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Chris Parker,

NMM/OMM Pre-Doctoral Teaching Fellow

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific - Northwest

E-Mail: cwparker@westernu.edu

Phone: n/a


Bachelor of Science degree, Walla Walla University, 2011. Majored in biology with a minor in chemistry and business.

Master of Science degree, Walla Walla University, 2014.

Professional Experience

After finishing my undergraduate degree, I entered a graduate program with a strong focus on both research and teaching. I worked as the anatomy and physiology laboratory coordinator and as a teacher’s assistant for upper division science classes. For my Master’s thesis I worked in the laboratory of Dr. James Nestler, Walla Walla University Department of Biology, with assistance from Dr. Opp, University of Washington Department of Anesthesiology and Pain Medicine, investigating the process of visceral degeneration observed during seasonal dormancy in the sea cucumber Parastichopus californicus.

Teaching Experience

I have a passion for sharing my skills and knowledge with others in the hope that they will find a greater fulfillment in their own lives. This philosophy is at the core of who I am and why I chose a career as a physician. I first realized how much I loved helping others excel and be able to reach their goals while teaching wakeboarding and mountain biking at summer camp. Since then I have taken every opportunity to develop and hone my abilities as a mentor and teacher. Some of my experiences include working as a teacher’s assistant for anatomy and physiology, cell biology, genetics, and developmental biology classes. Recently, I had the privilege of working as an OMM TA/tutor, as well as teaching employment classes at Albany Helping Hands Homeless Shelter and nutrition classes at the Lebanon Public Library.

Research Interest

I am interested in findings creative ways to use ultrasound in the COMP-Northwest OMM curriculum and to evaluate its impact on the development of a medical student’s palpatory skills. I am currently working with Dr. Edward Goering to determine if both ultrasound and palpation can reliably identify asymmetries of the sacrum.

Research Grant

Platform presentation: Parker, C., Herner, M., Guenther, E., Mata, J., Muscato, L. (2015). “A pilot study of chronic homelessness comparing long-term dorm residents and short-term warming center guests in rural Oregon.” OPSO Winter CME Conference 2015; Sunriver Resort, Bend, OR.

Contributed to the following poster presentation: Yamagata, H., Will, N., Parker, C., Lindsey, D. (2011). "The role of a ubiquitin processing protease in the growth-to-development transition of Dictyostelium development." ASBMB Annual Meeting 2011; Walter E. Washington Convention Center, Washington, DC.

Master’s thesis project: Parker, C. (2014). “Histological morphology and cell turnover during seasonal atrophy and regeneration in the sea cucumber Parastichopus californicus.” Walla Walla University.


Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities, Western University of Health Sciences

DO Student of the Month, COMP-Northwest, 2015

Translating Osteopathic Understanding into Community Health (TOUCH) Gold Recognition for 100+ hours of community service, Council of Osteopathic Student Government Presidents, 2015

Dean’s List, COMP-Northwest, 2013-2015


Gold Humanism Honors Society, COMP-Northwest, 2016 - present

Sigma Sigma Phi National Osteopathic Honors and Service Society Membership, COMP-Northwest Chapter, 2014 - present

Sigma Xi Scientific Research Society Associate Membership, Whitman College – Walla Walla University Chapter, 2012 - present


Parker, C., & Blumer, J. Mindfulness-based stress reduction improves outcomes in adults with chronic low back pain. The Journal of the American Osteopathic Association. 2016, Jul; 116(7): 485-486. Cited in PubMed; PMID: 27367954.

Herner, M., Parker, C., McClellan, N., Muscato, L., & Guenther, E. Unmet needs of homeless at a shelter in an area undergoing urbanization. Journal of Rural and Community Development. 2016, November; Pub Status: Submitted.


Although I was born in California, I have called the Pacific Northwest home for most of my life. During my teenage years, I had the privilege of working summers at a youth camp in North Idaho where nature was used to encourage physical activity and spiritual growth. This experience instilled in me a love for outdoor activities and a great appreciation for the hours of enjoyment and balance they have provided for my life. I am deeply grateful for the opportunity to continue serving the Pacific Northwest.

Over the past few years, I have developed a profound appreciation for a holistic approach to medicine. This approach focuses on all areas of a patient's life and, when appropriate, uses the body's innate healing abilities before using treatments that may further disrupt the body's natural state. My passion for osteopathic manipulative treatment has paralleled this appreciation as I continue to discover new ways manipulative treatments can facilitate healing. I am very excited to continue developing my manipulative skills and humbled to have the opportunity to share what I have learned.

After finishing my medical education, I plan to serve rural communities in the Pacific Northwest as either an emergency medicine or primary care physician. When I am not studying, I enjoy any activity that will get me outdoors. A few of my favorite activities include wakeboarding, backpacking, jogging, and traveling.