Internships and scholarships | VA Miami Health Care

Program: Integrated Clinical Practice

Established: 2020

Accreditation: Miami VA Health System Chiropractic Residency Program (MVAHS) application at the Council on Chiropractic Education expected to be submitted by October 2020

Period: 12 months, from July 1 to June 30 each year

Positions: One

Director: Gina Bonavito-Larragoite DC

Faculty of DC: Terry Rubin, DC, John D’Amico, DC, DABCO

Mission statement

The mission of the Miami VA Health System Integrated Chiropractic Clinical Practice Residency is to prepare chiropractic residents for clinical practice in hospitals or other medical and / or academic settings, through a clinical training in hospitals, interprofessional training and university activities.

brief description

The Miami VA Health System is a Complexity 1A 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 adjoining four story community living center. MVAHS chiropractic clinics are administratively aligned with physical medicine and rehabilitation services. Chiropractic residents rotate in Primary Care, PM&R, Pain Medicine, Mental Health, Neurosurgery, Women’s Clinic, GRECC, Spinal Cord Injury and other sub-specialized clinics. Residents learn or participate in ongoing chiropractic faculty research projects and engage in scholarly activities within the facility.

Goals / objectives of residents

• Residents will gain postgraduate clinical experience in chiropractic care in a hospital setting.
• Residents will provide supervised patient care at satisfactory skill levels to a large population of musculoskeletal cases, most often spinal, in the context of collaborative team care
• Residents will gain experience in managing a range of complex / multimorbid cases.

• Residents will participate 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 related health disciplines.

• Residents will participate in academic activities to gain experience relevant to integrated practice and / or academia.
• Residents will complete academic assignments, online educational courses, and collaborate with other chiropractic residents to complete group assignments.
• Residents will attend scholarly presentations among the hospital and / or affiliated university offerings available.
• Residents will participate in research activities and / or present scientific material and / or clinical workshops to staff and / or trainees of VA and / or affiliated university sites.

DC Faculty Program

Gina M. Bonavito-Larragoite, DC, FIAMA – Director

Dr Bonavito-Larragoite received a Bachelor of Arts in Music, with a minor in Chemistry from Northern Arizona University in 1998, and her Doctorate of Chiropractic from Life Chiropractic College West in 2002. She completed her Acupuncture Fellowship from the ‘International Academy of Medical Acupuncture in 2009. She started at Iowa City VA Medical Center (ICVAMC) in 2014 after 12 years in private practice in Arizona. At the ICVAMC, she was appointed Chief of the Chiropractic Section and Director of the Internal Chiropractic Training Program. In 2019, she was appointed Midwest Regional Manager (2019-2021) and Communications Coordinator (2019-current) for the Chiropractic Field Advisory Committee (FAC). She serves as a mentor for newly hired VA chiropractors. In addition to his VA staff privileges, Dr. Bonavito-Larragoite is an Assistant Clinical Assistant Professor at Keizer University, College of Chiropractic Medicine, Palmer College of Chiropractic, and Parker University. In 2021, she transferred to the Miami VA Healthcare System (MVAHS) to take on the role of Director of the Integrated Chiropractic Residency Program.

Terry Rubin, DC, CCAP Residency Faculty

Dr. Rubin graduated from Syracuse University in 2010, receiving a bachelor’s degree in exercise science. He then received his Doctorate of Chiropractic (DC) from New York Chiropractic College in 2013, completing his internship at the Miami VA Healthcare System (MVAHS) during his final year of the program. After graduating from chiropractic school, Dr. Rubin remained in South Florida, working in private practice at a multidisciplinary sports medicine clinic for 8 years. In 2021, he was hired by the MVAHS to return as a full-time chiropractic physician in the hospital’s physical medicine and rehabilitation department. Dr Rubin is a Certified Chiropractic Acupuncture Physician and Whole Body Active Release Techniques (ART) provider, among many other evidence-based treatment certifications he has received over the years and has received over the years. used daily in clinic. Dr Rubin also has an academic affiliation with Keizer University, acting as an adjunct clinical adjunct professor within the chiropractic program.

