What is the thing in life that you want the absolute most? How
many times do we ask ourselves this? I figured it was time for
another philosophical exploration here on the blog.
Whether you're still in the planning stages, full on into your
training experience or career, or a supporter of someone who is
training for a career in medicine, motivation and goals will always
be a big part of the training experience. It's so easy to get
disillusioned by what it is that we're doing. It feels so endless.
I can't say how many times I've had friends, family, or significant
others comment to me that I work too hard and have no time for
rest, relaxation, or even them. Sometimes it's a lonely and
miserable existence to be in medical school. And now that we're all
depressed... Motivation is so important--especially now as my
countdown is in full swing and I'm starting to think about what
comes AFTER school.
I have to give a shout-out to my classmate Julia, who honestly
keeps me sane (or less borderline insane) a lot of the time. This
weekend we're planning a "vision board" exercise to plan for what
comes after we're finished with school. If you're not familiar with
the concept of vision boarding, it's pretty simple, and a lot like
arts and crafts in kindergarten--but with purpose.
Get a cheap piece of poster board, some old magazines, some glue
sticks or tape, and some scissors. If it inspires you, grab a
bottle of your favorite beverage and a clear spot on the floor and
spend some time thinking and planning about what you want--either
short term, long term, or just what you want out of Life. There are
no absolutes. I've seen people with vision boards of houses,
careers, decorating ideas, healthy living, etc.
I'm looking forward to this exercise. It's been about five years
since I've done one of these. Maybe some of my goals were a little
bit different; maybe some were the same. Nothing has to be set in
stone. As we grow, our goals and desires change. I know one thing
that will definitely be right in the middle of that vision board. I
want to be happy.
Happiness means something different to everyone. Maybe for you
it means a house and a family, a thriving practice, a fancy car, a
big garden. For me, it means fulfillment--and laughter. I guess I
see a lot of the other things as extraneous. They might be nice,
but it's not something that I need to live. But being happy--that's
like breathing. When it feels like the world is crashing in, when
there are too many tests and I'm being pulled a million important
directions, when all I want to do (but can't) is not what I'm
supposed to be doing, or when there's some kind of crisis (for me
or someone I care about), I have to have a sense of humor. I have
to be able to laugh, because I'd much rather laugh, than cry.
This week, like many other weeks, we have exams and projects to
work on. I'm coming to the end of the quarter for the master's
program at UWS and through midterms here at NUHS. Distractions
abound. Fatigue sets in. And thankfully, I have some pretty awesome
people (thank you Julia, Grey and Forest, and many others) to
remind me to find my motivation, keep my sense of humor, and keep
For those of you needing a "feel good" moment, for those
starting to feel that fatigue set in, for those that are maybe
feeling a little bit lonely in their journey--this video is for
you. I hope it lifts you up and gives you a great big smile this
week, like it did me.
Have a great week everybody!!!! Laugh. Be Happy.
Boy, do I have a BIG case of Senioritis! We've talked about
motivation before, about how to stay motivated, studying for
midterms, etc. But this is a whole new level of short-timer's
syndrome. Surely you all know what I mean. It's -- day before
vacation, Friday afternoon, last week of school -- syndrome. The
unfortunate thing is, I don't think I'm classified as a senior
Last week, Forest (age 14) and I were talking about school. It
seems that we're both lacking in motivation (except I seem to hide
it a little bit better). During this conversation he said to me,
"Mom, I've had senioritis since the 5th grade" -- to which I
laughed. He's in 9th grade now. But I know exactly what he means.
Being in 7th Tri provides just a bit of a tease regarding being
done (writing business plans, talking about practices, etc.). The
fact that we keep talking about clinic is a pretty big deal. We've
already started talking about schedules. It's coming quick. I can't
wait. As far as Forest and his senioritis, he's got a good bit
longer to go than I do. It'll probably be a bit more of a struggle
for him than for me. Until then, we'll have to keep tabs on our
goofing off and not doing schoolwork.
One thing that people don't really talk about outside of school
(at least it seems that way) is variation. When you get to cadaver
lab, you'll see how vastly different things are from body to body.
