Hello, all. I can't believe its already Week 13 of the
trimester. Though the break between trimesters doesn't affect us in
the clinic, because we work through the break, it does mean we are
that much closer to graduation. It's not just patient numbers we
need to hit while in clinic, there are also blood chemistry and
urinalysis, SOAP notes, patient narratives, and community service
hours that need to be completed also. It seems monotonous at the
time, but these other requirements really do prepare you for real
life practice. Needless to say we have been busy trying to knock
out all these requirements before December rolls around.
While we've been busy in the clinic, everyone else has been busy
preparing for finals. Since finals are around the corner and it's
been a few trimesters since I wrote about how I study, I thought
it'd be pertinent for this week's blog. The first part of the plan
is to realize that cramming is not the way to go. I had to learn
this the hard way during my first trimester. Studying really should
be done each day to stay current with your material and keep the
topics fresh in your mind throughout the tri. The best way to learn
something is by repetition, like Malcolm Gladwell wrote about in
his book The Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of practice
to master a skill. Once you are in the proper mind set for
studying, the next step is to get into the material.
Hopefully, through the trimester you have been reading and
highlighting pertinent material in your books. This is the first
step. Our professors do their best to give more attention to more
difficult topics but there is just not enough classroom time to hit
every topic so it will be your job to read up on everything else.
While reading the book, it helps to read aloud and highlight as you
go. This feeds information through several parts of the brain,
which helps with retention. With this same principle in mind, the
next step of the plan is to transcribe book notes and class notes
into a consolidated form. This not only makes you look at the
material another time, but also gives you a compact study guide to
read over as much as you can.
Remember there is no substitution for rest. If it comes down to
getting a good night of sleep or cramming, take the sleep. While
you sleep, your brain continues to review information you
introduced to it before you hit the sack. A solid 8 hours of sleep
will do wonders for retaining information as well as help with test
To recap, read the book aloud and highlight, transcribe your
book and class notes into a solid study guide, and try to get some
sleep. Endurance is the name of the game, if you put in the work
through out the trimester, studying for midterms and finals is
extremely manageable. Don't let the exams stress you out, prepare
as best you can, go into the exam confident and relaxed and you'll
I hope this helps settle some test taking anxieties out there.
After finals are over there's a two-week break waiting for you, so
let that be some of your motivation. Once you hit clinic and your
number of tests drop, you'll have some free time on the weekends to
finally have a social life again.
This past weekend was 2 of my best friends' birthdays, so we
celebrated on the beach. Family and friends got together for some
beach soccer, domino tournament, and a few drinks to top it all
off. It was a killer weekend, and I feel like I need another
weekend to recover from this last one. Study hard; there is a light
at the end of tunnel.
Catch ya later,
Hello, everyone. The office in our clinic was eerily quiet this
morning. Everyone seems to be still waking up from his or her
4th of July holiday, and I'm definitely one of
them. It's a tradition here in Florida to hit the beach on the
4th, and far be it from me to break a tradition.
Tuesday night my buddies and I took off to The Friendly Tavern on
Reddington Beach to sing some karaoke with the beach locals, and on
Wednesday, we fried on the beach the majority of the day. I wasn't
finished with the beach, so my buds and I went back out Friday
after work and stayed out till Sunday morning. Fun in the sun will
definitely take it out of you, but it's important to have some time
to unwind and clear your mind every now and again so not to get
burnt (pun intended) out.
Sand Key Beach
Starting at National
I always get a kick out of receiving emails from prospective and
current students about what's concerning them, or what they're
taking from the blog, plus it gives me a direction to follow. After
all, this blog is for you guys.
This past week a prospective student sent me a killer email
asking what he could expect when starting at National, how he could
prepare, and how he could be sure that he and his future classmates
would be eventually ready for the next step of their education. I
wrote the student back, and today I'd like to paraphrase what we
discussed, just in case anyone else out there has the similar
In my opinion, preparing for this program is more of a mental
game than anything else. Too often I see students enter this
program with the mentality that they are still in undergraduate.
Please realize that you will be entering a doctorate program
equivalent to med school and quite a bit of work and responsibility
will follow. I made this mistake myself my first trimester, and I
had to work twice as hard in subsequent trimesters to make up for
it. So please, learn from my mistake in this regard, and work hard
from the beginning. Aside from being mentally prepared for this
program, I think the next best thing to do to prepare for Trimester
1 is to review basic anatomy, as it will be a large part of your
1st year and provides a solid base for further
Fellow classmate Sue studying.
