Hope everyone is having a great week! This week is my worst
academic week so far this trimester: Chest radiology quiz on
Monday, clinical nutrition quiz on Tuesday, psychopath midterm on
Thursday, and Rehab and Botanicals 2 midterms on Friday. Yay
(sarcasm lol). Overall, this 7th trimester hasn't been that bad
yet, but this week will define the rest of the trimester so I'm
going to ramp up the studying. I've been slacking on school
studying lately as I've been putting all my time into old seminar
notes studying! I CANNOT STRESS IT ENOUGH people, if you've been
reading this blog you understand how important it is to go to
If you were to ask me, "Hey Christian, what are the best things
to learn at NUHS?"
My reply would be, "Learn how to 1) palpate any bone on anyone
at anytime; 2) adjust any bone on anyone at anytime; and 3) muscle
test any muscle on anyone at anytime."
Those are the highest value traits to have as a chiropractor.
Think about it. You might be the smartest person in the world and
be able diagnose every disease National teaches us. But if you
can't adjust and treat--who would pay for a diagnosis if you can't
treat? MDs can diagnose and they can at least give a drug (even if
it doesn't work). DCs need to be able to diagnose AND TREAT. DCs
need a unique combination of academic smarts and kinesthetic
Chiropractic is a beautiful combination of science and art that
treats the person in a holistic way few other doctors out there can
boast. Learn the academics and build your clinic with your hands.
The public doesn't know how smart we are coming out of National.
They know chiropractors adjust "low backs." So, fix the stuff they
"expect" you to, and BLOW THEIR MINDS with the education you get
from National. Seriously, I've yet to come across someone who's
been like, "Wow, you guys don't get enough education." Haha.
This past weekend featured the Frat/Sorority combined 80's
Party! Each trimester, the frat and sorority muster up something
creative and put on an event that is a refreshing change from the
same ole' same ole'! This trimester featured a themed party in the
NUHS gym decked out in 1980's décor. They had colorful balloons,
80's Pandora mix, spiked punch, Twister, 80's themed picture place,
and some classic adult games. I want to congratulate my friends for
putting together the hilarious decorations and plenty of balloon
spin kicks (ask Kendall).
Balancing seminars and midterms--our equivalent of "work/life"
balance commonly depicted in sitcoms and mulled over at family
gatherings. It's quite a personal topic, but as always, I'll
attempt to answer it the best I can.
"Hey Christian, why do you do these seminars? And how
much do they cost? And do you think they're really worth
it?" -- signed, Prospective Student
A question best answered by giving you a window into my
Last week we had 2 midterms, 2 projects, and a paper due. We are
in the heart of midterms--cortisol is through the roof, Starbucks'
profits have had a weekly bump in sales, and I'm in need of a
relaxing weekend to recharge. Nope. This past weekend we had our
5th of the 7-seminar series AK 100-hour certification course. The
seminar was 9am-8pm Saturday AND Sunday. So much for recharging.
This week we have 3 midterms (MSK, Botanical Med 1, and Pharm) as
well as daily neuro quizzes (today's didn't go so hot lol). I had
to wake up at 6am to get through the rest of botanical material
before the test today. So much for work/life balance...
Captain Obvious Alert! For perspective students: NUHS is
difficult. BUT it is doable. Plenty of people get through. As
Batman says, "The night is darkest before dawn." Can you tell I'm
working through a lot of stress as I write this post, ha ha?
Let me drop some knowledge on you, be ready for this: week 5,
week 10 and weeks 13-15 are going to be miserable! No doubt about
it, ha ha, to the point where most students (90% of the school)
choose to never go to seminars and just focus on classes. This
could be viewed as smart by academia. Get a good GPA, know all your
information in and out, etc. That is the majority opinion. My
philosophy is similar to Mark Twain's: "When the majority is in
agreeance, it's time to pause and reflect." So, let's take a
Past Graduates Dropping Some Knowledge!
I've had the opportunity to interview a few graduates and gain
some unique perspectives I'd like to share with my readers.
I asked, "Now that you're in clinical practice, what is the most
important thing you did in school?"
The paraphrased answers can all be summed up into 7 words: I
went to a lot of seminars.
Note: The interviewees happen to be the most successful
graduates over the last 4 trimesters based on how many patients
they are seeing per week and how many are being discharged, a very
important and often overlooked statistic.
A recipe I made for dinner: Thai chicken and pineapple.
Next question, "Of the most successful doctors in
practice you know, based on the above criteria, what are your
feelings on GPA?"
One past graduate doc (who will remain anonymous per his
request), "When I was in clinic, our class valedictorian used to
ask me all the time how to treat patients. I had a GPA of a
whopping 3.0. By academic standards, I was average. By clinic
skills, I had a 4.0. Make sure you take the boatload of material at
NUHS and APPLY it to how you would treat patients. Often times it
won't help you to get the highest grades on tests, but in the
clinic atmosphere you've been training your brain to that type of
different thinking for a few trimesters so it comes easier."
