I hope everyone had an amazing Thanksgiving!!!! I also want to
take a moment to wish a Happy Chanukah to my friends that celebrate
and also a Happy Holiday season!
This is my last blog of this year, and of this trimester. I wanted
to thank all of you for reading over the year and spending your
time with me.
I'm going to forego the tips and tricks for coping with finals --
we've been there, done that. I'm going to skip the recipes and
healthy living tips. Instead, I'm going to share a story.
This is the time of year when I get the most nostalgic. I have a
million wonderful memories of the holiday season. It's always been
my favorite time of year. As a kid, I would spend hours untangling
Christmas lights, decorating the house, and making random crafts
and cookies. I don't even remember how old I was when all of that
Christmas was always a really special time for my dad and I. We're
both still a lot like little kids, even now. My dad worked -- a
LOT. He worked both as an RN and a CRNA almost my entire childhood,
so he didn't have a lot of free time. We would often work in the
garden, run random errands, or do special projects on Saturday
mornings -- because that was one of the few times he didn't have to
work. Those Saturday morning memories have always been very special
I must have been maybe 8 or 10 years old the first time I remember
us going to get the tree. Since I grew up in Central Illinois, it
was often cold and snowy by the beginning of December. Like
clockwork, the decorating started the first weekend of the month --
before that was too soon, after was too late. The boxes were pulled
out of storage, having lain in wait the whole year for just this
event. I'd dump garland and lights all over the living room floor
and then carefully unpack each ornament. Each one always had a
story -- whether it was hand made or store bought.
(Image Source: stamp4fun.typepad.com)
It always seemed like the coldest day of the year when we would
go search for our tree. My dad and I would bundle up in whatever
big poufy coats we had, 4 pairs of socks, boots, and usually
overalls (at least for him). Sometimes we'd let the dog (Tubbs, the
wonder mutt) ride in the back of the pickup truck. I really don't
know how he didn't freeze -- it seemed so cold. I don't remember
what we'd talk about on the drive, but it must have been something
like piano recitals or Christmas programs at school.
We drove to a Christmas tree farm out in the middle of nowhere (I
think it was Meredosia, maybe Beardstown), pulling back into a
field dotted with trees and cactus. Tucked back down a long
driveway were a couple of barns, an old farmhouse like ours, and a
bunch of tractors. We'd check in with the owner and he'd send us on
our quest. We drove up and down the sandy roads (Christmas trees
grow best in the sand -- or so he'd tell me), looking for the
Sometimes we remembered the saw, and sometimes we didn't. One year
I remember cactus spines stuck in my socks, running nose, standing
opposite my dad around a HUGE Christmas tree trying to convince
ourselves that it wasn't too big. (It was -- but we got it anyway.
It left a sap mark on the ceiling that stayed there for about 5
years. It also fell over, and we ended up with a 3-foot tall
artificial tree at some point in the season. Incidentally -- it was
beautiful while it lasted). We'd crawl under the tree, make our
cut, and load it into the back of the pickup truck. The heat never
seemed to work all that well on those days, but it didn't matter.
We were triumphant.
The rest of the day was always a blur. There was usually a tree in
a bucket of water, my brother and my dad carrying it into the house
while I was on "needle patrol," and my mom was taking pictures of
us all with her camera. By the end of the day it would all be done.
I want to wish you all great skill and fortune on your final
exams, safe travels, and wonderful memories this holiday
I can't believe this week is Thanksgiving. Happy Thanksgiving
everybody! A few of my classmates are heading out of town, up
North, over the river and through the woods, but most of us are
staying somewhat local. Those that are going up North are getting
ready to be bundled up. I understand there are record lows --
especially up in the Northeast. We're actually expecting a brisk
temperature of 66ºF on Thanksgiving. Everyone will have their
parkas and snowboots on.
Friday night was Turkey Bowl. If you've never heard of the
infamous NUHS Turkey Bowl, here's where you'll become indoctrinated
in this time-honored tradition. Students, alumni, faculty members,
and significant others launch themselves onto the football field to
non-violently duke it out to compete for (starting this year) the
Stiefel Cup [named for the president of NUHS and former dean of the
College of Professional Studies - Florida].
This year, the victors were from Tri 1 and Tri 6 (including our
own Antoinette Stewart and Lauren Domanski) and our MVPs were Dr.
Chris Arick and Danielle Spratt. It's my understanding that no
severe injuries were met and no one went to the hospital -- so it
was a good game.