The first year or phase at National is dedicated solely to basic
sciences. I still don't understand why it's called "basic"
sciences--microbiology, biochemistry and pathology are anything but
basic--but anyway. This is done to ensure that each student is well
versed in the framework of being a physician, and so that in the
second phase of your education, a clinical thought process can be
applied to this foundation. I know this can sound pretty
intimidating, but in actuality it is very doable. Everyone here at
NUHS wants you to do well, and the school takes a ton of steps to
The Florida campus currently has a 20-student cap on its class
sizes, which ensures a unique almost 1-on-1 learning environment.
In addition to the smaller class sizes, there are peer tutors
available (I'm your guy for radiology, shameless plug), professor
office hours, and open lab times for practice. The key to having a
successful education here is to allocate enough time to study every
day, keep current with the material, and like what you are
There will be a ton of work ahead of you, and there should be.
With the title "doctor," comes a lot of prestige and even more
responsibility and it's our duty to be prepared for whatever is
thrown in front of us. The workload has chilled out quite a bit
since making it to clinic, and looking back on it, I would do it
all over again. When that first patient thanks you for helping
them, it makes all those hours in the library in front of books and
notes worth it.
I hope this entry was more inspiring than intimidating and sheds
some light on what to expect when entering NUHS. It's not all work;
there is definitely time to play also. I'll be the first to tell
you that. I hope everyone has a great week.
Catch ya on the flip side,
Hello, and welcome back. Hope everyone's weekend was as
enjoyable and productive as mine. Not to brag, but I had a killer
The first three months of the year in Tampa are a pretty crazy
time. The last weekend of January marks the anniversary of Jose
Gaspar invading Tampa Bay Harbor, when we celebrate the Gasparilla
Day Parade. February brings the Gasparilla Night Parade through
historic Ybor City, and finally in March is the Gasparilla Distance
Classic, and the newly formed, Gasparilla Music Festival.
I know the Lombard campus can enjoy music festivals year-round
in Chicago, so the news of a music festival may not strike up the
same amount of excitement as it does down here. This was the first
music festival of this size ever in Tampa. A few friends and I
started the morning off with some breakfast on near-by Davis
Island, and then took the water taxi down the Hillsborough River to
the middle of downtown Tampa to enjoy the festivities.
There were three stages with live music being played from 11am
until 11pm with the aesthetic back drop of downtown Tampa
skyscrapers, the Hillsborough River, and the University of Tampa.
The sunny day, cool breeze, food trucks, and beer tents added to
the awesomeness of the day. The day ended with taking the water
taxi back to Davis Island and parting ways. Then came Sunday
morning, and an entire day (9am to 6pm!!) of studying for Boards.
What a way to bring it back to reality!
This past Wednesday, the St. Pete chapter of Motion Palpation
Club hosted the current president of MPI, Dr. Mark King, who gave a
presentation on practice success.
Dr. King, me and Dustin Bledsoe (Motion Palpation Club
Dr. King has one of the most successful chiropractic practices
in the country, based out of Cincinnati, and he took time out of
his extremely busy schedule to stop by and share some of his
knowledge with us.
The most important piece of information I took from the
presentation was "confidence breeds success." I couldn't agree more
with Dr. King. Confidence portrays knowledge to your patients and
colleagues. The question then becomes, how to exude confidence? To
exude confidence to others, you must believe that you know what you
know. Dr. King reiterated several times that practice and becoming
masterful at our profession is the best way to portray confidence.
One must remember that there is a thin line between confidence and
cockiness, and over-stepping that line could be disastrous. So in
short--practice, practice, practice. Remember what Malcolm Gladwell
said in his book Outliers, it takes 10,000 hours of
performing a task to become a master of that task.
Thank you for reading this week's entry. I hope everyone's week
flies by and is relatively stress free considering Boards are this
weekend coming. Other student interns and I will be taking Part II,
III, and PT Boards, so please wish us luck. For everyone else
taking boards here and in Lombard, best of luck, and remember not
to over-think the questions, and be confident of the knowledge
Go Noles!! ACC Champs!!
Good morning, blog reading faithful. Hope everyone's week went
well last week, and the weekend provided some downtime from all the
midterms. I know around here students have been scrambling to get
in any last minute studying they can. Cramming doesn't always work
in the long haul, and I'm not endorsing it, but it can help in the
A student approached me last week and asked how to find the time
to study appropriately. The best answer I could give was to study
every day. I know it's the absolute last thing you will feel like
doing when you get home after a full day of lecture, but it's the
best way to avoid that overwhelming feeling before a test. An hour
of reviewing notes right when you get home will go a long way in
understanding material and mentally storing that information.
Shelby studying outside the Annex building in between
So this past Saturday, I was out to dinner with some friends at
the Refinery in Tampa (killer restaurant, by the way), and out of
nowhere my pal Javi put me on the spot and asked what exactly is it
that chiropractors do?
A few of my buddies' parents are MDs, Javi's dad is pediatric
surgeon, and to them chiropractic is some monster living in the
hillside handing out strokes to the scared townspeople. The
question of what it is we do as chiropractic physicians will tend
to come up quite a bit in networking circles and in practice, so
one should be prepared to tackle it.