Sometimes an artery is on the medial side of the muscle --
sometimes the lateral. Maybe there's a split in the vein and maybe
there isn't. I happen to know that none of my nerves in my head and
face are in the "right" spot. I have a condition known as a Chiari
malformation. I tell everyone that my brain is too big for my skull
-- which is actually true (but still funny). But the fact that the
junction where most of the cranial nerves exit is lower in the head
has made for interesting positioning as far as the rest of them. My
dentists are always (not) amused if I need work done. And we
figured out that regarding acupuncture of the head (on Saturday),
it's not necessarily a good idea for me.
So, regardless of the condition or the modality, it's important
to remember that not all people are wired the same, have the same
sensitivities, or respond to therapies the same way. There is no
"one size fits all" approach. The idea of "protocols" is a trap
that we can fall into -- but we have to keep in mind, that our
patients are individuals with unique bodies and unique needs.
Dave and Ricky
In Modalities this morning, we were experimenting with TENS
units. Since it didn't happen last week, I wasn't going to include
it in this week's post, but the reactions were priceless. Ricky and
Dave decided to "exercise" (or maybe it was exorcise, LOL) the
Have a great week, everybody!!!!
Well, 2014 didn't waste any time getting started. January
6th came and both of my programs started in full force.
I'm actually taking Clinical Nutrition in BOTH programs right now.
It's interesting to see how the different professors approach the
same topic. I'm definitely getting hit from all directions.
Towards the end of week one I decided to add the acupuncture
elective to my schedule. It's knowledge that I really want and feel
that I need. I've actually taken an introduction to acupuncture
through an undergraduate program, so I have a VERY basic knowledge,
but furthering that interests me tremendously. I'd originally
talked myself out of the elective, as I'm thinking about relocating
to Oregon (which doesn't allow acupuncture in the DC scope of
practice), but since I'm not absolutely sure where I'll end up, I
thought I'd go for it. I may be partly insane for this, of
(Image Source: www.servingsandiegocounty.com)
Break was both too long and too short. I worked an insane amount
and took too little time to relax--but that's pretty typical for
me. There has to be some way to keep me out of trouble, and that is
to stay busy. That being said, I always seem to have a shortage of
time. And like all insanely busy people (or people who make excuses
that they have no time), I'm always looking for ways to increase
the amount of time (the Universe will not respond to my requests
for 86 hour days), and have less stress. I decided to take a break
from social media for a week. It was AMAZING! Towards the middle of
that break, my computer fried the motherboard and I had no choice
but to avoid technology altogether. It's shown me that I have a lot
more time than I ever thought. I had no idea I was spending so much
time surfing the web, reading Facebook, or doing whatever. I've
been using that time to read, sleep, and do research. It's been
awesome. Even though I know I'll have to get a replacement computer
soon to keep up with my workload, I'm going to keep with the lack
of using it. It's not exactly a resolution, but it's not too far
In the back of everyone's mind right now are those resolutions.
I happened upon a few articles about why people don't keep New
Year's resolutions. Interestingly enough, it's not always for the
reasons that we'd think. Since most people choose a diet or
exercise change (that's #1), most commonly it's because they bite
off more than they can chew (pun intended)--giving themselves more
work than they can handle, and too little of a support system to
handle it. Well, that makes sense. But the number two reason why
people don't keep New Year's resolutions--*drum roll*--was because
they spend too much time talking about them! I was shocked.
According to this article, the human brain perceives talking the
same as doing. If I talk about exercising, my brain thinks that
I've done it--even though I actually haven't. So, while some level
of the brain has been pumping iron or eating only fish and veggies,
the rest of the body hasn't been doing anything. Problem not
solved. So, the moral of the story is, if you've made any
resolutions or decided to make some changes in your life--keep them
to yourself. If you do, they're more likely to stick.
I am willing to share one resolution with all of you. I resolve
to have a great 2014! It's going to be a BIG year.
Happy New Year Everybody! Have a great Tri!
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
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
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