I love it when I have amazing ideas for these blogs and then by
the time I get to sit down and write them, they are *poof*
gone. So, I'll just share some of the things that have happened in
the last week.
Last Friday was my last Tri-Mixer. It was cold, but the turnout
was pretty good. I got to speak with several of the first trimester
students and some of the later tri students that I don't get to see
very often. Spirits were bright. Everyone seemed excited about
where they were in the stage of the program. It didn't really hit
me until now that it was probably my last opportunity to see most
of them. It's a little bit sad, and also exciting. There are
definitely going to be some fantastic practitioners coming out of
the program in the not too distant future.
We all met at "The Getaway," an outside venue on the water,
bundled up under heaters to stay warm.
Tri Mixer at "The Getaway"
The lovely ladies in the picture above: Kimmie Brossard, Lexxi
Lauren Domanski, Courtney Bolen, Danielle Spratt, and
Disney Princesses 5K
On Saturday, several of my classmates volunteered for the Disney
Princesses 5K in Orlando. I wish that I could have joined them --
it looked like they were extremely busy. I heard they saw over 500
injured runners! I was busy studying for a master's exam, which I
took later Saturday night. I think I would have had more fun with
Above: Dr. Carlo Guadagno, Jessica Hipakka, Austin Shaw, Kevin
Felix Guzman, Antoinette Stewart, and Julia Harter.
We've all been busy, busy, busy getting things done. There will
be a lot more over the next few weeks - more events, more
volunteers. We're getting the good work done...or something like
Have a great week, everyone!
These are the weeks of dotting i's and crossing t's. How's
everybody doing? Things are moving quickly here. I can't believe
how fast it's going. 85 days. There are 85 days left in my
experience here at National. I honestly never thought I would make
Now marks the chaotic time of resumé preparing, job hunting,
extra courses, licensure exams, and everything else. In addition,
I'm working on a million different projects plus a comprehensive
exam for the master's. *Whew* There's no rest for the weary. The
deadlines keep coming. Appointments are made. Guidelines are
followed. But in a lot of ways, this is uncharted territory. Sure,
I've applied for jobs before -- but not like this. Corporate
America has a completely different way of doing things than
healthcare or small business. The learning curve here is pretty
We're getting back to basics in the clinic. As the 8th Trimester
students come in, we're acclimating to new people and helping them
get their feet wet. They're holding their own. History taking has
never been more important. Each person that handles a chart adds
more information. We've all been working together pretty well --
strengths complimenting strengths. It's nice to work as a team
rather than individuals all the time. Our patients can definitely
be served by a group of talented practitioners.
(Image source: caglecartoons.com)
Today I was given information for a case study. The patient in
my case study was taking 6 medications. Yes, you read that
right--6. It has become the standard that the average number of
medications an elder-person is taking is 3. Most are taking more.
Many are taking medications to combat their medications.
There's definitely something wrong with this. But it reminds me.
A patient was speaking with me during a treatment today. She was
asking me what my philosophy of medicine was. Patients sometimes
believe that we hate all conventional medicine, which may be true
for some practitioners. But anyone that's ever had an infection, or
required surgery, knows that without those tools, we're lacking.
There are alternatives to many things, but sometimes, surgical
procedures are the conservative approach. It's a lot to think
What is it that our patients are going through? What are they
taking (consuming) already? Where can we step in with THE BEST
approach to help our patients? These are really big questions.
Food for thought, perhaps? (That's a whole different topic).
Have a great week, everyone!
The NFL is merely a tribute league for The Turkey Bowl. These,
and many other words were uttered by our fearless leader, President
Joseph Stiefel, in his Newt Rockne-esque speech leading up to the
Turkey Bowl last week. I wasn't sure whether we were going into war
or going to the fields.
President Stiefel gives the speech to end all
For those not familiar with the Turkey Bowl, it's National's
annual foray into the world of sports, celebrating all that is
football, camaraderie, and Thanksgiving. With flags and fanfare,
students, significant others, faculty, family, and friends clad in
shorts and T-shirts charged onto the gridiron, doing everything
that they could to avoid a pile up on the field. The Turkey Bowl
is, of course, a flag football event. And might I say, I saw some
pretty amazing acrobatics from players trying to avoid tackling.
