Archive for tag: masters degree

Things Are Moving Forward

"I should be asleep." This is what I say to myself at hours like this -- around O-dark-thirty when I'm still up working on something. "I should be sawing logs or whatever people are supposed to be doing at this hour... instead I'm here."

This last week has been a week for the record. I finished my master's degree. I don't know how I did it -- but I did it. I honestly don't know how I worked, had any part in my kids' lives, was full-time here at National, and full-time at Western States. But I did. And now it's over. I haven't quite come down from it all just yet -- but the moment I realized I didn't have anything left to do, my head kind of dropped. While most people would be ecstatic, I was sullen. What do I do now? Now, granted -- I have absolutely no shortage of things to do, read, study, learn, attend, aspire to, whatever. But no one is making me -- but me.

On Friday of last week, I also sent in my paperwork for my Oregon license. And all last week, when I wasn't studying for or taking master's finals, I was working on the bridge course to be able to sit for the licensing exam, which takes place the day after graduation. In all of my "down" time, all I could think to myself was -- what am I going to do now? Where am I going to go? What am I going to do? I have to find a job. I have to move. I have to...

Sometimes we get so busy that all we do -- is do. And as those old parts of my mind started to wander back in, you know, the parts that think about stuff -- I started to get more and more scared. This is it. Things are happening. Things are actually happening.

Grey came back from Orlando, where he was competing in the FBLA (Future Business Leaders of America) state competition (He won 5th in his category -- which is kinda a big deal). He told me a story that made me cry -- in the middle of the grocery store. He told me about this guy -- Alex Sheen, who spoke at the FBLA ceremony with thousands of high school kids from all over the state. Grey said that there was barely a dry eye in the place. And I can see why. Alex started the organization "because I said I would." Here's his story:

It made me think about what promises I might make at this point in my life. I'm at such a point of transition -- finishing school, Grey going to college, moving across the country, starting a new profession...

In the quiet moments, at the clinic, we talk about what life will be like when we're not around each other anymore. We've spent nearly every day together for the last three and a half years. Even when we still had breaks in between trimesters we would often text or email each other, or sometimes hang out. I'd like to make a promise to my close classmates that I won't lose touch and completely disappear, as I'm apt to do.

Things are moving forward. Even though we might not all be in the same place, I hope that we move forward together. After all, we've been together so long that we're family.

Have a great week, everyone!

Time Is Flying

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 otherwise.

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!!!!

Time is Flying By

I can't believe it's already been a week since I last wrote. Time at the VA is FLYING by. I'll only be there a couple more weeks and then I'm back at the student clinic. Six weeks after that is graduation. I'm having this great realization that graduation is coming up on me like a freight train. Sometimes I feel like I'm stuck down on the tracks, and sometimes I'm the one driving.

I'm working feverishly on finishing the master's work. That's over in about a month. Just in case anyone was thinking about doing this at the same time as getting your DC, be forewarned: it's a TON of work -- especially the last quarter. This is not for the faint-hearted. I honestly can't believe that I've done it. There are times when I definitely feel like a masochist. It took me 6 quarters (a year and a half), but I'm almost done. Now to get all of the papers and projects done; that will be a feat.

While I'm working at the VA, I'm finishing up all the paperwork, volunteering, and other things needed. Last weekend I made a trip to Sarasota to the American Youth Cup Series I. Apparently the park where it was hosted, Nathan Benderson Park, is home to a world class rowing event. In fact, the 2017 rowing championships are being hosted there. It's a unique facility with a round lake. There are a number of events coming up there -- including several additional rowing events, a pentathlon, and a 5k. I'm hoping to attend a few more of them.


It was a quiet day (no injuries); the weather was chilly and windy (for Florida). Dr. Guadagno, Dr. Jake LaVere (a distinguished recent National alumnus), Nick Herrild, and myself braved the chills to be on hand in case anything should happen. When we weren't watching the crew members running around or rowing, we were sharing stories and business information. We had a pretty good time talking about future business endeavors, practice models, conferences, and plans.

