Mark Bronson, DC, DIANM is a third-generation chiropractor in Fort Worth and owner of the Bronson Clinic, which is approaching its 100th year of continuous chiropractic service. Dr. Bronson was appointed by Gov. Greg Abbott as Board President of the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE) in 2016. His appointment came just as the Texas Sunset Commission began evaluating the agency for renewal prior to its scheduled expiration. Among his first duties was to testify for continuance which, fortunately for the chiropractic profession, was granted. TBCE also was in the middle of the Texas Medical Associations's challenge of Board rules allowing VONT, diagnosis, and nerves, and the Texas Association of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine's challenge of the Board’s rule allowing chiropractors to perform acupuncture. In the TMA case, Dr. Bronson prepared the Board’s representative from the Office of Solicitor General with insights to guide oral arguments to the Supreme Court of Texas. In the TAAOM case, Dr. Bronson served as the Board’s fact witness, providing testimony in deposition and on the stand during the trial. Prior to his appointment to the Board, Mark served as an active member and leader within the TCA for over 30 years including a 2-year term as State Director, and then as the Coordinator of the Department of Scientific Affairs. Mark is an honors graduate of The University of Texas at Austin, receiving a Bachelor of Business Administration (BBA) degree in Finance while concurrently completing the Pre-Med curriculum. He earned his DC degree and acupuncture certificate from Texas Chiropractic College and completed Parker University’s orthopedic diplomate program. He currently maintains board-certification as a Diplomate of the International Academy of Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine along with certification by the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners. He has served the TDI/DWC as a Designated Doctor for 30 years. He taught impairment rating of the spine, upper and lower extremities in the certification program through AADEP and then for the DWC as a faculty member and Subject Matter Expert for test development. He has served the NBCE as Chief Examiner for the past 26 years, cumulatively supervising administration of the Part IV practical exam for over 12,000 chiropractic school graduates. He is also a frequent mentor to prospective chiropractic students, serving as a college intern supervisor for kinesiology students from several major universities. He served as track & field team chiropractor for TCU and was chosen by the Pittsburg Steelers to provide chiropractic services during Super Bowl XLV. Mark and his wife Martha have two grown sons including 4th generation chiropractor Dr. Ross Bronson and his older brother Benjamin. Mark and his family enjoy the outdoors together on their Texas Longhorn cattle ranch. Why did you become a TCA member? Starting practice in the 80’s as the third generation DC in my parents’ clinic, I followed the tradition of becoming a TCA member. I just didn’t want to miss out on anything! I felt that TCA membership offered me the opportunity for making friendships, learning from successful chiropractors, and for attending quality educational programs. What is the biggest benefit of being a TCA member? Initially and still, I enjoy seeing my friends, making new friends, and learning from experts. Later, while enjoying my career, the biggest benefit for me became the opportunity to work with people for a common goal. With leadership came personal and professional growth. And for me, volunteering became a way for me to reconcile for blessings received from my career in chiropractic. The TCA became a means for giving back and paying forward. Why did you choose a career in chiropractic? Deciding on a career was difficult for me, and I waited until after graduating from college to commit. I started as a biology major at Austin College in Sherman, Texas before transferring to The University of Texas at Austin where I changed my major, entered the school of business, and graduated with a degree in finance. I was offered jobs by two banks and an oil company in their finance departments, and I strongly considered those options for the attractive salaries. But I had also completed the pre-med curriculum at UT and was about to apply for medical school when, during a visit to my dad’s chiropractic office for an adjustment, I witnessed multiple patients expressing their gratitude for their restored health, and I decided that’s what I wanted to do. Who has been the biggest influence in your chiropractic career journey so far? Without hesitation, I give that credit to the patients. They’re the reason I entered the profession and their needs have always dictated the direction of my career. As a patient-centered doctor, I select continuing education courses which help me to learn more efficient methods for improved outcomes. Our clinic seems to be under continual redesign to meet our patients’ needs. They’re the reason I’m still in practice (besides still having bills to pay!). Why did you decide to serve in a leadership role as President of the Texas Board of Chiropractic Examiners (TBCE)? I’m so glad you asked me this. Before my appointment to the TBCE by Governor Abbott in 2016, I was serving as TCA’s Scientific Affairs Department Coordinator. We had just completed a project involving a collection of data which was used in our lobbying efforts at that time. Then, upon receiving encouragement from several colleagues, praying about it, and discussing it with my wife and family, I applied for a seat on the Board and was appointed. The governor asked me to serve as the Board’s President and I replied, “Yes sir.” Accepting the appointment was a life-changing moment for me and my family. Why did I accept? Well, besides the allure of such a challenge and my aversion to the pain of regret, I wanted to promote quality and safety in the care of all chiropractic patients. As president of the licensing board, I would have the best vantage point to find problem areas and make necessary corrections by improving rules and enforcing standards of practice. Ultimately, elevating the profession is good for the public. Why is it important to have chiropractors serving in key political positions at all levels, including government agencies? We have a duty to our patients and the public to provide quality healthcare and to ensure accessibility. Non-pharmacologic treatment for patients with chronic pain, for example, is grossly underutilized in our healthcare system. A biopsychosocial protocol, which chiropractors embrace, should be on the front lines, not in the back seat. The medical model which, far too often, includes prescription opioid drugs, has proven to be disastrous for many. Public protection includes promoting practices which are safe and effective. Lawmakers in the legislature and policymakers in government agencies like the TBCE make decisions which affect everyone. Serving in these positions takes initiative and sacrifice so that many can enjoy the bounty. What is your top professional accomplishment so far? Any accomplishment that I might single out as the “top” would be shared with a lot of people, not just from my own efforts. I was recently recognized by the NBCE for meritorious service to the profession, and my gratitude for that recognition is still fresh. I admit that I enjoy positions of leadership. It’s a comfortable place for me and allows me to work side-by-side with smart, service-minded people like my fellow Board members and the TBCE staff. As a team, we license and regulate our almost 7,000 Texas chiropractors. Also, over the last 26 years, my amazing team of NBCE Part IV Examiners has evaluated over 10,000 students for clinical competency. Wearing yet another hat, I greatly enjoy working with a team of subject matter experts (SMEs) and the DWC staff each year for developing the Designated Doctor course curriculum and certification test. Of course, prevailing in the Supreme Court of Texas in the case filed against the Board by the TMA was a great accomplishment for everyone involved, and most recently in District Court in the case filed against the Board by the TAAOM. Serving as the Board’s key witness in that trial was quite an honor and personally gratifying. My top professional accomplishment, however, must be having led my family’s chiropractic practice through the final third of its first 100 years (almost). I share this accomplishment with my grandparents, my parents, my wife, our son, and roughly a million patients. What’s something about you (a fun fact) that people don’t know? I was a football player and track sprinter as a youth, but that was a long time ago. Now, I enjoy projects at home and on the ranch. I’m a do-it-yourselfer with help from family and friends. Certainly, I know my limitations and call on professionals where my skills are lacking, but I like to build small structures, fix the irrigation system and the tractors, power wash, dig post holes, repair barbed wire fence, and raise longhorn cattle. If you come for a visit, wear boots and bring your work gloves! Would you trade places with someone for a day and, if so, who would it be? Yes, it would be fascinating to trade places with my beautiful wife for a day to find out, first-hand, what it’s like to live with a grumpy old man. Good thing it would be only for a day!