Flips here, somersaults there -- it was quite impressive.
We had enough players for 4 teams. Forest even played. All
players, in fact, were welcomed with open arms. And of course, both
guys and girls play, which makes it even more interesting. And the
number of people on the sidelines cheering was phenomenal.
There were new rules this year. Some were pretty hilarious. I'll
leave names out of it, but one of my esteemed colleagues had a rule
named after her -- just to illustrate that tackling is absolutely
prohibited. And there's also the rule that if you've been hurt
before, you're excused from playing. Granted, all of the injuries
at The Turkey Bowl have been pretty minor: bruises, sprains, small
bones broken. Everyone is a GREAT sport.
The winning team
Our MVPs were Bryan Nicholas and Dr. Michelle Jourdan. I'll put
a plug in for both of them. I don't think I've ever seen Bryan
without a smile on his face. He's just an all-around good sport and
he plays hard. Dr. Jourdan is one of the most enthusiastic players
I've ever seen. The NFL's got nothin' on either of these two.
I'm keeping it short and sweet for this week. Hope everybody had
an amazing Thanksgiving!
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!!!!
The trimester is coming to a close, and I can honestly say it's
flown by. We're all scrambling to meet deadlines in the clinic:
this many of this, that many of that. It hardly seems that about 12
weeks ago we were terrified we'd be horrible at this. Truth be
told, I didn't think anything about deadlines and numbers and
paperwork (OK, well I did think about paperwork a little bit).
That's probably why I'm scrambling now.
The last couple of weeks have been discussions about who is
transitioning to the other clinic, and some talks about where we'll
end up. Half of our crew is moving to the other clinic. It's
unlikely that I'll see them very often. Perhaps we'll have seminars
or training sessions of some sort, or get together outside of
school (although we don't do that now). But in a few weeks, there
will be another big transition for all of us. Some of us have been
together, nearly every day, for about 3 years. This will be
something really new.
Newness. It reminds me of my theory about Maslow's Hierarchy
from last week. Incidentally, I've been working some more on that,
but I'll spare you all the details. I had the pleasure to discuss
it with two of my fellow interns today, the concept of new ideas.
We were talking about my theory, and about other theories -- things
in medicine and science that seem to have been left behind. We were
discussing the idea that there are no new ideas.
Image by http://mladavid.deviantart.com
Mark Twain said:
"There is no such thing as a new
idea. It is impossible. We simply take a lot of old ideas and put
them into a sort of mental kaleidoscope. We give them a turn and
they make new and curious combinations. We keep on turning and
making new combinations indefinitely, but they are the same old
pieces of colored glass that have been in use through all the
I grew up not far from good ol' Mark Twain's stomping grounds,
but between you and me, his writing always made me crazy. No matter
how much I tried, I couldn't understand the dialect he wrote. I'm
not sure that I agree with Mark; it seems we're discovering new
things all the time. From god particles to medicines, we strive and
learn how to change, adapt, and understand the world around us.
If the last 12 weeks in the clinic have taught me anything, it's
that we have no standard approach to treating anything. We have to
be willing to come up with new ideas, or at the very least, new
applications for old ideas. For every patient that comes in, even
if they have the "same" diagnosis, what works for each one of them
is likely to be something completely different.
I'm fairly certain that our discussion today came to the
conclusion that there has to be something new. There has to be a
pursuit of Science that crosses boundaries into new territories,
that bypasses the need for a randomized controlled trial of
everything, and simply embraces discovery for the sake of
discovery, and implementation for the benefit of the whole. Perhaps
we're all idealists. I see no problem with that. Being idealistic
just promotes my love of the field and my hope for making a
Neil deGrasse Tyson, in his series "Cosmos" said:
"To make this journey, we'll
need imagination, but imagination alone is not enough because the
reality of nature is far more wondrous than anything we can
OK, Neil. I'll take that one to heart. The greatest theories
come from crazy idealists.
I wish you all many great new discoveries. May your kaleidoscope
always look just a little bit different.
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
To read older blog posts, scroll to the bottom and click the "Older Posts" button.