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
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!!!!
Welcome back, everyone! How has your week been going? I hope
everyone is staying warm -- or cool -- depending on where you
Actually, "Spring" has sprung around here and the weather went
from cold-ish, to hot -- overnight. The temperature the last couple
of days has been over 80º. What? It's true. That's what happens.
Typically around the end of February it turns to Summer and stays
that way until December when it gets chilly again. It's as if a
switch was thrown and everything is different overnight.
Before I lurch into the lamentations of what's going on in my
life right now, I want to congratulate my classmates that just
returned from NCLC (National Chiropractic Leadership Conference).
Each year, members of our faculty and students go to Washington,
D.C. and talk with members of Congress about the future of
chiropractic and health care in America.
Now, to my lamentations. I'm feverishly working on a paper.
Writing is a pretty bizarre process for me. We all have our
methods. I'll randomly collect research for a while, think about
the topic, try to formulate some semblance of sanity within the
information, and then sit with it for way too long. The temptation
for me is always to collect more and more information. Maybe I
should read one more article? Maybe I should review a few more
journals just in case I find THE article that poses some new idea
that brings it all together. And at some point I realize when the
Then the frantic insanity sets in. I'm now faced with the
prospect of taking 10-20 journal articles and whatever notes and
thoughts I've taken from them and putting it into just a few pages.
(OK, we all know that I can't write just a few pages -- but you get
my drift). It's a grueling process that drives me crazy, and I love
it. I learn SO much from this. I hate the procrastination and I
hate the deadlines, but I love what comes out of it.
Right now I'm working on a paper about vitamin D and metabolic
syndrome -- with an aside on the psychology of eating. I've learned
that there are 4 variations in receptor genes that mediate how the
body handles vitamin D, that there's a huge controversy in what the
dosage of vitamin D should be, and that there's a HUGE link between
metabolic syndrome, autoimmune diseases, and vitamin D. No one
seems to fully know how all of it works together -- but it does,
and therapies with vitamin D show great promise at preventing and
treating all kinds of problems.
So, I'm going to get back to my forced lack of procrastination
and self-loathing and feverish typing, and leave you all with good
wishes for the week.
Have a great one, everybody!
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!
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!!!
How is everybody this week? Staying warm? The weather here has
been up and down -- cooler than normal for a Florida winter. In
fact it's been cooler this winter than it has been any winter that
I've been here. That having been said, we don't have any snow --
not even a flurry. So I suppose, if you're into the warmth, this
might be the place to be.
This week is FLYING by. I've been at the VA hospital all week
and I absolutely LOVE it! The docs there have been amazing! I've
seen at least 2 new techniques and hope for more. I'm learning a
new system of care, which is great -- and seeing how a LARGE system
coordinates care for a large amount of people. One of the most
fascinating things is observing complicated patients with
complicated problems and how they navigate the medical system.
I've been able to hear new doctors' perspectives on healthcare,
specifically about medical ethics. Being in academia so long, we're
sheltered by ideal situations and our own personal beliefs about
the infrastructure in medicine. The truth is, that out "in the real
world" things are VERY different. Some doctors keep patients coming
in for visits for "wellness care," for prescriptions, for
therapies, for whatever reason, when they don't need them. They
suggest these things sometimes because they feel that the patient
needs or wants them, and sometimes for financial reasons. It's the
frank truth, and there's a lot of controversy around this.
One of the docs I'm working with and I have been talking about
discharging patients. His philosophy, and I completely agree with
him, is that if we can't make someone better, help them function
better, feel better, improve their daily function, then we're the
wrong person for them to see. Maybe it is that our care isn't what
they need -- maybe they need a surgeon, or a pharmaceutical, or
something that is out of our scope, or just not our specialty.
Regardless, we have to know when it's time to stop.
We have to decide what type of physicians we're going to be. We
have to decide (with our patients) how best to help them -- even if
it doesn't involve us.
I want to wish everyone an AMAZING week! This weekend I'm
working with a team for the American Cup rowing series. I can't
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