At the beginning of the clinic week, I presented my Journal Club
article. The point of the Journal Club is to have the interns bring
articles on treatment options for patients and discuss whether or
not we would use them with our patients.
My article was on the use of acupuncture for patients with
migraine headaches. The conclusion of the article was that
acupuncture does show a decrease in the number of days with a
migraine, and a decrease in the patient's quality of life. After I
finished with my presentation, we were all able to discuss our
opinions. We also talked about what other treatment options we
would use with a patient experiencing migraine headaches. My
current treatment plan for patients with migraines, which can be
changed per patient, includes acupuncture, chiropractic
manipulative therapy, post-isometric relaxation of the
sub-occipital muscles, and supplementation of magnesium,
riboflavin, and CoQ10.
Throughout the rest of the week, I finished my decorating for
Halloween, which is quite extensive. If you haven't noticed yet,
it's my very favorite time of the year. This included any final
touches, putting up the remainder of the decorations, more spider
webbing, and hanging my newest decoration. Every year the day after
Halloween, I check out the sales on decorations, and I buy one big
decoration to add to my collection. The decoration I added last
year was a five-foot tall hanging ghoul that I placed on my
balcony. It looks great out there, and I can't wait for people to
see it next weekend!
My newest Halloween decoration
On Sunday, Dr. Miller, several ninth and tenth trimester
interns, and I volunteered at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon.
It was the perfect fall day for the race with temperatures in the
mid-60s, which was ideal for the runners. Marathon Day in Chicago
is always a fun day because so many people come out to watch,
support, and cheer on the runners. Talking with some of the
experienced marathoners after the race, they said it's almost
impossible to get tired during the Chicago Marathon due to the
amazing crowds that come out to cheer them along.
Jeff Jones, Candace Gesicki, and me at the Chicago
Marathon on Sunday
We were in the Chicago Diabetes Project tent where we were
available for post-race care for the runners. The majority of the
runners were in a lot of pain and had very tight muscles, so we
helped by stretching and massaging as needed. I have volunteered at
the marathon before, but I haven't had as much one-on-one post-race
care. It was crazy to see how much pain some people were in, while
others looked like they could run the marathon again. I'm sure that
has a lot to do with training and experience with running. Overall,
it was a great experience, and as always it is so inspiring
watching people finish something as impressive as a marathon!
Every other week on Tuesday mornings during ninth trimester, I
have a class called Journal Club. The objectives of the course are
to sharpen the student's research knowledge and evidence-based
practice skills. The final project for the class consists of
performing a literature search and finding a paper on a topic of
interest to us. We then need to put together a presentation on the
research article and share the information with the other interns
in the Journal Club.
I performed my literature search on the topic of acupuncture and
migraine prophylaxis. The article I found was a
randomized-controlled trial in which almost 500 patients were
randomly assigned to one of four groups. The first three groups
were three different acupuncture protocols, and the fourth group
was sham (control) acupuncture. Sham acupuncture means that
traditional acupuncture meridian points were not used in the
treatment. All four groups received the same amount of treatment,
electrical stimulation, and follow-up care. The primary outcomes
included the migraine frequency, migraine intensity, and migraine
specific quality of life surveys.
The results of the clinical trial showed that the patients in
the acupuncture groups reported fewer days with a migraine compared
to the control group. There was no difference in number of days
between the three acupuncture groups. The conclusion of the paper
was that acupuncture has a prophylactic effect for migraine
headaches. It also suggested that further research into the topic
is needed. The study was limited by short follow-up periods, the
physicians were not blinded, and a small number of acupuncture
points were used.
NUHS Whole Health Center - Chicago
Clinic has been getting progressively busier week by week. The
Saturday morning shifts are especially busy. It's a great day for a
clinic to be open since some patients can't make certain hours
during the week. This last Saturday in particular, I saw seven
patients during my six-hour shift. That isn't too large of a
patient load for a regular practice, but it is in a teaching
facility. In a teaching facility, you need to check in with your
clinician throughout the patient visit, and there is a large amount
of paper work to do. The reason there is a lot of paperwork is that
the clinicians want us to be comfortable with multiple types of
forms and paperwork so that when we are out on our own we are
comfortable with charting.
It appears that fall has hit in Chicago. The weather has begun
to get cooler, the trees are slowly beginning to change colors, and
I love it. This is my favorite time of the year for many reasons:
the weather, fall clothing, apple picking, Halloween, October
Fests, haunted houses, pumpkin flavored everything, costumes, and
it's the best time of year for scary movies. This year will be
especially fun because it is my first fall living in Chicago. I
can't wait to see what the city has to offer this time of the
My time in clinic has been moving along very well. I have gotten
fairly comfortable in my new clinic setting. As the weeks progress,
the 10th trimester interns are slowly giving more responsibilities
and patient care to us 9th trimester interns. Our clinician, Dr.
Miller, has us on a one-week rotation with each 10th trimester
intern. By doing this, all of us 9th trimester interns will have an
opportunity to see how all the other interns practice and be able
to assist in patient care for a larger variety of patients. As the
10th trimester students finish with their numbers for graduation,
their patients are transferred to one of the 9th trimester
students. By keeping all of us on a rotation, it keeps the
amount of patients per intern even.
