditional care delivery to Albertans experiencing spine-related pain and disability.

Some 20 years ago, Dr. McMorland  was running a randomized controlled trial comparing back surgery to chiropractic care for sciatica. That is where he met two neurosurgeons wanting to reduce their waitlists and more appropriately treat their patients.  A program was created to integrate chiropractors and physiotherapists to help diagnose and triage patients that had been referred for surgical consultation; ultimately the waitlist was reduced by 70 per cent. Dr. McMorland’s private practice has since evolved, and he now co-owns National Spine and Wellness in Calgary, Alberta, where a collaborative team focuses on non-surgical (conservative) treatment of spine and extremity musculoskeletal pain and injury.

How do you unwind at the end of a busy day?

I exercise. My main interest is bicycling; mostly mountain biking. I am also woodworker and a musician (blues and jazz guitar).

If you could do a 30-minute presentation on anything, what would the topic be?

Helping chiropractors understand how they could play a bigger role in the current challenges the healthcare system faces.

What is your hope for chiropractors of the future?

To play a more integrated role in helping people with spine-related problems regain their quality of life.

If you could provide career advice to students who are entering or advancing their career in chiropractic care, what would that be?

Never stop learning, and always keep patient care in mind. Seek out new knowledge on how to better care for your patients.