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
Welcome back! It has been an interesting and some might say
difficult start to the New Year. 2014 has brought almost 15 inches
of snow and temperatures around -35º Fahrenheit. As Chicagoans, we
should be used to weather like this, but the past three winters
have been very mild, so this has been a rough awakening for most
people. Hopefully this is the worst of the winter, but chances are
we have a few more months of this before we see spring weather.
Chicago + Siberia = Chiberia!
A snapshot of the snow on my balcony.
With the New Year, I started my 10th and last trimester of my
chiropractic education at National University of Health Sciences.
This trimester consists solely of my clinical internship with no
other course work. I still am enrolled in the acupuncture elective,
which will finish up around the end of January or the beginning of
February. The material we still have to cover in acupuncture
includes: San Jiao (triple warmer), gallbladder, liver, governing
vessel, conception vessel, and auricular therapy.
I had a couple exciting developments since my last blog. On
December 26th, I received my score for Part IV Board
exams. A passing score for the exam is above 375, and some states
require a score of 475 in order to practice. Not only did I pass,
but also I received a score high enough to practice in any state.
Needless to say, it was the best Christmas gift ever!
Since my first trimester in chiropractic school, I have been
shadowing and volunteering with Rick Ezgur, DC, at Progressive
Chiropractic Wellness Center. Over the past few months, we have
been in talks about me joining the practice as an independent
contractor. This can be a lengthy process in that there are initial
talks, drafts of the contract, negotiations, second opinions, and
final drafts of the contract. It is also important to have a lawyer
look at the contract to make sure everything is up to par.
As of Tuesday this week, Dr. Ezgur and I finalized and signed
the contract for me to join the practice as of May 2014. It was a
very exciting day that was the culmination of all the hard work
that I have put in over these past three years. Now my focus is on
what I will do to get my name out there, market, and advertise
about my start at Progressive Chiropractic Wellness Center, which
is located on Sheffield Avenue in the north Lincoln Park
In my ethical business management class this week, Kevin J.
Pelton, JD, DC, spoke to our class about future financial
independence, practice options, risk management, and the reality of
being a doctor. He graduated in 1987 with his law degree and later
in the '90s from NUHS with his chiropractic medicine degree. Dr.
Pelton has had a very successful career, and as of today he sees
patients in three clinics and has hospital privileges in the city
where he practices.
The first idea he presented was about having goals and dreams in
mind for your future. His suggestion was to keep a small notebook
with you to write down your goals, so they are always present in
your day-to-day life. By having goals at all times, you ensure
productivity in your daily life. The goals you have throughout life
may change from career to family to social to leisure, and the key
to achieving them is letting go of self-imposed limitations.
The next topic Dr. Pelton covered was practice options that are
available for us when we graduate. With the average associateship
lasting about 2.7 years, new grads need to have other practice
options ready to go. Some tips for success in opening a practice
include: keeping overhead low, having a small efficient office,
leasing minimal equipment when opening, using highly integrated
technology, and making office hours convenient for patients. The
final option he presented was integrating into a hospital setting
to practice, which he has done in a hospital in the OB/GYN
department in his hometown. Integrating into a hospital in the
Chicago area is a goal of mine in the future, so I have sent an
email to him to discuss how to get started with that process. More
details to come.
Another topic Dr. Pelton covered was what it means to be a
physician. Some important ways to make a connection with your
patients are matching the energy level of the patient, being caring
and responsive, and most importantly going above beyond what is
merely expected of you. Also, it is important to render a
diagnosis and not a report of findings. Most patients find a long
drawn-out report of findings to be confusing and unclear, and
others will stop listening halfway through. By having a clear and
concise diagnosis, you are able to set a solid foundation for that
patient visit and how the future visits will be directed. Finally,
do not push patient relationships too quickly. By matching the
patient's energy and comfort level, you are able to move forward
with the doctor-patient relationship at a pace that's comfortable
for both of you.
Another pot of flowers on our roof deck. We finished
planting this weekend.
Earlier this week started with an Evo hair show that I attended
with the fabulous XO Studio stylists Sunday evening. Evo is an
all-natural, organic hair product line from Australia. This quote
from their website (evohair.com) sums up why I am now in love with
them, "Evo steps outside the normal realm of truth-stretching
invention in a 'wake up and smell the coffee' crusade of twisted
honesty--designed to make people think. And so comes the catch
phrase--saving ordinary humans from themselves!" As a non-stylist,
I was invited to attend the event with by a good friend, Charlie
Bonanno, the owner of the best new salon in Lakeview, XO Studio.
The event was really informative, super interesting, and most
importantly full of free products.
Then on Saturday, I traveled down to Indianapolis for my
partner's niece's graduation party. It was a really nice
celebration, and a great day with family and friends. The day was
also exciting in a way because it made me think about how very near
my graduation actually is. In 325 days, give or take a few, I'll be
walking across a stage with a diploma in my hand and giant smile on
• First Patients and Jurisprudence Class
• Ideas for the Future
• Part IV Board Exams
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