Boy did last week fly by! I finished up my time at the VA,
participated in the Loop the Lake Doggie Bones 5k, and wrote 3
papers (among other things). Actually, this whole trimester has
flown by. I can't believe I'll only be writing with you all for a
few more weeks.
The last month at the VA has been CRAZY! Our volume of patients
was pretty high. In my last week, we saw 11 patients in just a few
hours. I'm grateful for the experience there. I was definitely
exposed to things that I likely would have never seen. I had the
chance to use a multi-disciplinary EMR system that absolutely blew
my mind. Imagine putting 20+ specialties into one system, having
access to ALL films, bloodwork, lab reports, physician notes, and
pharmaceuticals in one record. It was awesome! It allowed me to go
through more records in a few minutes, than I could have in hours
I had the chance to work with some pretty complex problems. Some
of the patients had severe systemic metabolic problems. It was
interesting (and sad) to see the "end result" of what happens when
health isn't maintained. There were some good reminders for me
there -- and definitely opportunities. Chiropractic and Functional
Medicine are most definitely needed within that system. There's so
much good we can do!
On Saturday, I joined Dr. Fava and Dr. Gambina at the Loop the
Lake Doggie Bones 5k -- which was actually a cycling and running
event, a walk, and a dog walk all in one day. We must have had 500
athletes there in one capacity or another (and it seemed like even
more dogs). Seeing all the super high tech bikes made me want to
ride again -- although I can't tell you when was the last time I
rode. Dr. Fava and Dr. Gambina are extremely talented sports
chiropractors, and I was able to observe some intense Graston work,
as well as see some different stretching techniques. It was a good
event. There weren't any crashes or major injuries, but we did have
a few cramps and pulled muscles.
There's a triathlon this weekend that I'm hoping to attend at
the same location. Several of the interns are going. We should be
seeing quite a few patients. I can't wait! I'm finishing up the
master's program at UWS. I have only 9 days left until the last of
the final exams are finished. I honestly can't believe it's over.
It's really gone so unbelievably fast. Last week I wrote 2 position
papers and a research paper on Vitamin D and Metabolic Syndrome. I
must have read 25 articles, and found teasers for at least a dozen
more on peripheral topics like vitamin D's influence on autoimmune
disorders (which will definitely be a topic of mine for the
future). All of the papers were well received - as far as I know. I
don't think that I have any more to write -- which also makes me a
little sad. It looks like I'll have to publish in the future, just
to get my writing "fix."
We have less than 6 weeks left in the trimester. It'll go by
even faster. Everyone is making plans for graduation -- to travel
to Lombard and walk the stage. It all seems so surreal, but it's
really, finally happening.
See you all next week!!!!
Summer is in full swing here (not that it hasn't been for
several months). The temperatures are consistently over 90; the
daily Florida rainstorms are happening; and we're expecting our
first Tropical Storm/Hurricane tomorrow. By the way, I'm not even
White Coat Ceremony
I had the great joy of being a part of the White Coat Ceremony
for the 1st Trimester students. It's such a different experience to
be on the opposite side of the stage. As an 8th trimester student,
I'm looking at this from the other side of Basic Sciences, Phase 2
Clinical Sciences, and the first round of boards. I know that I
didn't have any idea what was in store for me when I was on that
stage. I was nervous, excited, and scared. I didn't know how hard
of a road it was going to be, how much I would learn, and what
challenges I would face. If I could give one piece of advice to
incoming students and students in the early tris, it would be this:
be dedicated; be tenacious; but be kind to yourself. This is a
long, hard road--but all the stress, work, and pain is worth
Educating the Uneducated
I want to revisit a topic that I've touched on before:
education about the profession. Misconceptions
about chiropractic, our education, and what we do run rampant in
society. Just yesterday, I received a graphic on Facebook from a
very popular site that listed us as "Quacks." They've published
similar graphics/articles before. I'm not going to name them,
because I don't want to endorse; that's not the point here. There
is still the misconception out there, that we're all trying to
alter "the force," and that by believing the body has the ability
to heal itself, we're a bunch of lunatics. A large portion of the
public believes that we only associate well-being with the spine,
and that we only treat the spine. They're uneducated about how
extensive our training in physiology, microbiology, pathology,
pharmacology, biochemistry, and nutrition (to name a few) actually
is. They don't know that many of us are evidence-based,
research-oriented, internal medicine-focused students and
This is a call to arms, my friends and colleagues. We have to
change this; right now. Chances are that if your friends and family
have kept touch with you during your educational escapades, that
they're familiar with what you're doing, and probably support you.
