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.
Last weekend was Part II, III, and Physiotherapy board exams.
Physiotherapy exams were on Friday afternoon. The exam covered
passive adjunctive procedures (thermo-, electro-, mechano-, and
phototherapy) and active adjunctive procedures (functional
assessment, exercise physiology, endurance training, muscle,
neuromuscular, and disorder-specific
Saturday morning was the two sections of the Part III board
exams. This exam covers case history, physical examination,
neuromusculoskeletal examination, diagnostic imaging, clinical
laboratory and special studies, diagnosis, chiropractic techniques,
supportive interventions, and case management. Each section of the
exam consisted of standard multiple-choice questions with extended
case vignettes questions at the end.
Saturday afternoon started the first exams of Part II, and they
finished Sunday morning and afternoon. Part II consists of six
separate exams that cover the following topics: general diagnosis,
neuromusculoskeletal diagnosis, diagnostic imaging, principles of
chiropractic, chiropractic practice, and associated clinical
sciences. Overall, I found Part II to be the most challenging exam
of the weekend. That fact might be due to Part II being the last
exam I took, and by Sunday afternoon I was completely physically,
mentally, and emotionally burned out. It was a very long weekend,
but it is such a great feeling have the exams behind me.
Now that board exams are finished, I finally have a chance to
start to get into a normal schedule for this trimester. In clinic,
things have been moving along very well, and I have been helping
out with patients plus seeing some patients as the primary intern.
Besides my clinical internship, on Thursday nights I am taking a
100-hour acupuncture certification course.
A meridian chart that I will be learning in my acupuncture
course. The chart
includes many of the traditional Chinese acupuncture meridians
that are taught.
As physicians, most states only require the 100-hour training to
practice acupuncture. Some states require 300 hours or a master's
degree in acupuncture, and you can find that information out on
your state association's website. For the state of Illinois, which
is where I plan on practicing, the website is www.ilchiro.org. The 100-hour course
consists of 20 weeks of five-hour classes and labs every Thursday
evening. The course covers everything from history to traditional
Chinese meridians to musculoskeletal acupuncture. It is a very
comprehensive course, and by the end of it, you leave with a large
set of protocols and procedures that you will be able to use on a
daily basis in your chiropractic practice.
New trimester, new goals, new challenges, new location, and new
people. This week started my 9th trimester of chiropractic school.
This trimester I am a full-time chiropractic intern at the NUHS Whole Health Center -
Chicago, located by the UIC campus on Maxwell and S. Halsted
St. The Chicago clinic offers a wide variety of services, some of
which include chiropractic care, acupuncture, massage therapy,
diagnostic imaging, rehabilitation, physical therapy, and much
It's been an interesting start to the trimester. Interesting in
that, there are so many new things to get used to. The biggest
challenge this first week was trying to find a convenient public
transportation route to take from my place to the clinic. Turns out
there isn't a good one really, and it's faster for me to drive most
days. Otherwise, I really like my new clinic location. There are
five 10th trimester interns and four 9th trimester interns, all of
whom are under the supervision of Dr. April Miller.
Since we are so close to the UIC campus, Dr. Miller and all of
the Chicago clinic interns did an outreach event on Wednesday at
the UIC new student welcome. We set up several chiropractic and
massage tables, and offered students massages, trigger point work,
and information on stretching that would be helpful for students to
do on a daily basis. It was a very successful event with over 100
students stopping by for some wellness care. Students were also
given information on the university and care they can receive at
our clinic (all of which is discounted for UIC students).
My main focus last week was prepping for the many hours of exams
I had this past weekend. Friday afternoon I took the Physiotherapy
board exam. Saturday morning was the Part III board exam followed
by the first section of the Part II board exams all afternoon.
Finally, Sunday I finished the last sections of Part II in the
morning and afternoon. So, last week was a lot of studying any free
minute I had. I was doing a lot of prep all summer long, but it's
amazing how nervous and stressed you can get the week leading up to
exams. Needless to say, I didn't have a decent night's sleep all
week long. Tension was high, but the great news was, come Sunday
night, all the exams were behind me, and life can go back to
normal. If you want to learn more about the NBCE board exams and
what they entail go to www.nbce.org.
This week's blog is a short one, but I promise to have all the
details of how board exams went in next week's blog. It's back to
books for me.
I am almost finished with 8th Trimester and Student Clinic. I
have this week and next week, and then I have completed Student
Clinic. At this point, it is important to close out patient care,
make sure all the number requirements have been met, and prepare
for main clinic rotations that start the first week of September.