We had a HUGE turnout of people! A lot of the faculty came out
-- including some professors that I haven't seen in a really long
time. I saw new students that I'd never seen before. I met spouses
and kids that I didn't know existed. It was just a really great
"family" environment. There was really amazing food provided and
the people that weren't playing just hung out. It was really cool
and made me wish that I'd gone last year. The funniest thing was to
see our professors and Assistant Dean (Dr. Daniel Strauss) don
shorts and T-shirts and blend in with all of the "kids." We really
couldn't tell the difference between them.
So, this is the last week before finals start. Next week is
practical week and the following week has all the written exams.
I'm not looking forward to either -- but I'll be really glad to
move on. I've already taken the Marketing final, the final
practical for Rehab, and the Phlebotomy written final is this week.
I'm checking off boxes and crossing things off my list (and trying
not to go crazy).
Well, that's it from me. I hope everyone has an amazing holiday
-- that you have just as much dinner as you want, just enough
family dysfunction to seem OK, and just enough tryptophan to have a
really good nap. And of course, in true medical student style --
dissect the turkey -- don't carve it.
The marketing presentation is over. I'm really glad. I was
sweating it big-time. I put a lot of work into it -- the design and
layout of the logo, the tagline, all the wording for the sample
brochure -- all of it. Even though it made last week's schedule
pretty intense with all of the other activities, now it's done and
I can watch my classmates do theirs (and enjoy them), and also
focus on other things.
So the plan for my future practice is to
be both multi-disciplinary and integrated -- where the
practitioners not only work together, but complement each other in
abilities to provide a larger scope of practice. The basic premise
is that in order to take care of the whole person, we have to
approach the whole person. So we'll have everything integrated into
the practice from seminars, movement classes, and functional
medicine to counseling, acupuncture, and herbal medicine. My idea
is to have five practitioners to start with: Chiropractic,
Naturopathic, Acupuncture, Massage, and Behavioral Medicine. I'd
like to also have an herbal compounding pharmacy on site -- in
addition to a number of nutraceuticals available.
I've also entertained some ways to expand down the road. The
addition of hyperbarics, a medicinal and natural foods café, and
inpatient care seem more than logical. I realize that they're big
and potentially lofty ambitions, BUT I think with the right team of
practitioners, we can definitely do it. Anybody want to help?
This week I have a few things due: notes from my head-to-toe
practical; my community resources listing and BETS research (I'm
working on Alzheimer's and choline -- or hoping to); and on Friday
I have my functional rehab practical. I'm so glad I'm going early
with that one as well. That REALLY frees up my week 14. There's
nothing like having a little bit of extra time to study for things
The Master's is going well. This last week it was tough to get
everything done because of the exams, presentation, and practical.
I was scrambling to get it all done by midnight on Sunday (all of
my Master's work is due by midnight Sunday). As it was, I was
falling asleep finishing the last assignment. It could have gone
better, but that's what happens when you're falling asleep
answering questions. The topics for last week were mostly gut
immunity -- which I find fascinating. I'd really like to figure out
all of the possible permutations of gut disruption -- beyond gluten
and casein, microbes, etc. Did you know that 70% of the immune
system is located in the gut? Even inhalants are partially mediated
in the gut. If you're really interested in learning more about this
-- try the Textbook for Functional Medicine -- chapter 28. While
some of the physiology is a little tedious, putting the pieces
together is pretty fascinating.
Well, that's all from me. I've registered for next tri -- except
for electives. I'm trying to decide whether to take acupuncture or
not. The jury is still out.
Have a great week everybody. Good luck with studying, projects,
and whatever else is going on. This Friday we have the Turkey Bowl.
How was your week last week? Has everybody recovered from
Halloween? Now we're in the home stretch. It's the start of Week 11
-- time to start thinking about finals and projects and
All I can think about right now is the MARKETING PROJECT! I know
I've mentioned it before -- but to reiterate... We're tasked with
developing a business plan including start-up costs, developing a
marketing calendar, business cards, logo, brochures, website, etc.
It's a LOT of work (and worth a lot of the class). In addition to
all of that, we have to do research on the location where we're
hoping to practice, what type of demographics are there, and
whether we think the area can support our type of
As of right this second, I'm looking at Portland, Oregon. I've
been drawn to the Pacific Northwest for quite a while. I miss the
seasons (but not so much the cold), and everything I've heard about
Portland and surrounding areas, is absolutely amazing. There are
other reasons, of course. One of the biggest ones is the liberal
scope of practice allowed in Oregon -- including obstetrics and
minor surgery (with additional certification of course). The
broader the scope for me -- the better; it's how I intend to
So, in my research adventures, I've found things like: how many
chiropractors are in the area, what the per capita income is, what
the average salary for chiropractors is in the area/state; and what
types of practices are in the area. What I've noticed is that there
seem to be two types of DCs in the area: single practices with
maybe some physical or massage therapy, and single or group
practices focusing on sports medicine. There are a couple of
multi-disciplinary practices, but not many. There are a lot of
sports medicine chiropractic physicians. This is great for me,
because I have no interest in working with sports medicine. And for
those of you that might be thinking about relocating to the
Portland area -- it looks like there's some pretty stiff
I've had to spend a fair amount of time thinking about what all
my practice will offer, what I'm willing to take on as far as
scope, and how many other practitioners I'd like to work with me.
