This weekend was spent packing as I am getting prepared to
downsize my furniture to move into my boyfriend's apartment. My
apartment lease is up at the end of next month so my dad, brother
and family friend came from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to lighten my
moving load! It really is ridiculous how many books I have
accumulated over the years of naturopathic school. I literally get
anxious thinking about having to carry all of them down three
flights of stairs… somehow it will get done!
While my family was in town, we went downtown to the Hancock for
a drink and a nice clear view of the city. Although we stayed out
way too late, we had a great time hanging out!
New Years Resolution
Like many people, my New Year's resolution is to hit the gym a
bit more often than I have been the last couple of trimesters.
Getting out of clinic at 7pm most days really takes a toll on
evening plans for a workout! Thinking about my patients that I
encourage to make time for exercise despite their busy schedules
really helps to motivate me to think of creative ways to fit in
time for my own health.
Not only does exercise keep us physically fit, but it also is a
huge stress reducer! Who couldn't use a little stress reduction
these days?? With graduation looming, papers to write and apartment
moving, I need to keep up with stress reduction tactics! One of my
favorite stress reducing activities that I recommend to many
patients is simply deep breathing. Take 5 minutes several times a
day to sit still, close your eyes, breathe in through your nose and
out through your mouth slowly, and focus on something that makes
you happy. It sounds so simple, and it is, and is very helpful in
times of stress!
Fellow interns and I agreed last week that we needed to have a
night out to de-stress and just have a good time. We decided on
bowling to get some laughs in and set the tone for the week! I am
admittedly a terrible bowler and get freaked out at the thought of
wearing bowling shoes with who knows whose feet were previously in
them… but It will surely be a blast!
I hope everyone has a nice week!
This past holiday break was one of the best! Not only did I get
to spend quality time with my friends and family, I was able to
meet my boyfriend's family in Boston! Being a Midwest girl, I had
no idea what to expect in "Bean Town." I swallowed my first oyster
out of a half shell, walked along the Freedom Trail and went to a
New England Patriots football game! I was hoping to have a Boston
accent after the trip… but my friends back home gave me a hard time
when I tried to incorporate the term "wicked" into normal
The one thing that surprised me was how many people know about
naturopathic medicine. One of my boyfriend's classmates from
college shared with me her father's story of his battle with colon
cancer. He utilized alternative medicine including acupuncture and
naturopathic medicine in addition to traditional treatments. Her
father is in full remission currently and now the whole family
seeks alternative medicine practitioners for their health care
needs. This was only one of the many people I spoke with who have
been recently looking for a natural health care doctor. This got me
thinking more seriously about practicing in a licensed state, as I
want to utilize all of the modalities I have been trained to do.
There are several states in the Northeast that currently license
naturopathic medicine including Connecticut, DC, Maine, New
Hampshire, and Vermont.
One website that I have found particularly helpful in seeking
future job opportunities is the American Association of
Naturopathic Physicians. This website will advertise
naturopathic doctors in any state as long as they have graduated
from an accredited program, passed the NPLEX board exam Part 1 and
Part 2, and hold a license in a licensable state. This site also
lists job opportunities around the country for naturopathic
physicians. Another way to search for employment is good old
craigslist. My close friend Sarah was recently hired at an
integrative practice in Joliet, Ill., and she found the job listing
on craigslist! It goes to show that with a little research there
are opportunities out there.
Clinic has been getting busier every week as we are starting to
establish a larger patient base. With our new clinician on staff,
Julie Martin, ND, we are able to see more patients at one time,
which will allow greater flexibility for our patients. In addition,
we are adding a naturopathic shift on Saturday to increase our
availability in clinic. While this will be more work for interns,
we are excited to bring in more patients and practice naturopathic
I hope everyone had a nice and restful break!
This week in clinic we were introduced to the latest addition to
our clinical staff, Julie Martin ND. Dr. Martin has been in
practice for many years with an emphasis in oncology. She has spent
most of the past week learning the ins and outs of clinic so I have
not had the chance yet to pick her brain. I am very excited to have
another ND on campus and can't wait to work with her!
Happy Birthday to Me!
I am writing to you this week as a new woman… I am now a quarter
century old! I most certainly rang in this birthday with a weeklong
celebration starting by treating myself to a day off from clinic.
My boyfriend and I spent a day in downtown Chicago beginning my
celebration at the Shedd Aquarium! After touring the Amazon River,
scoping out the aquarium's token sea turtle Nickel, and paying a
visit to my personal favorite exhibit -the sea horses - we were off
to dinner at Quartino's, a delicious Italian restaurant. We topped
the night off with red velvet cake and beignets at The Grand Lux on
Michigan Avenue. I had an amazing birthday to say the least… but
that wasn't the end of the celebrations!
