Archive for tag: students

Week in Review

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.

Tri Mixer

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.

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We all met at "The Getaway," an outside venue on the water, bundled up under heaters to stay warm.

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Tri Mixer at "The Getaway"

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The lovely ladies in the picture above: Kimmie Brossard, Lexxi Roush,
Lauren Domanski, Courtney Bolen, Danielle Spratt, and Antoinette Stewart.

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 them.

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Above: Dr. Carlo Guadagno, Jessica Hipakka, Austin Shaw, Kevin Latona,
Felix Guzman, Antoinette Stewart, and Julia Harter.

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NUHS interns

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 that.

Have a great week, everyone!

85 Days

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 it!

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 steep.

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.

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(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 about.

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!

Annual Florida Turkey Bowl

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.

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President Stiefel gives the speech to end all speeches

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.

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Everybody :)

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.

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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!

Fueled by Caffeine and Dreams

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 day.

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.

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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.

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Image Source: www.flickr.com/photos/thomas_r/8225164573/

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 party.

Have a Great week, Everybody!!!!

Life's Kaleidoscope

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.

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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 ages."

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 difference.

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 imagine."

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.