Another past grad, "I had a 2.6. I think adjusting competence is
more important than GPA. National should have an adjusting GPA. I
know that can't happen, but what do your patients see you as? An
adjuster of bones. Yes, we bring a lot more to the table that we
get to use, but still the heart of what we do (and how we gain the
confidence of patients to let us do more) is being a competent
For my longer term readers (and new readers), are you starting
to see the patterns? I write this blog to pass on my experiences
(both wins and losses at life) to hopefully help you guys out in
your careers as chiros. The common themes have surely been:
All the best,
Midterm season is upon us--as Cardio with Dr. Bill Hogan was
this morning featuring a 60-question variety of heart, EKG and
interpretation problems. If you've ever watched a medical drama
(and chances are good you have), you will probably find yourself
staring at the monitor trying to pick out abnormal P waves, a
spiked T wave, or a depressed ST interval. I know I was excited
when we learned about atrial fibrillation and later that night I
was watching a show where a patient was crashing and the doctor
yelled some combination of A Fib and STAT! (sick life
For those of you who don't know Dr. Hogan--well, he is an
interesting man. He comes across quite 'militant' and 'in your
face'. My tip is: DO NOT BE LATE TO HIS CLASS, or he will yell at
you and call you out right in the middle of lecture. He yelled at
my buddy going to restroom and told him to sit back down. What I do
appreciate about Dr. Hogan is that he is a very passionate
lecturer; he practically yells out during the lecture and provides
quality analogies, which maintains my attention throughout lecture.
On top of that, the cardiovascular system in general fascinates me
so I enjoy the material.
Me teaching how to palpate a sacrum in club.
The following is a recipe I'm passing on after RJ Burr
recommended I try it.
Paleo Cookie Dough (no
wheat, added sugars)
Ideally, blend all ingredients in a food processor and let sit
in the fridge. I don't have one so I added coconut milk and
garbanzo beans in a blend until smooth and then took it out and
added in the almond butter, chocolate whey protein powder, stevia,
and folded in the pieces of dark chocolate. Throw it in the fridge
and chill and eat it as is. No baking. Test it out. I thought it
What my friends and I noticed was the longer you've been eating
healthy and paleo, the better it tasted. My friend who eats
McDonald's a couple times a week hated it. My friend who ate
decently healthy thought it was 'pretty good'. RJ and I who are
strict paleo eaters absolutely LOVED IT. Funny, eh? Just an
Hello, Cygnets (baby swans...who voted on a wimpy mascot?
We have a few things on the plate this week--midterms, immunity,
travel hacking, March madness, and DJ Bifero!
Midterm Season continues to drag on. This week features
Pathology 2 and Microbiology 2. Hypertension, thyroid, adrenal,
pituitary, Ischemic heart disease, and all the crazy micro bugs
will be on tap all week. I do enjoy studying these subjects but the
shear volume of bizarre bugs to memorize in micro drives me
bananas, considering we won't be treating a vast majority of them,
or even see them in our offices for that matter. Well, you have to
cooperate to graduate (ha ha).
How to Catch a Cold
Many people assume that they simply 'catch' a cold by being
around virus/bacteria. While the germ theory has much proof for it,
I came across this fact in the "Science of Diet and Nutrition
With just 2 cans of SODA you DECREASE your immune system
function by 40% for 5 hours after!!!!! Holy shitake mushrooms! This
is true of all sugars, added Dr. Kristina Conner! This includes
excess fruits, grains, and obviously junk foods. No wonder the
paleo diet has such good clinical success. It's low sugar, which
allows optimal immune function. Anyways, I thought I'd drop some
knowledge since I thought it was a fun fact of the day.
Recently, I stumbled upon a concept or dare I say, cult, called
'travel hacking.' There are legions of people who sign up for all
sorts of bonus credit card deals for tens of thousands of frequent
flyer miles. They have tactics for saving hundreds on flights,
hotels, etc. It's sort of an underground following but if you're
interested in long term world traveling (I am trying to do this for
a few months after I graduate from NUHS to recharge my batteries),
I recommend checking out the Frugal Travel Guy, Chris Gulliebeau,
and this cool article I read: How to Travel Around the World for $418.
This past weekend our microbiology teacher, Dr. Antonio Bifero,
DJed at a club and a bunch of us went to support his musical
talents and hobby. It was really fun since we brought a bunch of
NUHS people and the shenanigans were in full swing. Picture
So who's your pick to win March madness? I have Syracuse winning
it all! Go orange!
Till next time,
This past week finally was the last week I had to study for
midterms. It's been a long 2.5 weeks and I'm about as burnt out as
you can be, which definitely cost me a few productive hours of
studying for neurophysiology. Nonetheless I'm uber excited for the
upcoming St. Patty's Day weekend. A bunch of us are going into the
city to do something called the 'bar crawl'? I believe it's because
they expect people to have to crawl from bar to bar at the end
because all the green frothy beverages caught up with them. I'm
really just excited to share some laughs and see the Chicago River
This week was the first time I've ever been to the naturopathic
clinic on campus; it's always good to expand your borders. They
bring another view to the world of medicine and one that DCs should
be trying to understand more because I believe in the future they
will cross paths even more than in the past with integrated care
catching on rapidly in the States. My purpose for going in was to
have my diet analyzed from a ND's perspective to see if they caught
any obvious things that could have dropped my hormone production.
They didn't notice anything super dramatic, but the intern wanted
me to retest my testosterone levels this Thursday before we do
anything else to make sure that it wasn't a bad lab test or
I've also come to the conclusion that I'm going to rehaul my
time management skills. I want to start recording how long I study
for certain tests, how much free time I allot myself during the
weekends, etc., etc. It sounds rather OCD and will therefore be
really hard for me because I have a problem with data entry and
minute tasks, but if I'm able to optimize my time I could get even
better grades and have even more fun. Let's face it who wouldn't
In addition, I would have less stress knowing that for a "B" I
need on average (X) hours of studying and for an "A" I need (Y).
Then I can plan my finals appropriately without feeling stressed
and always asking myself, "Did I study enough?" Of course this
might take a trimester to figure out but it will be a personal
growth experiment that could pay dividends for years to come. I'll
have more on this in the coming weeks.
That's it for me this week. I'll recharge and hopefully have
some good stories and pictures from Green Chi Town next
• MPI Gait Seminar
• Trimester Wind Down
• Chiro Games
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