Early in the week, the eighth, ninth, and tenth trimester
interns had a mandatory presentation to attend in Lombard from
NCMIC and an NUHS alumnus, Dr. John DeMatte. NCMIC is a malpractice
insurance company that specializes in covering the chiropractic
profession, and their motto is, "We Take Care of Our Own." The
presentation was beyond helpful.
At the beginning of the session, both the insurance
representative and Dr. DeMatte opened by asking what questions and
concerns we all had about insurance, business, our future
practices, and much more. They then tailored the presentation to
try to answer as many of those questions for us as they could. For
me, I have a list a mile long of questions about what I need to do
before I start, so having a chance to listen in a comfortable
setting and get those concerns addressed was so valuable.
Some great topics or suggestions were (and I am just going to
list because they covered so much!):
Overall, the entire presentation was super helpful and somewhat
stress relieving. The fact that you are in a room with 50
other soon-to-be graduates all feeling the same way, made me feel
like I am right where I need to be in terms of stress level for
what's to come post-graduation.
The Next Step
This marks my final blog as an NUHS student. I will soon walk
across a very important stage and start my career as a chiropractic
physician. That moment is going to be filled with so much
happiness, pride, excitement, fear, and anticipation. And that
moment is only a few short weeks away.
I have to say, when I was first approached to write this blog,
my first thought was, "No way, that's way out of my comfort zone."
But, when you are pushed outside your comfort zone, you grow as a
person. This blog has challenged me, let me express my feelings and
experiences, and I am so happy I didn't let my fears stop me from
doing it. Thank you for letting me share part of my life with you.
Thank you to those who read my blog week after week. Thank you for
the emails with questions, I loved to get them! And finally, thank
you to Marie Olbrysh and Victoria Sweeney for having the faith in
me and approaching me with this awesome opportunity. I am so glad I
This is me signing off. Good luck prospective and current
students! If you have further questions, want to hear about life
after chiropractic school, or need treatment for any aches and
pains, you can email me at email@example.com
or visit me in my practice at Progressive Chiropractic Wellness
Center in Lincoln Park, Chicago.
Patient care is winding down here at the NUHS Chicago Clinic for
me. I am slowly turning over all my patients to ninth trimester
interns as I finish with the last of my numbers for graduation. It
is a bittersweet moment with a lot of the patients because we have
been working together for the last six months. Although the
patients are sad to see us moving on, they have been super
supportive and excited for all us as we move on as doctors.
Over the past few months, my favorite pastime at clinic has been
learning more and more about acupuncture. It has been such an
effective treatment options for many of my patients. The results I
have gotten when using acupuncture for treatment nine times out of
ten have way exceeded my expectations.
Auricular therapy with ear seed
The newest facet of acupuncture I have been using with some of
my patients is auricular therapy. Auricular therapy consists of
needling specific points on or around the ear that correspond to
the rest of the body. Auricular therapy is a very effective
treatment for depression, fatigue, post-traumatic stress disorder,
smoking cessation, facial rejuvenation, appetite suppression/weight
loss, energy, and focus. For lasting results of an auricular
therapy treatment, ear seeds can be placed in the patient's ear on
specific pressure points. The ear seeds can be covered with a small
bandage and left in the patient's ear for a few days after the
Close up of ear seed
I have been treating a patient at the NUHS Chicago Whole Health
Center for fatigue, focus, and increased energy using a lot of the
acupuncture points in the ear. The patient is a student and also
works two jobs. On average, the patient gets about four hours of
sleep a night and her fatigue is mainly due to the stress of the
her hectic schedule.
After the initial treatment, the patient has seen a significant
increase in focus. Before starting treatment, she typically would
doze off when attempting to study for long periods of time. Now,
while studying, the patient stated she is able to maintain focus
for a much longer period of time. With continued treatment, the
patient has noticed increased energy levels throughout the day,
decreased fatigue, and a more restful night's sleep.
Spring has officially come to Chicago, in the sense that we are
now past March 20th. The weather may still seem very winter-like,
but the giant gray colored piles of snow are consistently melting
away day-by-day. And with the spring thaw, we have seen a
significant increase in patients returning to the clinic. All
businesses, whether a restaurant, retailor, or healthcare, were
significantly affected by the unrelenting winter weather this year.
But now, as winter washes away and spring sets in, people are
returning to a more normal routine.
As the patient volume has increased at clinic, several of the
tenth trimester Chicago clinic interns have now finished with their
numbers for graduation. The remaining tenth trimester interns
should be finished with the rest of their numbers within the next
two weeks. I can't believe that the end is so very near!
I began treating a patient this week with a chief complaint of
chronic fatigue, pain, and weakness. The patient had been to
several other physicians, none of which were able to help her with
her symptoms. The patient did not know what else to try when a
friend referred her to the NUHS Whole Health Center -- Chicago.
