I don't even know where to begin…this is my last blog! I
seriously cannot believe I will be graduating in less than two
weeks! Of course, I am excited to move on from NUHS, but I have to
admit it is quite scary! Not being told where to be, what to do,
and how to do it every day is going to be a very big change… but I
am sure I will adapt!!
I have become very nostalgic lately, hugging my friends more
than usual knowing these last few days may be the last time we are
all in one room together. I have been saying goodbye to my
patients, which is extremely hard! I love my patients and will
think of them often even when I am gone! I poured my last tincture
in the dispensary, performed my last hydrotherapy and wrote my last
paper this week. Every day there is a new reminder of the closing
of my time at NUHS.
As sad as it may be to say goodbye to friends and old routines,
I am very happy to be going to spend time with my sweet little
niece! My sister is always sending me pictures of her… the latest
photo shoot was of my niece dressed up in her various bathing suits
with captions saying, "Come visit me soon Auntie A!" How could I
not want to just drop everything and go squeeze her!!
Hospital Shadowing Experience
This coming week I will be shadowing at a Joliet hospital ER
room. I have never been exposed to emergency room situations and am
very thankful for this opportunity! I know I will see things I
might never see in real practice. Not that I have any plans to
become an ER doctor, but it will be worthwhile to learn a new
aspect of medicine and meet new doctors. It's like Dr. Lou always
says… make friends everywhere you go!
As I move on to hopefully bigger and better things… I ask that
everyone stay in contact! I will certainly be happy to update
everyone on my goings on!
I hope that everyone has a happy and healthy summer!
As I had mentioned last week, my friend Sarah landed a job at
the National Center for Integrative Medicine in Joliet, Ill. The
official ribbon cutting of the new facility was last Wednesday and
it couldn't have been more perfect! The facility is
state-of-the-art with all new equipment and treatment rooms. To top
it all off, they served a gluten-free breakfast for everyone to
enjoy! The alternative health care wing turned out beautifully and
we are all so happy for Sarah and her new job!
Julie Martin, ND, our newest clinician here on campus, attended
the open house as the keynote speaker of the ribbon cutting
ceremony. Dr. Martin stated that what this facility is providing
for patients is exactly what health care needs in the future. One
place, full of a variety of health professionals, all ready to work
together to help regain health for their patients. She also spoke
on the future of naturopathic medicine and how our profession fits
into the current medical model. She commended Rao Kilaru, MD, the
facility owner, for helping to change the future of medical
practice to a more holistic practice.
I could not imagine working in such a beautiful space and wish
the medical group much success in the future!
Family in Town
I know it seems like I am always having family coming to town,
but that's because I have been! My boyfriend's brother came to
visit us from Boston for the weekend and we took full advantage of
the opportunity to go out on the town. We went to my favorite
comedy show in the world, The Cupid Players, at the IO Theater in
Wrigleyville. No matter how many times I see the show, I laugh just
as hard as the first time! I recommend it to anyone entertaining
family and friends when they come to town!
Women's Health Seminar
In addition to hosting company, treating patients in clinic and
celebrating Sarah's grand opening, I attended a Women's Health
Seminar put on by Metagenics. The seminar was a great review of the
biochemistry behind our natural therapies and provided many
research articles on the various modalities we frequently employ.
Although the seminar was long and took up my entire weekend, it was
free to students, which is very rare! You have to take advantage of
all the freebees being a student has to offer, because once you
graduate you are paying full price!
Next week, I plan to finish my patient numbers at clinic…
YEAH!!!!! So cross your fingers and your eyes for me!!
Well, I wish I could report the job search has been successful,
but it has been a bit rougher than I had anticipated. Because I
have been limiting my search to the Chicagoland area it has been
quite difficult to find a medical group to take me on. One of the
many challenges of job-hunting in an unlicensed state is explaining
what it is that I do in addition to why someone would hire me when
I am not currently licensed in this state.
As soon as I find a lead that sounds promising, it ends up being
a wash! I have hope, but am starting to think more seriously about
my Plan B. Plan B consists of moving in with my sister in Missouri
to help take care of my niece for the summer while studying for the
NPLEX 2 board examination, which will be held this August. While I
would love to have a job right out of school, it may be a blessing
in disguise that I am not finding just any job here in Chicago…
meaning I can focus on studying for boards and potentially move to
a licensed state and get a great job! Here's to hopin'!!
On another note, my best friend Sarah, who is also a 10th
trimester intern, landed a job at an integrated practice in Joliet,
Ill. The official open house for the alternative medicine wing of
her facility is this Wednesday and I am planning to attend with
several of my fellow interns. Our newest clinician, Dr. Julie
Martin, was asked to be the keynote speaker at the open house and
we are anxious to hear her speech! We are all very happy to
celebrate Sarah's success and will jump at any opportunity to hang
out together as one big ND bunch! As the days grow closer to
graduation, we are beginning to realize we aren't going to be
spending every day together as we have for the past 4 years. At
least we all have Skype to keep us connected!
