Dr. Sean Rardin is a family practice physician who earned his medical degree from Loyola University. Dr. Rardin joined National University's on-campus clinic in Fall 2010. Read on for our interview with Dr. Rardin on his experience at NUHS.
Q.) How did you get into medicine?
A.) I grew up in the suburban Chicago area, spending some time in suburban Portland as well. My mom's great uncle was a doctor and was well thought of in the family. My family always respected the medical profession, so when I discovered in high school that I really liked science and enjoyed interacting with people, medicine was a natural choice.
Q.) Tell us as about your educational background.
A.) I earned my undergraduate degree at Benedictine University, not far from National University, and studied medicine at Loyola University in Chicago. From there I did my residency in family medicine through Rush.
Q.) Did you have any exposure to chiropractic medicine during those years?
A.) I had chiropractic treatment for the first time after a college football injury while I was at Benedictine. By the time I was in medical school, I had been under chiropractic care for a couple years. Also, my brother had decided to go to chiropractic school at Logan. So while I was in medical school, he was in chiropractic school! As my medical career developed, I had more and more interest in chiropractic medicine, both as a patient and a physician.
Q.) Did you run into any anti-chiropractic sentiment in medical school?
A.) Yes. However, a large number of my classmates in medical school had received adjustments and chiropractic care and were friendly to chiropractic medicine. Perhaps my generation is the first one where that antagonism is harder to find. Most of the doctors I know don't feel threatened by chiropractic medicine.
Q.) What do you do at the National University clinic?
A.) I actually have a faculty practice located at the NUHS Whole Health Center in Lombard, where I accept current and new patients. At NUHS, I'm joined by DC or ND interns when I see patients. The interns at NUHS are scheduled in rotation to take turns working on my shift. Every day I have a different intern working with me.
I have a number of patients that came over from my outside practice and are using the services of the clinic here. The benefit for my patients is that they get not only my expertise, but also chiropractic or naturopathic diagnostic and therapeutic expertise that I don't have. I think it's been a benefit to my patients.
Q.) Do you still have a private practice as well?
A.) Yes. Private practice has always been part time for me. I've always done another job on the side. For example, I've worked in urgent care, emergency medicine and as a hospitalist. Right now, I've been in private practice about five years here in the western suburbs of Chicago and recently opened a new practice in Naperville.
Q.) What led you to this position at the NUHS clinic?
A.) Another doctor, who is a friend of mine, told me National University was looking for a medical doc to work on campus and be a part of the education program here. She gave me encouraging information about the program, so I came and spoke to Dr. James Winterstein, the president, and Dr. David Parish, dean of clinics, and the entire administration about coming to help with this new project they had in mind.
Q.) What's your opinion on the level of training your DC and ND interns have?
been impressed with their physical exam skills and the diagnostic
assessment and treatment plans that the interns develop for the
patients. I have found that in some things they are more advanced
than what I see out of allopathic medical students that I work
with, and in other areas they're not as advanced.
Students here are better trained in physical exams. DC and ND students are taught to be acutely aware of abnormalities in the physical presentation, whereas in medicine we rely too heavily on labs and radiographs to develop our treatment guidelines. Yet in that regard, I've already been impressed with a couple of the DACBRs who made diagnoses on radiographs. The skill level is high here with the DACBR radiologists.
Q.) How have you enjoyed your first few months at National?
A.) I'm surprised at how well I've been received here. It
has been a fantastic experience. I didn't expect to be greeted with
so much enthusiasm amongst the faculty, staff and students.
What I like most is that we have all these different healing traditions under one roof, and that we can provide an unusual type and number of solutions to the problems our patients present with. The clinicians here often refer patients to me, and vice versa. I think the medicine of the future should involve both more collaboration between different healing traditions and also a broader education for health care providers.