Different Points of View

Over the past few weeks, our main clinician at the Chicago Whole Health Center has been out on leave. So during her time away, we have had a few clinicians rotate through. We all thought it was going to be a nightmare having different doctors rotating through, but it actually was a great experience. Each doctor brought a different point of view, different experiences, different techniques, and new ideas on what a practice should be. Each day we were taught things that the doctors felt were important to teach the interns at their own clinics. As interns, we also have a certain number of student chiropractic manipulations and observed chiropractic manipulations that must be performed in order to graduate. While doing these, the doctors that rotated through made it a point to show us new techniques to use on patients who are not responding to other adjustments that we are using.

Overall, it was not the nightmare that we thought it would be, but quite the opposite. We all learned so much and were exposed to things we might not have been had they not stepped in as the clinician. As an intern, it is important to be exposed to as much as you can be. Go out and shadow other doctors, ask questions, take seminars, etc., because when you are done, you are a doctor with all the responsibility that comes with that title. A special thank you to Dr. Cynthia Winston and Dr. Frank Frydrych, who spent most of the time with us, and taught us many valuable techniques. 

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Tri 10 interns hard at work in the Chicago clinic's conference room

On Sunday morning, I had another outreach event to attend with Dr. Rick Ezgur. The event was for the Chicago AIDS Ride, which will take place in July. The ride is a 200-mile bike ride from Evanston, Illinois, to Racine, Wisconsin, where the riders camp overnight. At the campsite, Dr. Ezgur and I will be treating riders for any injuries, aches or pains before they bike back to Evanston the following morning to the finish line. 

The event on Sunday was at one of the many cycling training sessions for the riders at the Lakeshore Athletic Club. The training session consisted of a two-hour cycling class, which was followed by an educational session. The session gave riders information on proper bike fit, nutrition, and stretching to avoid injuries during the AIDS ride. We have four more of these sessions in February, March and April to prep the riders.

Chicago Plus Siberia Equals Chiberia

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.

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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 area. 

Happy Holidays

This last week wrapped up my two-week rotation at the Salvation Army clinic. It was an interesting experience with many patient care challenges not seen at other clinics. The patients at Salvation Army are part of a drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. Along with musculoskeletal issues, many of the patients also have associated chronic health issues like diabetes, heart disease or liver disease. 

Due to it being a holiday week, the clinic hours/days were less than normal with a very light patient load. With it being such a busy time of year, many patients were not able to keep their appointments or had to reschedule.

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Wednesday evening, Rob and I had to prepare a pumpkin cheesecake to take home with us for Thanksgiving. We make the same cheesecake every year, but when the time comes to make it we forget how long the process actually takes. We started the preparation and baking around 7 p.m. and didn't finish until close to midnight. There's the prep, baking the crust, making the filling, baking the cake, letting it cool, making the sour cream topping, and letting the entire cheesecake set. But when all is said and done, the cake turned out wonderful and tasted great!

Early Thursday morning we drove down to Indianapolis to spend the holiday with family. We had a lovely day of cooking, catching up, great food, wine, and lots of laughter. The quote of the day came from Rob's nephew when he let us know what one website listed as the most common topic brought up at Thanksgiving dinners. Apparently the topic most brought up is sad stories about relatives or family friends that most people either don't remember or have never met. We all had a good laugh about that one.

This blog marks the last blog for this trimester. I hope I have given some good insight into what life as a chiropractic intern is like. I have enjoyed sharing my experiences with you and will have lots more to share come spring 2014, my 10th and last trimester of graduate school! 

Have a safe and happy holiday season! Wishing you all the best!

Salvation Army Rotation

In clinic this week, I am on my Salvation Army rotation. All ninth trimester interns do a two-week rotation through either the morning or afternoon Salvation Army clinics, and there is an opportunity for five permanent clinic spots for your ninth and tenth trimester clinical internship. With my new job and crazy work schedule, I had to switch around some of my shifts, and I am doing both morning and afternoon.

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The clinics are drug and alcohol rehabilitation facilities. National University offers physical exams, chiropractic care, and supplementation to the residents there. As an intern rotating through the clinic, I am in charge of "new man exams." These are full physical exams that include a hernia exam before the residents start work at Salvation Army. If there is extra time after the exam, I am able to give them treatment for any conditions diagnosed or wellness care. 

Acupuncture Elective

This week in my acupuncture elective we covered the urinary bladder and kidney meridians. The urinary bladder channel consists of 67 points and begins at the corner of the eye, goes around the top of the head, down the back and leg, and ends at the outer tip of the little toe. The urinary bladder is a water-energy yang organ. An imbalance in the urinary bladder meridian can cause such psychological symptoms as habitual fear, lack of decision-making capability and a diminished moral character. This meridian is also great for chronic tension and pain, which may be relieved by stimulating the flow of energy along the spinal branches of the bladder meridian.

The paired organ to the urinary bladder is the kidney and is considered a water-energy yin organ. The kidney meridian consists of 27 points and starts at the bottom of the foot, goes up the front of the leg, abdomen, and ends on the front of the chest around the first rib. In Chinese medicine, the kidneys control sexual and reproductive functions and provide the body's prime source of sexual vitality, which they regard as a major indicator of health and immunity. Weak kidney energy is therefore a prime cause of anemia and immune deficiency. The negative psycho-emotional attributes of this channel are fear, loneliness, insecurity, and shock (which attacks the heart first then descends into the kidneys to become fear). A really interesting point, KD 1, which is on the bottom of the foot, is really good for intractable pain often experienced by cancer patients. 

Palmer Mansion

In all the stress and excitement surrounding boards, I forgot to write about the tour of the Palmer Mansion last weekend. After I finished with the radiology exam on Friday morning, I had some time to kill so I decided to go on the Palmer Mansion tour. Daniel David (D.D.) Palmer is the founder of chiropractic medicine and his son B.J. Palmer is the developer of the chiropractic profession. The Palmer family has a very long legacy of promoting and furthering the profession as a whole. The mansion, which is a part of the Palmer College campus, was home to B.J. Palmer, his wife Mabel Heath Palmer, and their children. They donated the mansion to the college, and in 1984 it was placed on the National Register of Historic Places. 

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The mansion is very unique, with a large porch that wraps around the front of the house, and three floors that exhibit the Palmer family art/travel collections. The family loved to travel and had a particular love for China. Displayed throughout the house are pictures from their travels, Chinese sculptures, other religious art pieces, and gifts from several U.S. presidents.  It was a fascinating tour that gave a glimpse into the Palmer family world. They had a love for not only chiropractic medicine and art, but also music, literature, writing, and radio. 

Later on in the week, I had an outreach event at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. The event was called Clinicians Working Together -- Managing Back Pain in Our Community. At the event there were presentations from the head of neurosurgery, pain management physicians, and chiropractors. The event was also a great opportunity for MDs and DCs to network, discuss treatment, and set up possible referral networks. Since I will be working a few blocks from the Advocate hospital, it was a great chance for me to meet fellow doctors and have them get to know me. 

The rest of the week was filled with orientation for my new job at The Container Store on North Ave. The Container Store has been on the Fortune Top 100 Best Companies to Work For the past 14 years. They are very proud of their employee-first culture. By having happy employees, they feel the customers will be better taken care of and given outstanding customer service. During my first week at the store, it is very evident that this is the case!