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 firstname.lastname@example.org
or visit me in my practice at Progressive Chiropractic Wellness
Center in Lincoln Park, Chicago.
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.
The ninth trimester interns have joined us at the NUHS Chicago
Whole Health Center. The new interns do not have patients in the
beginning of the trimester, so they help out with the tenth
trimesters' patients and shadow us. It's a weird feeling knowing
that you have people looking up to you. I remember when I started
as an intern at this clinic back in September; I was slightly in
awe of how much the tenth trimester interns knew and how smoothly
they worked with patients. That all comes with time, and now there
are new interns that might be feeling the same way.
In my acupuncture course this week, electroacupuncture, cupping,
and fire cupping were covered. Electroacupuncture is a form of
acupuncture in which a small electrical current is passed between
pairs of needles. Electrical currents have stimulating effects,
which can influence the cells, tissues and entire systems. It can
be looked at as an amped up form of acupuncture and is particularly
good for treating pain. I personally have used electroacupuncture
on patients with muscle atrophy and certain pain syndromes.
Cupping therapy before and after
Cupping or fire cupping therapy is an ancient form of
alternative medicine in which a cup is placed on the skin to
produce a local area of suction. The suction is created using
mechanical devices or by using heat (fire). Cupping is considered
safe, but it can cause areas of bruising and swelling following
treatment. This therapy is used for respiratory conditions such as
bronchitis, asthma, and congestion. It is also used for certain
gastrointestinal disorders, muscular disorders, and certain types
The end is very near for me. I received a reminder email from
Student Services to petition for graduation. They needed my size
for my graduation gown, how I would like my name on my diploma, how
many people I expect at the graduation ceremony, etc. This also
begins the process of auditing all my classwork and credentials to
ensure graduation eligibility. Very exciting!
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!
• First Patients and Jurisprudence Class
• Ideas for the Future
• Part IV Board Exams
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