For those reading the blog that aren't students (or prospective
students), chances are you're reading this blog because you support
the institution or someone involved in it. So I realize, by saying
all of this, that I'm preaching to the choir. But what about
everybody else? What about the people we meet on the street? What
about our Facebook friends that live far and wide? What about all
of the misconceptions floating around about who we are and what we
Chiropractic Association lobbies in Washington for chiropractic
legislation, but we don't have a cohesive organization that handles
education of the public. We are it. We are the educators.
I'm going to challenge each and every one of you, to go out
there and share what you do, what your training is, how our
education is different, and how we are making a difference in
health and well-being. For those that are supporters of the field,
I thank you for that. I'm going to challenge you as well, to share
your knowledge and experience of the field of chiropractic with
those around you. Let them know how we're making a difference.
Have a great week everybody, and a safe and happy 4th of
Did everybody enjoy the long weekend? Wow! What a weekend?!?
First, I need to say thank all the powers of the Universe for
days off. I've been sneezing my fool head off ever since, but I
spent most of the day cleaning. Having a clean house is Zen. I can
now sit in the middle of my living room in the lotus position
holding my fingers together. I won't (because I don't have time),
but the important thing is -- I CAN.
I spent some time out in the world this weekend, when I wasn't
cleaning or studying. We get so sheltered, living in academia, that
we forget how different it is. I came across a lot of stigma about
chiropractic. Education helps fix that. Sometimes people just have
to be exposed to what we're doing, what we're learning and
practicing, and the basis for our practices in order to step beyond
the conditioning they've received. Some won't. And that's OK. We'll
love them anyway.
I received a big reminder about how difficult it is to practice
"lifestyle medicine." We spend a lot of our time talking about
changes that have to be made to the diet or lifestyle. I honestly
don't know how many times a week that I tell someone something
like, "Well, that could be fixed with removing XYZ from the diet."
Here's the thing though: People don't want to remove XYZ from their
diet. We're all familiar with people who continue to eat fast food
or candy or soda and their effects on the body. We're also familiar
with how many of those people end up injecting insulin or taking
metformin. People do not respond well to change. The prevailing
opinion is that it's easier to either accept the condition they
have (and the symptom management) rather than to prevent or cure
the issue by making change.
I'm honestly not sure where this mentality comes from. Perhaps
it's the American adage that a pill fixes everything. I have a hard
time believing that people are that *bad word alert* lazy (sorry).
For some that I've talked to, they can't believe that making a
change to their diet or activity levels will make them feel better,
or that they've tried everything and nothing has worked. After all,
they're dealing with complex health issues like autoimmune
disorders, diabetes, and heart disease. Some will listen to reason
and participate in education and others won't. Age doesn't seem to
have a bearing on this -- people of all ages fall into this
grouping. Perhaps I'd be the best physician ever, if I could figure
out what would get through to people that have this block. But for
right now, I'm struggling with the acceptance (which really sounds
like defeat) that people have of their dysfunctions, and the lack
of willingness to do anything about it. On compliance with lifestyle recommendations --
what do you think?
Since stress management is a big part of lifestyle, here is a
sunset picture I took on Monday. Remember. Zen.
As a self-reported "lifestyle change queen", I'm all too ready
to make changes in my own life with the goal of feeling better. Dr
S. tells us, as students, that we need to try things in order to be
able to recommend them to our patients (speaking of dietary
changes). Given that one of my own issues is Celiac disease, a
change in lifestyle was the ONLY option for becoming healthy. I
can't even begin to express how drastically my life changed in
response to that.
Some changes are harder to make. Cutting down my rice
consumption has been one of them. I'm down to only 2-3 servings per
week at this point. But others are so much easier. For me, it comes
down to the information, and hope. How will I feel once this change
has been made? What are the possibilities? What information can I
find that supports this decision?
Is there a change that you need to make? What's stopping you?
What if you felt a million times better, increased the quality and
quantity of your life, and it only took a short period of
Maybe these are the questions we should be asking our (future)
Have an amazing week, everyone.
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
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