I'm recovering from near brain-death. In case you missed it,
last weekend (Friday, Saturday, and Sunday) a group of us took
boards: Physiotherapy, Part II, and Part III. I wish I could say it
was 3 days full of fun-filled magical awesomeness, but I think you
guys know me well enough to know I'd be lying through my teeth.
We all survived the weekend, in large part due to the support we
gave each other. Julia was my right-hand this weekend. She made me
study when I didn't want to, go over questions, and made sure I got
out of the hotel room on time (and didn't get lost too badly
getting back and forth from the hotel). Ricky and Alid were the
humor for the weekend. The four of us (including Julia) and two of
Alid's friends from Palmer, went for dinner after PT. I honestly
thought we would be kicked out of the restaurant, we were laughing
so hard. It was just what I needed to keep me going another
It was great to see the smiling faces of people we've taken
tests with before from other schools, and also of each other. Kind
words of encouragement were given by so many. Leslie, Bryan, Julia,
Alid, Theresa, Ricky, Roshaun, and Dave: My huge thanks to you guys
for keeping me going this past weekend -- even if you didn't
realize that's what you were doing.
Image Source: www.etsy.com/listing/181470539/
It was a weekend fueled by caffeine and lack of sleep. We
learned how little sleep we could survive on, how many questions we
could answer in a short period of time, and how much caffeine was
required to take an exam at 7:00 a.m. We were laughing at each
other and our test-taking strategies, how long it took to finish
certain exams, and how much we were stressing about something
really and truly out of our control.
Boards are interesting, because you've been studying for them
all along. There's really nothing to "cram" for, and yet we cram
every time. Of course, it doesn't hurt to refresh memory on what
we've not seen for a couple of years even. Part I, last year, was a
test of the basic sciences. While these were more clinical, the
basic science stuff just doesn't go away. There's always something
that didn't get covered, that we haven't heard before, or that
we've never seen. There are questions on every test that make no
sense, and like all standardized test, more than enough
opportunities to overthink something. I've always been baffled at
how any exam in medicine can be made into a "Multiple Guess" test
-- when everything we do in medicine is completely essay.
But, we survive. No! We endure. And however the scores come out,
they come out. We'll take them as they come.
In other news, clinic is in full swing. At the HEC NUHS Student
Clinic, we are BUSY. We've been seeing sports physicals and regular
patients -- several every day. As the term gets underway for the
SPC students, we'll be seeing less of some sports physicals, and
more of others. I believe we're serving at least 3 different sports
teams now -- so there will be no shortage there.
I'm finishing up a quarter for the Master's program at UWS.
Finals are this week. Hard to come back and tackle that after last
week. But I'm SO looking forward to two weeks off with no pressing
studies. Next quarter with them starts in a few weeks with Sports
Nutrition and Fitness, Gastrointestinal Imbalances, and
Oxidative/Reductive Dynamics and Energy Production. Sounds like a
Have a Great week, Everybody!!!!
Well, that's what Billie Holiday thought. Here in good 'ol'
Florida, it's HOT (and also very busy). This is the boys' last week
of school; clinic is in full-swing; classes are well underway; and
the schedule is getting crazy. I'm 3 weeks away from finals for the
Master's program. Schedule changes are tough. I'm still getting
used to being in clinic and splitting my time between classes and
How was your Memorial Day weekend? Mine was SUPER low key. After
Acupuncture on Saturday, I spent time with friends in Tampa, and
Sunday and Monday were focused on reading, research, and recovery
(the new 3 R's). The Master's has me working on all kinds of stuff.
I'm most fascinated, right now, with articles on lifestyle factors
and inflammation. Dr. Seaman's classes really focused on some
basics of inflammatory cytokines and the biochemistry of the food
we eat and what it does to our body. Now I'm at a whole different
level of learning with this, and it's REALLY cool. I'm discovering
how the same set of cytokines, combined with other hormones use the
foods we eat to make things even more complicated. How we think and
feel about what's going on in our lives can lead to chronic
inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and chronic disease. I'm so
glad that I've chosen to study this for the rest of my life.
Right now we have several classes on how we, as physicians,
should interact with patients. Whether it's doctor-patient
relationships, jurisprudence, or clinical natural medicine -- we're
discussing everything from what we're responsible for ethically, to
how patients (or potential employers) might perceive us. The latter
topic has created a bit of a rift in my life. We were counseled to
be careful how much of our personal life we allow the public to see
-- specifically, our patients. Do we give patients our phone
numbers? Do we friend them on Facebook? Do we give advice out in
public? Do we share pictures of ourselves online? The idea behind
it incites a lot of fear -- that we'll have stalkers, or share too
much that can be used against us, or somehow lose patients because
of things we do, say or show.
I don't like this at all. As alternative practitioners, I think
we have a little bit more lee-way than others might. Some of us are
into some unique areas of study. We are more touchy-feely, and that
lends itself to a different type of interaction. They say that
we're less likely to get sued because we tend to be more
interactive with our patients. So, except for the stalkers, why
would we want to withhold that information from those people in our
lives every day? I guess it's something that we all have to think
about. What do YOU think?
