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,
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
"...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
Well, that wraps up the blog this week.
• MPI Gait Seminar
• Trimester Wind Down
• Chiro Games
To read older blog posts, scroll to the bottom and click the "Older Posts" button.