Like I stated in an earlier blog, I will be in the downtown Chicago
clinic. I feel like this clinic will be a great fit for me with my
radiology background because the clinic is equipped with digital
radiography equipment. I am also looking forward to being in a new
environment, new surroundings, and being a little bit closer to
where I live.
As the end of 8th Trimester nears, my excitement has been
increasing. The reason I am getting excited is because this
trimester marks the last classes I have to take in chiropractic
school. It's a pretty amazing feeling. From 9th Trimester on
through my chiropractic career, the education, seminars, and future
classwork I do will be tailored to my interests and my patient's
Final exams start next week Tuesday and finish up the following
week on Tuesday afternoon. One important key to getting through
finals, besides studying a ton, is have something fun planned to
celebrate when you finish. After weeks of stress, studying, not
sleeping, and living in the library, you deserve some sort of fun
activity to forget your worries. The day after finals this tri, my
friends and I are having a cookout on my roof deck and then heading
to Wrigley Field for a Cubs game.
Saturday was an especially long and crazy day. On our balcony,
we have a spiral staircase that goes to our roof deck, which was in
desperate need of a new paint job. For some reason, Rob and I
thought this would be an easy task, but it was quite the opposite.
The job took us several hours on Saturday as well as Sunday to
complete. After we finished with the work on Saturday, we had the
pleasure of hosting a dual birthday party for two NUHS ladies,
Candace Gesicki and Kenzie Wood. The night started with cocktails
and cake on the roof and ended out in Old Town, Chicago.
After we finished with the rest of the painting on Sunday, I
pulled out my notes to continue my studying for the final exams I
have this week. On Tuesday, I have Clinical Natural Medicine and
Evidence Based Practice III finals. Thursday's exams consist of
Business in the morning and Radiology Management/Report Writing in
the afternoon. And then three more exams the following Monday and
Tuesday and 8th Trimester is over!
See you in a couple of weeks!
With board exams approaching in a little over a month, most of
my free time has been dedicated to studying. The first week in
September I will be taking the Part II, III, and Physiotherapy
Board Exams, which I became eligible to take after finishing phase
two of the program at NUHS. The examinations are held Friday,
September 6 through Sunday, September 8 on campus.
Part II consists of general diagnosis, neuromusculoskeletal
diagnosis, diagnostic imaging, principles of chiropractic,
chiropractic practice, and associated clinical sciences. Each of
the six sections listed above consists of 110 multiple-choice
The Part III Exam includes case history, physical examination,
neuromusculoskeletal examination, diagnostic imaging, clinical
laboratory and special studies, diagnosis or clinical impression,
chiropractic techniques, supportive interventions, and case
management. This board exam has a total of 110 multiple-choice
questions and 10 case vignettes with extended
This 13-foot sculpture, "Musical Images," is one of the many
on the NUHS campus.
The final exam I will be taking in September is Physiotherapy.
This exam covers passive adjunctive procedures (thermo-, electro-,
mechano-, and photo-therapy) and active adjunctive procedures
(functional assessment, exercise physiology, endurance training,
muscle, neuromuscular, and disorder-specific rehabilitation). The
exam itself is 92 multiple-choice questions and 2 case vignettes
with extended questioning.
After completing this set of exams, I need to start prep for the
Part IV Board Exams, which will be the first weekend of November.
This exam is the practical portion of the four chiropractic board
exams. Included in the exam are X-ray interpretation and diagnosis,
chiropractic technique, and case management. All states with the
exception of Illinois require the Part IV Boards. The good news is
that after the fall trimester, if all the board exams go well
(fingers crossed), I should have a relatively easy spring
At the end of this week, my ever-troublesome laptop died for the
last time. Over the past year, I feel like I had to take my
computer in about every 3 or 4 months for some kind of repair. It
became an ongoing, not-so-funny, joke between the repair staff and
me every time I would come in again. So now, in an effort to save
myself from future technology headaches, I have finally made the
switch from PC to Mac. The funny thing is, it took me so long to
make this switch because I didn't want to spend as much on a laptop
as a Mac costs, but in the long run with my last PC, I probably
spent a lot more when you add up all the repairs, software, virus
protection, etc. Here's hoping I have more success with Macs than I
have had with PCs.
• First Patients and Jurisprudence Class
• Ideas for the Future
• Part IV Board Exams
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