Ian D. Coulter

Ian D. Coulter
Senior Health Policy Researcher
Off Site Office


Ph.D. in sociology, London School of Economics and Political Science; M.A. in sociology, University of Canterbury; B.A. in sociology, University of Canterbury; Diploma in educational mangement, Harvard; Certificate in heath policy, RAND/UCLA

Media Resources

This researcher is available for interviews.

To arrange an interview, contact the RAND Office of Media Relations at (310) 451-6913, or email media@rand.org.

More Experts


Ian Coulter is codirector of the RAND Research Across Complementary and Integrative Health Institutions (REACH) Center, 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/Samueli Chair in Integrative Medicine and a gift to establish the RAND Center for Collaborative Research in Complementary and Integrative Health.

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.

Concurrent Non-RAND Positions

Professor Emeritus , UCLA School of Dentistry; Faculty, Pardee RAND Graduate School; Research Professor, Southern California University of Health Sciences; Associate Graduate Faculty Ontario Tech Health Sciences; Adjunct Professor Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College; Visiting Professor Southern California University of Health Sciences

Previous Positions

Professor, Dept Sociology, Laurentian Univerity, Sudbury, Canada; Research Associate, Faculty of Medicine Community Health, University of Toronto; Assistant Vice Provost Health Sciences, Univesity of Toronto; President, Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College; Director, University of California, Los Angeles/Drew University Center for Minority Oral Health; Director, Education Abroad Program, University of California (Australia); Vice President , Integrative Medicine and Clinical Research, Samueli Institute; Professor School of Dentistry, UCLA

Recent Projects

  • Assessment Tools for Contextual Factors in Interactions in Complementary and Alternative Medicine
  • Center of Excellenece for Studying the Appropriateness of CAM
  • Evaluation of the Creation, Implementation, Evaluation of Health Policy in the DoD, Health Affairs
  • Comparative Effectiveness Trials of Chiropractic Care in the Military
  • Evaluation of Hospital Based Integrative Medicine

Selected Publications

Coulter ID, "Comparative Effectiveness Research: Does the Emperor Have Clothes?" Alternative Therapies Health Med, 17(2), 2011

Coulter ID, Khorsan R, Crawford C, Hsiao AF, "Integrative Health Care Under Review: An Emerging Field.," J Manipulative Physiol Ther, 33(9), 2010

Coulter ID, Lester P, Yarvis J, "Social Fitness," Military Medicine, 175(8), 2010

Coulter ID, Hilton L, Ryan G, Ellison M, Rhodes H., "Trials and Tribulations on the Road to Implementing Intergrative Medicine in a Hospital Setting," Health Sociology Review, 17(4), 2008

Coulter, I.D., Crawford, C., Hurwitz, E.L., Vernon, H., Khorsan, R., Booth, M.S. and Herman, P.M, "Manipulation and mobilization for treating chronic low back pain: A systematic review and meta-analysis. ," The Spine Journal, 18(5), 2018

Coulter ID, Herman PM, Ryan GW, Hilton LG, Hays RD, "Determining Appropriate Care in the Era of Patient-Centered Care and Rising Health Care Costs.," Journal of Health Services Research & Policy, 24(3), 2018

Coulter ID, Crawford C, Vernon H, Hurwitz EL, Khorsan R, Suttorp Booth M, Herman PM., "Manipulation and mobilization for treating chronic non-specific neck pain: a systematic review and meta-analysis for an appropriateness panel," Pain Physician , 22(2), 2019

Ian Douglass Coulter, Gery Wayne Ryan, Lisa Sachiko Kraus, Lea Xenakis, Lara Green Hilton, "A method for deconstructing the health encounter in CAM: The social context. ," Journal of Complementary Medicine Research, 10(2), 2019

Honors & Awards

  • Honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (D Hum),, Los Angeles College of Chiropractic
  • Erskine Fellow 2011 and 2019, Health Sciences Center, University of Canterbury, New Zealand
  • Award Humanitarian of the Year 2018, Americam Chiropractic Association