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!
I know this is absolutely ridiculous, but I have to admit I have
never taken the Chicago Metra train in my whole 5 years of living
here! I was actually forced to take the Metra from Downers Grove to
my Salvation Army rotation in downtown Chicago this past Friday as
my car quit on me early last week. Aside from my broken down car
being a headache, the train was so easy and the best part was I
didn't have to sit in traffic on the way back home! I am totally
going to take the train much more often!
Valentine's Day Fondue!
Since Valentine's Day fell on a Monday,
my boyfriend and I decided to make dinner and have a quiet night at
home. When I got home from my clinic shift late in the evening, I
was surprised with a bubbling pot of cheese fondue and heart shaped
rice crispy treats! Yum! On top of my dinner surprise I also
received some paraben and phthalate free bath products! I finally
have my friends and family trained to look for products that are
free of harsh preservatives that are known to create long term
Phthalates are used in plastics to give them their flexibility
and durability. The use of phthalates is being phased out, as there
are emerging health concerns over their safety. Parabens are used
to increase the shelf life of cosmetics and are found in an array
of products from shampoo to toothpaste. Parabens can also be added
to food to prevent spoilage. Products without parabens and
phthalates are becoming more available especially in many infant
bath products. It's something to keep in mind the next time you go
to the store for toiletries!
The final move!
This weekend wrapped up my month of moving… FINALLY! My
boyfriend and I rented a 16-foot truck with a car carriage attached
to the back to haul the rest of my apartment and car back home. I
know it had to be unnerving to drive that big truck with an
additional car in tow, but my boyfriend would never admit it!
It was nice to spend some time with my family and get out of school
mode for a few days.
I am counting down the days to graduation… Only 2 more months
now!! I am so ready to graduate… can't wait!!
Yes, I am still in the process of moving! Did I mention my
family is the best?? My mom and brother came back to Chicago for
Round 2 of moving. In between moving and packing we had time to go
for a nice sushi dinner and have some good laughs! I have been so
stressed out lately with keeping on track with graduation
requirements and moving that it was nice to see my
Scoping Out Shadowing Opportunities
I've been searching high and low for a naturopath to shadow in
the Midwest and finally came across Andrew Peters, DC, ND, in
Danville, IL. He is more than happy to host a baby ND like myself
and to teach me the ins and outs of practicing in Illinois.
Although he practices in a rural community in southern Illinois, I
am sure he has words of wisdom for setting up a practice and how to
recruit patients. Dr. Peters said there should be many patient
visits to sit in on and he also mentioned that his office is BYOS…
Bring your own stethoscope! I am anxious to learn from a doc in the
With Valentine's Day here, I had to keep up with tradition by
buying Grissom, my boyfriend's cat, a Valentine's day outfit. He is
a very docile cat and humors me when I want to dress him up. We had
a good laugh torturing him!!
I've heard the weather is going to warm up by the end of the
week… I sure hope so! We need sunshine to melt all this leftover
snow in Chicago!
I hope everyone has a great week!
This week we had a huge blizzard blow through Chicago that
brought almost 2 feet of snow! In some places it felt like much
more due to the high winds causing the snow to drift. As we sat in
clinic and watched the snowstorm roll in, we finally got word we
were able to leave early to get home safe before it really got bad.
Unfortunately for some, their normally 20-minute commutes were
turned into a 2-hour plus ordeal! Luckily for me, I had gone
grocery shopping the night before and could go straight home and
prepare for my first snow day of 2011!
Aside from catching up on television watching on my extra day
off, my boyfriend and I painted our living room and began
organizing my things into the apartment. It always sounds like a
good idea to paint until you realize how much prep work there is!
Filling nail holes, sanding bumps and priming… I will be glad once
it is done! By the end of the month I will be completely moved out
of my old apartment and finally know where all of my things
Saturday Clinic Shifts
This past Saturday was our first Saturday naturopathic clinic
shift. We were surprisingly busy with each intern on shift having a
new patient. Being open on a weekend day will help patients who
work during the weekdays to be able make an appointment. We have
had many new patients since the beginning of the year, which goes
to show that word about our clinic is being spread in the
community. With our newest staff member, Julie Martin ND, coming
from a strong oncology background, she has referred several
recovering cancer patients to our clinic for adjunctive care. This
is an awesome experience for the naturopathic interns as many of us
have a specific interest in oncology.
The search for a job continues! I have had some promising leads
in the Chicagoland area but am still unsure where I want to set up
shop permanently. I am looking forward to graduation, which will
open up a lot more time for job searching. One step at a
Have a great week and let's hope for no more snow!!
Next week for Grand Rounds I am scheduled to present to fellow
interns, clinicians and classmates. Grand Rounds is required of all
interns in both Trimester 9 and 10.
You are given the freedom to present on a clinical question of
your choice and my friend and I decided to pose the following
clinical question: How do Clinical Outcomes Improve with Physician
Education on LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) Sensitive
Issues? We chose this topic based on a recent discussion on the
importance of asking patients sensitive questions revolving around
sexual history. As naturopathic physicians, we cannot brush over a
patient's sexual history by not asking if they are in a committed
relationship, having sexual relations with men women or both, or
how many partners they've had in a lifetime. If we avoid these
questions, we are not getting a true picture of the patient's risks
Disease types and risks can vary depending on the patient's
social and sexual history. For example, lesbian patients were once
told they had less of a risk of developing HIV/AIDS. This, of
course, is entirely untrue. In fact, our research found many
lesbian patients reported that when they were asked if they were
sexually active, it was usually automatically assumed they were
only intimate with males. If they disclosed they were in an
intimate relationship with another female, it was assumed they
never had sexual relations with a male in their lifetime.
And then comes the whole topic of transsexuals who can
exogenously inject hormones to more physically resemble the
opposite sex. This comes with a whole set of probable disease
developments. These are just a few of the stereotypes we dug up
during research for our presentation. This was enough to spark our
interest to investigate this topic further and present our findings
to our fellow interns.
During our research, my co-presenter and I visited the Howard
Brown Center in downtown Chicago. Howard Brown is a health care
organization that serves more than 36,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual,
and transgender individuals annually. The organization provides
primary medical care, behavioral health counseling, research,
HIV/STI prevention and social services for all age groups. We met
with Chandra Matteson, RN, to discuss our presentation to ensure we
were on the right track and to gain more information from someone
who works with this population first-hand. She was more than
helpful in critiquing our slides and provided us with a wealth of
resources. We had such a great time we took pictures with Chandra
and added it to our presentation!
Unfortunately, you have to be a student or faculty member of the
University to be invited to attend Grand Rounds, but I urge those
who are in health care to take another look into this populations'
unique set of health issues. It has been indeed proven that with
training in GLBT-sensitive issues clinical outcomes are more
Wish me luck on my presentation! I will report how it goes next
• ND Clinic Format
• Love Your Profession
• MD vs. ND
• CAM Day
• Working During School
• Q&A with Readers
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