Here's a wind-blown picture of the 4 of us.

As I continue my time at the VA, I'm seeing what it's like to be in a completely different model of care. There are things that I've learned that I know I will carry with me into my future practice, and others that I know I won't. One thing I really appreciate, and I touched on this last week, is the willingness to try something new (or discharge from care) if things are or are not working. People come in and they get better -- they stop coming in. People come in and they don't get better -- they stop coming in. It's very simple. It's ethical practice.

Well, I best stop writing here and get to some of my papers!

I hope that everyone here -- regardless of where you are in the world, are staying safe and warm.

I'll see you all next week! Have a great one!!!

Week 4?

Week 4. What? How did that happen? Time is absolutely flying.

I feel like one of those time warp photos - you know the ones where someone stands still and everything passes them by 800 miles an hour. Just like this.

I feel like I just can't get everything done fast enough -- that the "to do" list keeps growing and growing, and as soon as I get things checked off, a million are piled up in its place. And yet, things keep getting checked off. We are now officially done filling out college applications for Grey. I've ordered my application for Oregon licensure. I'm nearly halfway done with this last quarter of the master's program, and I start at the VA next week.

I spent the last week, besides doing everything else, reading journal articles. I read 14 articles on various (potentially) controversial topics in nutrition: dairy, egg, whole grain, and meat consumption. It addressed cholesterol and eggs, lactose intolerance, dairy allergy, whole grains and cancer, and several other topics. But even after all of that, it was pro-ingestion. These papers were FULL of statistics. Each one loaded with numbers trying to support its case.

And then I looked at the lists of conflicts and references.

In Journal Club, we were taught to read everything with a critical eye, to see the potential conflicts, and judge the studies accordingly. For everyone that I talked to about these articles, my only comment was -- "Statistics can manipulated to support anything."


Always read with a critical eye. You never know what information might be valuable, and what might be... 87.

Have an amazing week, Everyone. And if you come across some good studies, feel free to send them my way.

Settling In

It has rained, literally every day for over a week. It's Summer time in Florida. I guess that's to be expected. Personally, I find the rain a little bit depressing. BUT, the temperature has dropped and that has been absolutely lovely. Autumn in Florida is always a little touch and go. I say we have 2 seasons here: Summer, and not quite Summer. While the leaves don't change, sometimes the temperature does shift, and it eventually stops raining.

Sunrise in the middle of the showers - Coffee Pot Bayou

We're getting back into the swing of things after boards, and settling into the tri. It's so weird not having classes. Part of me feels like I must be skipping things, or somehow not showing up -- that I should be studying for a quiz or doing a project or presentation -- but I don't have any to do. It's just bizarre.

Of course I still have work to do for the Master's program, but that's a lot less involved than going to classes all day, every day. Speaking of the Master's...I just finished finals for another quarter there. I have only 2 left; 2 quarters left, and less than 2 trimesters left here. I honestly can't believe it. I'm not sure whether I believed it would never happen, or that it just seemed so far away that it was out of my realm of comprehension.

Our 10th trimester mentor, Jen, is making plans for graduation. Yesterday we were talking about hotels and plane tickets and how soon graduation is. It was a bit of a wake-up call.

A bunch of us have been doing some outreach with the clinic. SPC has had a blood pressure initiative going. They're installing automated blood pressure cuffs in many of their facilities. It's helpful for people to keep track of their blood pressure. We've been explaining normal ranges and what people can do to not only keep track, but also to improve.

Julia, Dave, Ricky, Leslie, and Jen have gone, some twice, and given a talk and been on hand to help. I'm excited. I get to go in 2 weeks. We'll see what happens. There's been some good feedback.

Everyone is talking about where we go from here. People are making plans for shadowing, extra seminars, special licensure requirements, etc. Events are taking place. It's really exciting.

Have a great week Everybody!