This has the potential to become HUGE. I have always intended to
have a multi-disciplinary practice. The more research I do, the
more practitioners that I want to bring in -- not just
Chiropractic, but Naturopathic, Traditional Chinese Medicine and
Acupuncture, Massage Therapy, and Behavioral Medicine.
At the outset, I'm feeling like we need about 8-10 practitioners
to create the best, most effective type of practice. As wonderful
as these ideas are, the logistics of setting something like this
up, are daunting/enormous. And honestly, this is the kind of thing
that I absolutely hate. You can ask any of my classmates or
professors for my response when we talk about money and billing and
other business management type stuff. The first thing I say is
"Can't I hire someone for that?" They always cringe, tell me that I
need to know it, and keep going.
I feel fairly safe in saying, that this project will probably be
the extent (for the most part) of my forays into business
management. I am learning a ton, but I also acknowledge that my
talents lie elsewhere. First, I'll draw up the budget for equipment
like massage and flexion-distraction tables, band aids, acupuncture
needles, alcohol wipes, cotton balls, phlebotomy equipment, basic
physical therapy equipment, herbs and supplements, office
equipment, waiting room chairs, and silk plants. Then, I'll factor
in things like electricity and Internet service. Yes, I'm in WAY
over my head. I never thought I'd be doing something like this --
just practicing medicine. It takes a lot more than I'd ever
Maybe I should start looking for that business manager
Have an AMAZING week, everybody. I'll let you know how it
It's November! What? Did the time change work for you? I ended
up staying up even later.
This week is the calm before the next storm. We have one more,
big round of exams and projects due next week--including the
Marketing project. This is the culmination of all of my
mind-ramblings of the last couple of months, and the chance to pull
some pie-in-the-sky ideas into my project.
Last week we had a speaker in Marketing that had been on the
show "Shark Tank." Unfortunately, I took pictures for everyone else
and not myself. He spoke about what it was like to start up a
business, some of the struggles associated with it, and some of his
experiences since his business started. I'll go ahead and give a
shout out to him (and his brothers) who own Nardo's Naturals. They
make natural skin care products and they're centered here in St.
The geek botanical person in me was intrigued by some of the
ingredients they use in their products--lots of essential oils and
coconut oil. You absolutely cannot lose with those. And of course
it just reminded me how much I want to include natural products in
my future clinic--which brings me back to the Marketing
When the speaker last week asked us what we wanted our future
practice to be like, I opened my mouth and said something like: "I
want a multi-disciplinary practice with Functional Medicine,
Chiropractic, Naturopathic, Acupuncture, Physical and Massage
Therapy, Well-being classes, and an Herbal and Compounding
Pharmacy." I think his eyes nearly fell out of his head. Big
ambitions, I suppose. I'm not sure what will be more difficult,
setting up the practice, or finding the right people to work with
me. Either way, these plans will be coming together in paper,
brochure, website, and business card form--in the next 10 days.
Boy, I sure have my work cut out for me. I don't have anything
finalized, except the ideas, which have been floating around in my
head for quite a while. When I get it all done, I'll share it with
you guys. I have no idea where all it will go.
I hope everybody had a Happy and Safe Halloween. On Wednesday of
last week, MoPal (Motion Palpation) hosted a Halloween potluck. We
had some great costumes. My tri's very own Lexxi (dressed as Ms.
Pacman) and Dave (dressed as Walter White from "Breaking Bad")
stole the show and won best costumes. This is where the pictures
for this week hail from. It was nice to see so many people get
together and be festive.
I, for one, am glad that most of the candy is gone. No more
temptation. I have a small handful left. I'll feed it to the kids
and make them run around the neighborhood about 80 times--and then
brush their teeth. We have a few weeks to behave ourselves before
Thanksgiving--which really should be renamed to something that
involves "gluttonous intake of food and falling asleep on the
couch." It looks, though, like we might actually have a Fall/Winter
here this year. The temperature has been erratic and sometimes cold
and sometimes hot--but it's more acting like it's trying on the
cold for size. Layer. That's my recommendation. Today I'm wearing
flip-flops and a sweater. Go figure. That's Florida.
Have an amazing week everyone. May your feet be warm, and your
sleep be plentiful. Remember to take a little bit of time out for
yourself this week. It's important.
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
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