John D’Amico, DC, DABCO Home Faculty

John D’Amico, DC, DABCO graduated in biology from Stony Brook University and received his doctorate in chiropractic from New York Chiropractic College in 1992. He completed a rigorous postgraduate training program and graduated from the American Council Diplomatic Chiropractic Orthopedics (DABCO) in 2000. Dr. D’Amico was one of the first chiropractic pioneers to enter the Veterans Affairs (VA) health care system. In 2005, he became the first chiropractor appointed to the medical staff of the Miami VA Healthcare System (MVAHCS). He has developed processes for integrating clinical services in hospitals and interprofessional clinical training. In 2008, he established an academic affiliation with the New York Chiropractic College (NYCC) for a DC student training program; he is an assistant professor of clinical assistance at NYCC and CPKU. He has served on numerous professional VA chiropractic boards and provides peer mentoring for newly appointed chiropractors.


Training takes place at the Bruce W. Carter Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center (Miami VAMC, 1201 NW 16th St, Miami, FL 33136) and the William “Bill” Kling Department of Veterans Affairs Outpatient Clinic (9800 West Commercial Boulevard, Sunrise , FL 33351) campus. The MVAHS is well known for its excellence in training health care providers. Miami VAMC is affiliated with the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and Jackson Memorial Hospital and trains approximately 700 residents and fellows annually. Additional affiliations with Florida International University for medical and nursing students, as well as multiple affiliations for the training of auxiliary personnel, exist in the fields of pharmacy, social work, dietetics, radiology and other medical and paramedical specialties.

Clinical facilities

The Miami VAMC Chiropractic Department is co-located with physiotherapy and occupational therapy in the outpatient rehabilitation gym in the PM&R wing located on the second floor of the hospital. The chiropractic department includes three dedicated 120 square foot individual private treatment rooms, one 120 square foot shared individual private treatment room, two administrative offices / dedicated workstations, one dedicated workstation on wheels (WOW), two desks / shared work and a shared / overflow WOW in the outpatient rehabilitation room, which is adjacent to the PM&R offices, EMG lab and inpatient therapy gymnasium. In order to improve the chiropractic facilities on site, two of the three dedicated treatment rooms have been modernized with new state-of-the-art chiropractic tables.

The chiropractic department at the William “Bill” Kling VA clinic is co-located with physiotherapy and occupational therapy in the outpatient rehabilitation gymnasium. The chiropractic department has two dedicated 120 square foot individual private treatment rooms and two dedicated administrative offices / workstations.


The resident allowance is set annually, based on geographic location, by the VA Office of Academic Affiliations. For the 2022-23 academic year, the allowance for an MVAHS chiropractic resident is $ 39,523. The resident receives paid federal holidays and accumulates vacation and sick leave. The resident is also entitled to life and health insurance. The resident is protected from personal liability while providing professional services in a VA healthcare facility under the Federal Employees Liability Reform and Tort Compensation Act, 28 USC 2679 (b) – (d).

Certificate of completion

Upon successful completion of the program requirements, the graduate will receive an official certificate of residency and records will be kept at the MVAHS and the VHA Chiropractic Program National Office.

Eligibility criteria

Applicants must hold or receive a DC degree from a CCE accredited school prior to the start of the residency program. Applicants must be eligible or hold a current, full, active, and unrestricted chiropractic license in a state, territory, or Commonwealth of the United States, or in the District of Columbia. Applicants must meet all VA employment requirements, including US citizenship and selective service enrollment, if applicable.

Application process

The application can be found on the National VA Chiropractic Residency website

The program follows the VA chiropractic residency matchmaking process. A call for candidates is launched each year on the first working Monday in January. Applications are only accepted during the open call. Candidate assessment is done through a competitive process taking into account factors such as academic background, relevant experience, personal statement, letters of recommendation, and telephone, video and / or in-person interviews. The ranking of candidates is carried out by an examination committee composed of the director of the residence and the faculty of the DC.

For more information contact: [email protected]

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