Archive for tag: questions

Life and NUHS Balance

Hey Everyone, 

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 life...

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 closer look.

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.

2012-06-26_food
A recipe I made for dinner: Thai chicken and pineapple. Yum!

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 adjustor."

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:

  1. Understand the information in terms of treating patients, not in terms of GPA; it's just a number.
  2. Become a fantastic adjuster.
  3. Go to a lot of diverse seminars.
  4. Challenge assumptions, and live well.

All the best,
CC 

Common Prospective Student Questions

Hey everyone!

Another week in the bag! Did anyone notice this trimester is absolutely flying by? 

I thought we would do things a little differently this blog and answer two emails I recently got to shed some light on common questions prospective students have before making a plunge into NUHS studies (or chiropractic in general). Isn't that what this blog is for anyways? ;)

"...Just wondering, how far in advance did you apply before starting. Is it like med school where you have to apply a year before intended enrollment? Also, how many years does it take on average?" -- Jessica

Great questions! I applied to NUHS in the fall of my senior year in college for admission for the following fall. Sidenote: The fall class is always the biggest and seems to have a lot of people who are about the same age post college graduation. I love my class (still! :). So, although it appears it was a year in advance, I knew I wanted to go to National since senior year in high school. I worked for a grad and it's the best chiro school in the country. It seemed like a no brainer.

With that said, Admissions recommends you apply six months to a year in advance, but you can still apply in late spring for the fall. It takes about 2-4 weeks for all the application stuff to go through and get your decision. Not to blow anyone's horn but my admissions lady (Anne Joy, I believe), who I probably called a zillion times asking her questions and confirming all application materials, was a HUGE help during the process continually going above and beyond the call of duty, and probably the nicest lady ever. (Except Marie...who is the unsung hero of this blog. ;)

My advice, the Bottom Line: One shouldn't just go to chiropractic school because they didn't get into allopathic medical school and still want to be called a "doctor." It's a ton of work (10 trimesters of 27 credits each...totaling about 3.5 years if you go straight through). If you don't truly have a passion for it, you will get burnt out. I love it, but it's not fairy tales and money trees when you get into the real world, so choose what's in your heart and you'll be right where you're supposed to be come next fall. :)

"...I really am interested to know what your opinion is on being a chiropractic student at National. I grew up a patient and want to do what my doc does. I've also seen a video of Dr. James Winterstein. I think he is the president talking about the ability to prescribe.  I'm curious why he said those things. I always thought chiros were against that. Oh, and is there a lot to do in the area outside of school?" -- Brent

Great questions, Brent! First, I do love being a student here. I love the friends I've made here and many of them will be close for life. The curriculum is rigorous and can feel daunting, but if you go to seminars and keep focused you'll pop out a darn good chiro for wherever you decide to practice!

As for the President's video comments, I have not seen the one you refer to but I have an idea of what you're fishing for. Dr. W is in favor of increasing our scope of practice (which is a good thing). It doesn't mean we HAVE to/or will use drugs when we are in practice. You're absolutely right, many chiros don't think many of their patients' problems are from "drug deficiency," if you catch my drift ;).

However, the biggest pro for it, which I myself was unaware of at first, is if you have prescription rights, you have the ability to LEGALLY take your patients off certain medications. As it stands right now, if a patient walks in with 10 prescriptions and we think they realistically need only 1 or 2 (hypothetical), we don't have the legal scope to tell them to stop taking the drugs. We have to tell them to ask their MD to take them off, which you can imagine creates a whole host of other interesting things which is beyond the scope of this blog (pun intended!).

Time will tell. As long as you have the passion for helping people with chiropractic, I highly recommend National. There's plenty of fun stuff to do and Chi town is a quick train ride away!

Well, that wraps up the blog this week. 

Peace out,
CC