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Faculty180 – Vita and Individual Profile Data Sheet

Ian Coulter, PhD

Fall 1980 - Fall 2120

Visiting Professor

SCU Health - Clinical and Health Services Research


Current Position

  • Position: Associated Faculty


Ian Coulter is codirector of the RAND Center for Collaborative Research in Complementary and Integrative Health, a senior health policy researcher at the RAND Corporation, professor emeritus at UCLA, and research professor at the Southern California University of Health Sciences. He has more than 40 years of experience conducting both qualitative and quantitative research on complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) and integrative medicine (IM) and has published over 200 articles and books. Recent NIH grants include the context effects on the health encounter, a Center of Excellence grant to study the appropriateness of care in CAM, a grant to study the use of Crowdsourcing with CAM patients, a DoD grant to conduct comparative effectiveness trials of chiropractic in military facilities, and evaluation of the creation, implementation, and evaluation of health policies in Health Affairs. Coulter was successful in securing a gift to create the endowed RAND/Samulei Chair in Integrative Medicine and a gift to establish the RAND Center for Collaborative Research in Complementary and Integrative Health (RCCR). Dr. Coulter holds a Ph.D. in sociology from the London School of Economics & Political Science, and an M.A. honors and B.A. in sociology from the University of Canterbury. He also received an honorary doctorate in humanities from the Southern California University of Health Sciences; was a Pew Fellow at the RAND/UCLA Center for Health Policy Study from which he received a certificate in health policy analysis; and has a diploma in educational management from the Institute of Educational Management, Harvard University.



Ph.D., London School of Economics and Political Science , University of London, London, United Kingdom


M.A., University of Canterbury, New Zealand

B.A., University of Canterbury, New Zealand

Scholarly Contributions and Creative Productions

Journal Article


Whedon, J. M.; Kizhakkeveettil, A.; Toler, A. W.; Bezdjian, S.; Rossi, D.; Uptmor, S.; MacKenzie, T. A.; Lurie, J. D.; Hurwitz, E. L.; Coulter, I.; Haldeman, S. Initial Choice of Spinal Manipulation Reduces Escalation of Care for Chronic Low Back Pain Among Older Medicare Beneficiaries. 2022, 47, E142–E148.
Coulter, I. D.; Herman, P. M.; Kommareddi, M.; Hurwitz, E. L.; Shekelle, P. G. Measuring the Appropriateness of Spinal Manipulation for Chronic Low Back and Chronic Neck Pain in Chiropractic Patients. 2021, 46, 1344–1353.
Goertz, C. M.; Hurwitz, E. L.; Murphy, B. A.; Coulter, I. D. Extrapolating Beyond the Data in a Systematic Review of Spinal Manipulation for Nonmusculoskeletal Disorders: A Fall From the Summit. 2021, 44, 271–279.
Whitley, M. D.; Herman, P. M.; Aliyev, G. R.; Sherbourne, C. D.; Ryan, G. W.; Coulter, I. D. Income as a Predictor of Self-Efficacy for Managing Pain and for Coping With Symptoms Among Patients With Chronic Low Back Pain. 2021, 44, 433–444.
Bezdjian, S.; Whedon, J. M.; Russell, R.; Coulter, I. Patient Characteristics Associated With Self-Reported Adherence to Chiropractic Treatment Recommendations: A Feasibility Study. 2021, 44, 389–397.
Goertz, C. M.; Hurwitz, E. L.; Murphy, B. A.; Coulter, I. D. In Reply: A Missed Opportunity. Journal of manipulative and physiological therapeutics 2021, 44, 517–518.
Herman, P. M.; Edgington, S. E.; Sorbero, M. E.; Hurwitz, E. L.; Goertz, C. M.; Coulter, I. D. Visit Frequency and Outcomes for Patients Using Ongoing Chiropractic Care for Chronic Low-Back and Neck Pain: An Observational Longitudinal Study. 2021, 24, E61–E74.

Hear from the Students Who’ve Been in Your Shoes

Our Value: Integrative Health, Inclusivity

I chose SCU when looking for a PA program because of their Integrative Medicine approach. I am from Michigan, and not many programs focus on this Integrative, Holistic approach when it comes to patient care in the Midwest, and I felt that was very important for me to learn as a future provider. My transition to semi-virtual learning has been very smooth and quite enjoyable. My favorite part about attending SCU is how tight-knit and diverse the community is. Coming from a large undergrad university and moving so far, it was very important for me to have a PA program that made me feel valued and invested in my success. At SCU, they do a great job of making you feel that.


Brianna Hadley

MSPA Class of 2022

Our Value: Integrative Health

One of the great things about SCU is we do have a campus layout, so all your classes aren't in a single room. We have our cadaver lab. We have different specialty rooms for physical assessment classes vs. acupuncture classes. All our acupuncture-specific classes have all the herbs in the room. You can pull out the herbs and look at them, whether in class or in between classes to get that extra studying in.

My favorite part of SCU is the collaboration from our beginning terms. We were working alongside chiropractor students, PA students, and ayurvedic students. It's a unique community where we get to learn about these different fields and sit in classrooms with them and work with them in the clinic. It allows you to get an understanding of all the different fields and how they can work together, and what is unique about your field. I think that is a wonderful aspect that I didn't think was going to be as prominent as it is here; even now, in my upper term classes and I am not in class with chiropractic students, I can still reach out to them about a certain aspect I may not understand or if I am working on a case. I want another perspective I know I have them to reach out to, so that has been a great networking community to have resources for.

Dr. Jamie Kuljis

Graduate, Doctor of Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine

Our Value: Integrative Health, Inclusivity

"There are a lot of things that I love about the program at SCU. The first one is that the faculty come from a long line of Ayurvedic knowledge deeply rooted in ancient classical text. They studied Ayurveda, but they also lived it. When you learn from people who embody this wisdom, it's much easier to grasp this knowledge. The second thing I love is the camaraderie within the cohort. The combination of the training, supportive faculty, and the support of my peers and classmates has given me the confidence I need to start my own practice."

Portia Harris

Student, Ayurveda Program

Our Value: Evidence-Based Practice

Some of my favorite courses at SCU have to be the chiropractic procedure classes; those are the classes you get to hone in on your chiro skills, your palpation skills and ultimately work on the adjustments that make you a chiropractor. Those are the classes I feel enhance my knowledge the most and are some of the reasons I chose to become a chiropractor here are SCU.

On top of chiropractic procedures classes, my favorite is the cadaver lab experience. The cadaver classes opened up my perception of what the human body is made up of. It allowed me to get an in-person perspective of how the body works and looks on the inside. I am genuinely thankful for those experiences because they opened and broadened my horizons to the human body and anatomy in general.

Jordan Vega

Student, Doctor of Chiropractic

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