On Thursday evenings from September until early February, I am
enrolled in the 100-hour acupuncture certification course. The
course is taught by Dr. Duarte at NUHS. Dr. Duarte graduated with
his doctor of chiropractic degree from National University in 1986,
and he received his master of acupuncture degree from National in
2013. Dr. Duarte also is a Diplomate of the American Board of
Chiropractic Orthopedists and the American Chiropractic Board of
The acupuncture course is very comprehensive. It covers oriental
medicine history, acupuncture theory, meridian therapy, electrical
stimulation, auricular therapy, and much more. Each week in the
beginning of class we cover lecture topics that include theory,
techniques or meridians. In the second portion of the class, we
practice the techniques and meridian points we learned that evening
in class. So far, the class has been far more interesting than I
originally thought it would be. Acupuncture and oriental medicine
have such a different way of thinking and practicing than western
medicine does. And I think as a physician, it will be extremely
beneficial to my future patients to be able to wear two different
hats as I practice.
It's a holiday week, which means shortened class and clinic
week. A short week apparently does not mean that it will be an easy
week. Monday consisted of a full patient load and a surprise add-on
patient right at the end of the day. On Tuesday, I had my final
midterm in my Jurisprudence class. Wednesday was also a heavy
patient load, and then the race home to pack up the car and get on
the road before the heavy holiday traffic hit.
For the holiday weekend, I rented a house in Saugatuck,
Michigan, with six friends. We arrived Wednesday evening and
checked out the house, which we all pretty much decided is haunted.
Scattered throughout the house are creepy things like an old
antique organ, dolls with the eyes that seem to follow you around
the room, books of ghost stories (most likely involving our house),
an ornate lady's make-up mirror that was shattered, stained glass
windows, vintage pill box hats in a couple of the rooms, and
strange noises all the time.
The best part was that we ran into friends of the owners of the
house who informed us that the house is haunted, and that we should
avoid the basement. The good news is we all survived and I am here
blogging about it now.
The goal of my holiday weekend was relaxation and fun with my
fellow housemates. On Wednesday evening we went to dinner in
downtown Douglas at an amazing restaurant called "Everyday People",
followed by meet-and-greet drinks at The Dunes Resort. Thursday,
which was Independence Day, was a marathon of a day. We had a big
breakfast at the house and then started our prep for the "Tea"
Dance. For those of you who do not know what a "Tea" Dance is, it's
a mid-day happy hour with fun music and dancing as the focus of the
day. When the dancing concluded, we grabbed some food and watched
the fireworks above the patio. The marathon of a day concluded back
at The Dunes with Kelly Carey an amazing Jazz/Cabaret
With Thursday being a very long day, Friday called for some much
needed relaxing at the beach. Let me tell you, the eastern side of
Lake Michigan is so beautiful. The lakefront is a series of
beaches, bluffs and sand dunes, each more picturesque than the
next. On Saturday morning, we decided we would check out more of
the sights with a dune buggy tour. The tour was really interesting
and had some really amazing views of the landscape and Lake
Michigan. The tour guide informed us that at the base of any of the
dunes can be any stationary object that would stop the sand and
over hundreds of years form these giant sand dunes. Another
interesting fact was that at the top of some of the dunes we saw
these trees coming out, and he informed us that it's actually one
giant tree that sprouts roots higher and higher up the dune to stay
The remainder of the weekend consisted of consisted of some bike
rides, checking out some local restaurants, movies, and bonding
with our housemates. Sadly, I was the first to leave Sunday morning
due to a busy Monday, but the holiday weekend was so much fun.
Counting down the days until the next holiday.
Here I am in week eight, and I have no idea where the time has
gone. This week marked the start of midterms with Clinical Natural
Medicine and Dermatology exams.
Clinical Natural Medicine is comprised of weekly case studies in
which I need to come up with differential diagnoses, treatment
plans, and any other health concerns the patient may be facing. The
exam was a similar format with a series of case studies that I
needed to figure out lab tests, diagnoses, medical imaging, and
possible treatments that would work for that patient. The
Dermatology midterm consisted of mostly images of different skin
conditions followed by treatments for those conditions.
I only have one more midterm next week in my Jurisprudence
class, and after that I'm finished with midterms. That is such a
large change from midterms in past trimesters, where it seemed to
be a never-ending month long marathon of exams.
I was duty intern in Student Clinic this week. Duty intern is a
rotation that each intern needs to do twice each trimester. During
this rotation, you are in charge of checking patients into their
treatment rooms and keeping the clinician informed on when patients
arrive, if they don't show, and when they are finished with
treatment. You also have duties around the rest of clinic including
doing laundry, stocking rooms, and prepping for the next shift.
This week was also very historic with Prop 8 and the Defense of
Marriage Act both being struck down by the United States Supreme
Court. The statement "Equal Justice Under the Law" that sits above
the entrance of the Supreme Court was finally upheld for lesbian
and gay couples in the U.S. As a gay man and a man lucky enough to
have a loving partner of many years, these decisions were very
As a very exciting end to the week, we joined in the Chicago
Pride celebration and parade on Sunday with good friends. The city
of Chicago had record numbers; over one million people graced the
streets of the Uptown and Lakeview neighborhoods for the parade. It
was very neat to see the mixing pot of people there to show support
for the LGBT community, celebrate, and show their true colors.
• First Patients and Jurisprudence Class
• Ideas for the Future
• Part IV Board Exams
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