This weekend my friend Sarah hosted a party honoring my becoming
a quarter century old. Each guest was asked to bring a white
elephant gift, meaning, pick something in your home you no longer
want and wrap it up to be given to a lucky party guest. You go
around the room selecting gifts one by one, and then you open them
and swap them. You will never guess what I started off with… a
petrified tarantula!!! No worries however, I ended up swapping the
tarantula for toothpaste, tic-tac's and a can of lock
It was an amazing time getting to celebrate my birthday with all
of my friends from school and to think we packed 21 people into one
small apartment was a feat! It was a great time to laugh off the
stress from the week and eat way too much food! In addition to
requesting that guests bring a white elephant gift I asked that
everyone bring a non-perishable food item for me to donate to a
local food pantry. I know, I am one high maintenance b-day girl,
but it is important to help out others when we can… and to clean
out the pantry too!
Hello everyone! This week in clinic literally flew by and with
the "falling back" time change I have felt discombobulated. It is
going to take a while to get used to the sun going down before 5:00
pm! This is the time of year we have to adjust to less and less
sunlight, which makes it difficult to not get sleepy in the
afternoon… that's for sure!
Trimester 9 Phase Exams
This week was extra stressful in clinic with the Trimester 9
Phase Practical Exam that all Tri 9 interns are required to pass
before moving into 10th Trimester. We are set up in the TAC
(Training and Assessment Center) where a simulated patient is
trained to pretend to have a specific symptom of a disease. It is
our job to ask the appropriate questions and perform the
appropriate physical exam and to then formulate a treatment plan.
There is a clinician in the room taking notes while you complete
the 30-minute intake and physical exam. Next, you move to another
room where you formulate a list of differential diagnoses based on
your findings and formulate a treatment plan for your mock patient.
After your clinician approves of your plan, you then go back into
the treatment room and give a report of findings and treatment plan
to your patient. The simulated patients are told to ask questions
Although I knew the sim patients were told to ask a myriad of
tough questions, I know that real patients will be coming in with
similar questions just as tough if not more difficult to answer. It
was good practice to run through an entire patient visit from start
to finish and to get feedback from our clinicians.
Dr. B's Birthday!
Thursday was our main clinician's birthday so in honor of this
my fellow intern Sarah and I made her a crown out of construction
paper. Being a sport, she wore it during our preview session at the
end of the day to humor us! It made for a good laugh at the end of
a long day!
This weekend a group of friends from Eastern Iowa came into
Chicago to attend an Iowa Hawkeye football game followed by a
Chicago Bears football game. I did not get to attend either game…
one of the perks of being a poor college student. But I did
manage to go downtown Saturday night to the Hancock building for a
little wine and amazing views. I love going up to the lounge on the
96th floor and looking down on the city at night. It was a nice end
to a hectic week!
Next week a group of ND interns and I are set to go for a tour
of the CTCA (Cancer Treatment Center of America) in Zion, Ill. We
are going to meet with ND residents and see how they practice in an
integrated hospital setting. I'll be sure to report how it goes
Clinic was outrageously busy for all of the student interns this
week! With midterms winding down and finals up and coming there was
a bit more free time this week for students to come in and get some
TLC. A common theme amongst my student patients is fatigue. Go
figure! A lot of the treatment plans I have constructed include
dietary modifications like decreasing caffeinated beverages and
sugar intake; sleep hygiene changes like removing the television
and computers from the bedroom; hydration changes like increasing
water intake and decreasing dehydrating beverages (sodas); exercise
changes like increasing cardiovascular workouts; and stress
reduction tips like yoga, meditation and breathing exercises.
These are the five essential determinants of health that
naturopathic doctors work with first before going for the big guns
like a sleep aid prescription. Essential determinants can be
compared to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. If we don't have a strong
base to the pyramid with proper physiological functioning, there
would be no way we could reach the top of the pyramid where
self-actualization occurs. This is similar to the naturopathic
medical model. If you don't re-establish the basis for health by
building from the bottom up starting with the essential
determinants you will never be able to reach the top of the pyramid
- true health!
This weekend was a celebration of a handful of summer birthdays.
With midterms always cramping summer birthday style we decided to
go downtown Saturday night for one big birthday celebration! Aside
from it being hot and humid that night, it was fun to get together
for one last hurrah before finals settle in.
I recently went to my first Cubs game at Wrigley this year! And
what a game it was! It doesn't get much better than a Cubs vs.
Cardinals Sunday night game! One of my favorite parts about Wrigley
field is the famous ivy that coats the outfield brick walls. It's a
nice way to gauge the seasons as the ivy fills in and fades away
thorough out the season. Unfortunately, the Cubs lost in extra
innings, but the weather and company couldn't have been better!
Afterwards we grabbed a burger at Bar Louie on the corner of Clark
and Addison while we waited for the line for the train to thin out.
All in all a very fun filled weekend in the city and now back to
paper crunching and preparing for presentations!
• ND Clinic Format
• Love Your Profession
• MD vs. ND
• CAM Day
• Working During School
• Q&A with Readers
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