After the initial history and physical exam, we came to the
conclusion that the patient was suffering from fibromyalgia.
Fibromyalgia is a chronic widespread pain and allodynia (heightened
response to pain or pressure) syndrome. It is believed to be caused
by a combination of physical, psychological, neurobiological, and
environmental factors. Fibromyalgia symptoms can also begin after a
traumatic or stressful event also known as post-traumatic stress
disorder. Other symptoms patients might exhibit are insomnia,
depression, anxiety, bowel and bladder abnormalities, and
numbness/tingling sensation. Diagnosis is based on history of
widespread pain for more than three months and tender points
elicited on physical exam.
I have been treating the patient for about a week now, and her
symptoms have decreased about 50% since the initial visit. I have
been using a combination of chiropractic manipulative therapy,
acupuncture, trigger point work, and supplementation to address her
pain and fatigue. As the patient continues to progress, I will
slowly add in light exercise, which will be designed to boost the
patient's energy levels. One of the most interesting parts of this
patient's history is when asked what the previous physicians did
for treatment the response was a laundry list of pain medications,
none of which delivered any relief from symptoms. And now after
seeking out help from alternative medicine, she has seen a 50%
decrease in symptomatology in the first week alone.
Each clinic has a different patient population they treat
depending on their area. At the National University of Health
Sciences Whole Health Center - Chicago, our patient population
consists of a mix of Polish, low income, and some students. A
majority of our patients come to us from Community Health Center,
which is a clinic that serves people without medical insurance.
Once they are seen at that clinic, most of the treatment is 100%
covered when they see us.
We do see some University of Illinois - Chicago (UIC) students,
but not a large number. This is due to the fact that UIC offers
their students excellent and affordable insurance through the
university, which has almost 100% coverage when they see UIC MDs or
DCs. We do offer the students 50% off at the NUHS Chicago Clinic
for all services that we provide including: chiropractic,
acupuncture, physical rehabilitation, and much more.
Ever since the beginning of my education at NUHS, upper
trimester students would constantly say, "Just wait until you are
in your internship; it's so much easier." To those people who told
me that, I have to say, "LIES!!!" Once you are in your chiropractic
internship, you have a new kind of stress -- the stress of what is
going to happen when you are finished.
For me, that stress has been decreased slightly due to the fact
that I am finished with all my board exams (Part I, II, III, IV,
and PT) and that I have job as an independent contractor lined up
when I finish. But there is still so much to handle in order to get
started as an independent contractor:
The beginning of my contract as an independent contractor when
On the business end of things:
Needless to say, it's a ton to think about, prep for, and the
worst part is wait and wait for the state to approve the
I think the reason I have found this process so stressful is
because these are things I don't know anything about. I wear my
health care hat very well, but I still need some time to figure out
how to wear my business hat. Long to-do lists have become by best
The start of 2014 has been a very trying one. As I mentioned in
earlier blogs, stress has been high due to my master bath remodel,
car troubles, the worst winter I can ever remember, and finalizing
everything for graduation. I can finally say that I think most of
the stress is behind me! The weather has been slightly (ever so
slightly) getting better. As of last Thursday, the finishing
touches were put on our master bathroom. As of last Friday, I sold
my car (huge relief). And as the weeks have been going by, more and
more of my numbers and paperwork have been completed for
graduation. I spent a large portion of the day on Monday cleaning,
organizing, and knocking things off my to-do list. With so much
stress taken off of me, I am feeling revitalized, ready for spring,
and more importantly ready for graduation.
Now that school is coming to a close, I have been working on the
paperwork for my license. There is lengthy application that needs
to be filled out and sent into the Illinois Department of Financial
and Professional Regulation. Along with the application, a fee,
undergraduate transcripts, and graduate transcripts also need to be
sent in as they approve the paperwork. It was a fairly confusing
application and process to put all together, but it was a great
feeling to put that envelope in the mail. Also, the sooner the
state gets the application and all supplemental materials, the
sooner it is processed, and the sooner I can start practicing after
The acupuncture course I was enrolled in ended back in the
beginning of February. I have been really enjoying practicing and
experimenting with acupuncture on my current patients. From carpal
tunnel syndrome, to headaches, to low back pain, to muscular
strains, to facial rejuvenation (an all natural form of Botox), I
have been getting really good results. Most patients love having it
done and some even come in requesting it. One big reason I enjoy
practicing acupuncture is the fact that if certain points are not
working for a patient, there's a large variety of additional points
and protocols to use with them. On top of that, if a patient
doesn't want to be needled, there is acupressure, auricular
therapy, and cupping that can all be used to achieve similar
• First Patients and Jurisprudence Class
• Ideas for the Future
• Part IV Board Exams
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