Have a great week everybody. As always, if you have any
questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.
Two weeks of break isn't anywhere near long enough. It seems
like just about the time that I get into a new groove of being out
of school, things start up again. But, this time -- it's different.
I'm an INTERN!
My intern badge
Last week was the first week in Student Clinic. We went through
procedures and charting info and a bunch of other things. I think
it's going to be AMAZING! Dr. Harrison (our clinician) has taken
the time to explain so many things to us already. It's a whole
different world, now. I don't know what I thought it was going to
be like, but it's different. And I think it's going to be great. I
started out this week as a secondary, and I see my first patient on
Break was wonderful. I was able to take some time off, do some
volunteering, and work on some projects. I feel "lighter" -- having
been able to accomplish some things that I hadn't had time for thus
far. That having been said, I'm still behind. That's not
tremendously surprising. I'm making lists and slowly getting things
Sunrise over Tampa Bay
The Master's has been ongoing. My classes right now are in
Botanical Medicine and Immunology. I've learned so many fascinating
things. Last week I got stuck in researching zonulin and tight
junctions. I've been trying to pool together all of the locations
that contain tight junctions in the body, so I might be able to
link proteins and chemicals that disrupt the tight junctions with
disorders that occur at those locations. I have to stop myself
sometimes, from going too far down the rabbit hole with some of my
research -- because I'll get so engrossed that I forget about
everything else. Sometimes I have to stop myself at the point of
too many questions. It turns out that some of the ones that I came
up with last week (according to my professor) don't currently have
answers. I guess I'm not the only one with questions.
I'm looking forward to the Tri mixer -- whenever that will be --
and Wednesday with my first patient. I'm secondary on patients
before then, so that will be interesting as well. Mostly, I just
want to say how excited I am to be here.
Welcome back, everyone! I'm glad you're here.
It's raining again. It looks like the Florida winter might be
over. Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know that for every other place in the
country the weather has been a LOT worse than it has here. It's
been, I think, the coldest winter that I've experienced since I've
been here (since 2005). The crazy thing about living in Florida is
that for about 5 months out of the year, it doesn't rain hardly at
all. It's very, very dry (as far as rainfall goes). Of course, the
humidity is still 5000%, but it doesn't rain. Come May/June it
rains EVERY-SINGLE-DAY. Sometimes it only rains for 15 minutes in a
day, sometimes all day, and sometimes for hours/the whole day. But
it's fairly predictable.
So today, it's rained all day. And after all of the
months of sun (even when it was cold), I find myself a little bit
depressed. So, I went home and took my vitamin D. Vitamin D has
been a buzz-study subject for a few years now. Running a quick
search on Pubmed on "benefits of vitamin D," returns
about 840 articles. But searching for just vitamin D yields over
58,000! Shortage of vitamin D has been linked to Multiple
Sclerosis, Depression, Obesity, and Cancer. Whoa! So, what we're
finding out is that the vast majority of people are deficient in
vitamin D, ESPECIALLY here in Florida. For those of you coming out
of a cold, cold winter up north -- I feel for you. I really do. You
probably need some vitamin D too. Here's an article on Vitamin D and Depression from the Vitamin
In other news, I have finals for the Master's in Nutrition and
Functional Medicine this week: Nutritional Biochemistry -- which
has been completely different than what I had at National; and also
Clinical Nutrition, which has been completely different as well.
I've been pleased that there's been some overlap with the
information. And I have found that the background that I've
received here at National has helped me with the master's at UWS.
I've already registered for classes next quarter, there. I'm taking
Immune Imbalances and Inflammation and the Botanical Medicine
elective. I can't wait to see what shows up.
This next week brings last minute quizzes, papers, and
presentations. I'm doing a presentation for PT on therapies for
Raynaud's phenomenon (which I've had since I was a kid). I have yet
to decide what I'm going to do my Botanical paper on. I'm leaning
toward Oregon Grape Root -- but I may choose an adaptogen instead.
I need to prep for a practical on knee rehab. No rest for the
Some of my good friends and classmates are taking boards this
weekend. Good Luck to them (and to you, if that's your weekend
adventure). We have the weekend off from acupuncture, and I'll be
visiting the Gluten Free for Life expo. If you're in the
area, it's usually quite worth it.
Last year, Grey and I went and filled up bags and bags of gluten
free goodies from vendors. I think we had GF snacks for months. I
may have to find a partner in crime to go with me this time. Note
to self: it's always better to go towards the END of the expo.
Vendors are less worried about running out of supplies and visitors
feel less guilty about taking a couple extra.
And lastly, I hope everybody had a GREAT St Patrick's Day. My
granny, whose birthday was 3/17 (although I can't remember what
year), would've been somewhere around 100 years old right about
now. She's been gone quite some time. Little Irish woman, red hair
and freckles -- was born on St Patrick's Day. Happy Birthday Granny
-- whatever plane you're on.
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.
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
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