While going through old photos I came across a couple of old
pictures of the ND gang back in our first year of school. The
picture at the top is of a group of ND students and I posing after
a long day at school during second trimester. I remember feeling so
adult back then, thinking that I knew exactly what I was going to
do once I graduated.
The above picture is from the white coat ceremony where we got
to dress up in our white coats and feel "official." Today, I can
say with certainty, I had no idea what I was getting into back
then! This program has taught me more about myself that I could
have ever known back then. I know in 4 years from now I will look
back at graduation and feel the exact same way… thinking I had
everything figured out!
Graduation is now officially one month away and I couldn't be
more excited! I am more than ready to be done spending all of my
time within the confines of the NUHS clinic walls and get out into
the "real world." Sometimes I think we spend so much time worrying
about graduation requirements and check-offs that we start to loose
touch with reality; we are going to be doctors!!
I think my reality set in hard this week when one of the adjunct
faculty, Dr. Lou, wanted to take the 10th trimester ND students out
for a graduation dinner before she left for the trimester. She
praised each and every one of us and pointed out each of our
strengths. She really knows how to speak to your heart. After some
Thai food, talking and tears, we all left feeling confident and
ready to graduate!
A Favorite Memory
One of my most favorite memories of Dr. Lou was her lecture on
finding your "target" - meaning, we all have goals in our life that
we aim for. Some are small and some are large but they all are
leading towards a common goal/target. That goal may be to have the
means to support children and a family in the future, or to have
the means to travel freely, or it may be to build your ideal
medical practice. Whatever the goal "target" may be, there will
undoubtedly be obstacles that will come along and try to knock you
off of your course toward your target.
Dr. Lou explains that it is no one's fault but your own if you
allow these obstacles to let you get off course. She also explains
that once your start to rationalize the obstacles and let them lead
you astray, you will in the short term be aiming for your target,
but in the long term you will miss the target by a long shot. For
example, if you are in an unhappy relationship and are aiming to
have a happy healthy family in your future, you can rationalize
that things will get better as time goes on and ignore the fact
that you are no longer aiming for your target. As difficult as it
may seem, removing yourself from a situation or people that do not
support your reaching your target is what you must do.
I know it sounds cheesy, but when you sit down and think about
what makes you get out of bed in the morning and what actually
makes you tick, you realize what your most important goals/targets
in life are and this will help to re-direct you onto the
Mama Chella comes to town!
My boyfriend's mother flew in from Boston this past weekend to
pay us a very short but sweet visit. We were able to go downtown
for a very nice dinner and drinks and some long overdue shopping! I
also attended my first temple service with my boyfriend and his mom
to observe the Jewish festival Purim. It was a learning experience
to say the least! I love learning new religions and traditions and
can't wait for the next holiday!
For the past few weeks, I have been lucky enough to shadow Andrew
Peters, ND, DC, in Danville, Ill., a 1997 graduate of National.
He allowed me to sit in on patient care and quizzed me on clinical
skills and treatment plan recommendations. I loved the small town
feel of his clinic and how close his patients are to him. Most of
his patients are family friends and neighbors that he sees on a
regular basis. This makes for cheap advertising through
word-of-mouth and networking.
Dr. Peters is the only doctor in his clinic but has a reliable and
people-friendly front office worker to take care of payment issues
and scheduling. This is one thing he said is a must when starting
your own clinic, as talking to patients about their health care and
then asking for payment can sever the doctor-patient relationship
and create a salesperson relationship. To avoid conflict he
definitively recommends leaving the finances up to a tactful
As for practicing naturopathic medicine in an unlicensed state,
Dr. Peters also has a DC therefore he practices under the scope of
his chiropractic license; however, he still practices many
naturopathic therapies. The thing that surprised me the most was
how receptive patients were to naturopathic medicine. Many of the
patients he sees have sought him out and come from as far as 3
hours away for his services. This motivates me even more to stay in
the Midwest and push for licensure. We need more people like Dr.
Peters in here in Illinois to perpetuate the naturopathic
Dr. Michael Cronin paid NUHS a visit recently to
lecture on up-and-coming events and therapies in naturopathic
medicine. Dr. Cronin has been an ND for 31 years and has recently
become the president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians
(AANP). He practices in Arizona, a state that allows a full scope
of practice for NDs. As president of the AANP, he is committed to
providing support to states like Illinois to help them gain
He also spoke on what it was like to start a naturopathic college,
as he is the founder of the Southwest College of Naturopathic
Medicine in Arizona. He was a charismatic speaker and full of
information. It was a great experience getting to meet him.
• ND Clinic Format
• Love Your Profession
• MD vs. ND
• CAM Day
• Working During School
• Q&A with Readers
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