Getting back to the story at hand. There I was at the dinner
table with 5 other of my friends staring at me and expecting me to
enlighten them to what I've been doing with my life for the past 2
plus years. Luckily I had an answer for them (and I'm a good
"As chiropractors we use a lot of the same diagnostic tools as
MDs to reach a diagnosis of what's ailing our patients, with an
emphasis on approaching the patient as a whole, then treating the
patient using a drug-free, hands-on approach." It was a short and
sweet answer that I thought would suffice, but then came the
question, "I thought you were just a back guy?"
Katie adjusting Guy
I don't about you, but I can't stand that statement, however
it's a conception the majority of lay-people have about DCs. I
answered, "Some chiros are solely 'back guys.' I think of myself as
becoming a doctor who can treat any part of the body, but whose
treatment, more often than not, can consist of spinal adjusting,
but doesn't always need to." This was followed by some more
questions, answers and scenarios, but the point is, I was
As chiropractors, we will be asked these questions, and we must
be able to defend our profession in an educated and articulate
manner. Have your own definition of chiropractic handy for
patients, and another for networking with allopaths. It's
inevitable that someone will try to stump you with this question;
don't let them.
That should be enough story time for this week. I hope everyone
has a great week, and it flies by. For everyone studying for boards
on the horizon, don't stress yourself out; you'd be surprised how
prepared you are even if you don't realize it. When in doubt, a
beer (or 2) while studying tends to help.
Catch ya on the flip-side,
Hello, all. I hope everyone is surviving the onslaught of
midterms that have been hurdled their way. I know we have seen a
drop off in clinic appointments, last week and this week, for the
students to fit in some last minute studying. These tests take a
toll on everyone, so don't feel like you are the only
Saturday, I was up bright and early with a cup of coffee, a
banana and my Jurisprudence notes. My cheeks were planted in the
chair at my desk from 9:00 a.m. until 1:00 p.m., Saturday and
Sunday mornings working on midterm papers, presentations and
studying. In this program, discipline is king, and it took me some
time to train myself to sit in one spot for 4 hours straight
staring at a computer screen or book. At the end of the day, you
have to do, what you have to do; and if that means 8 hours a
weekend of school work, you have to put your head down and barrel
The weekend wasn't all work. Of course, I had to play a little
also. One of the perks of Florida weather is the outdoor festival.
My grandparents and I hit the Spanish Fiesta Day Festival this
weekend in Ybor City. The cigar factories of Cuba founded the city
of Tampa when they were moved to the States to flee communism. The
original city was Ybor City. Today, Ybor is a historical district
with a ton of shops, restaurants, bars and nightclubs.
Cuban-Americans, Spanish-Americans, and Italian-Americans started
the area, and a couple times a year the city shuts down the main
drag in Ybor and holds a festival to celebrate these heritages.
Spanish Fiesta Day in Ybor
We walked up and down 7th Avenue, ducked in shops, ate
entirely too much food, and I even twirled my grandmother around to
some of the salsa music being played by the bands on the street.
Later that afternoon, my grandparents headed back home and my pals
met me for some dinner and bar crawling. The weekend ended back at
my desk Sunday afternoon, but at least I had some fun in the sun to
balance out all the schoolwork.
Concert at Spanish Fiesta Day in Ybor
I'd like to end up this week's post with a story of a mistake I
made last week in clinic, so hopefully no one out there makes the
same one. As we've all been told over and over again, patient
consent is paramount before rendering treatment.
I had finished up with my history, physical exam and review of
findings with a new patient, and began my discussion on the risks
and benefits of chiropractic care and the adjustment. I finished,
what I thought was a good explanation, and the patient consented to
care. What I had forgotten to include in my talk was what the
patient should expect to hear/feel during and after the adjustment;
this was made apparent after I adjusted my patient's cervical spine
for the first time ever. The patient was startled to say the least,
and immediately started to tear up. There was no discomfort with
the adjustment, just shock after hearing the resounding cavitation.
Needless to say our clinician, Dr. Heiser, wasn't too thrilled with
me forgetting that bit of information from my informed consent
speech. The patient was quickly set at ease after a conversation on
the nature of the cavitation and the mechanism behind the
associated audible release or "pop," and even showed back up this
morning for continuing care.
Remember, when you do something right with a patient, they tend
to go and tell a few people, but when you do something wrong with a
patient, they tend to tell a whole lot more. We are in school to
learn through our mistakes, but always try to do your best and make
yourself, and the profession, look as good as possible. I hope
everyone has a good week, and kills all their exams.
• The Florida Campus
• Shadowing a Chiropractor
• President's Visit & Lecture
• What to Do in Florida
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