So I began chiropractic school, wanting to become a doctor,
right? Here at National, many of us are taught and believe that the
term "doctor" means primary care for patients. As chiropractors, we
have a unique practice style, utilizing spinal manipulation,
functional rehabilitation, and educating patients on beneficial
lifestyle modifications. However, the term "doctor" also means
being able to offer whole-body health and wellness, not just
treatment to the musculoskeletal system. In addition to a portion
of our education being focused on internal medicine, another course
in our curriculum is about ambulatory trauma and emergency
Although DCs are not authorized to practice some of the
interventions that allopathic medical doctors are taught, we still
are able to provide efficient and thorough first-aid care in
emergency situations. The course "Ambulatory Trauma" takes first
aid and advances it to the understanding of a medical student or
doctor. We learn how to evaluate different types of burns, wounds,
and even how to care for shock victims. In lab, we have practiced
measuring and using different ambulation devices, so that we may
accurately help patients keep active after injuries.
One of my favorite parts of the course so far has been
practicing suturing! Although suturing open wounds is not part of
the scope of practice for chiropractors, it was still a very fun
and interactive lab. (It also served as a reminder of my queasiness
at sights of wounds and blood!) We learned about proper suturing
techniques, the different methods of closing up a wound, and
practiced these lessons on rubber arms in the lab.
In future weeks, we will be learning about assessing first-aid
situations for spinal cord injuries, musculoskeletal injuries, and
learning how to splint and co-manage these victims in emergency
situations. This course is excellent practice for those of us
looking to assist on the sidelines of sporting events or simply in
every day situations that may arise. Although no one wishes for
injury to occur, it is better that we are educated and prepared to
aid in emergency situations!
As many of us at NUHS prepare for midterm season, I hope
everyone has a wonderful week!
"Your life will become better by
making other lives better."
-- Will Smith
One of the most crucial steps to success in the chiropractic
profession is active involvement in your state and national
professional organizations. Intending to move back to Ohio and
practice after graduation, I recently attended the annual
convention in Columbus, Ohio, for the Ohio State Chiropractic
Association (OSCA). What a weekend! Myself and four other DC
students, all from different stages of the curriculum, attended the
convention to learn more about the future of our profession,
why we need to maintain our presence in the field of
health care, and what we can do as students to become more
Brent, Stephen, Jess, and myself enjoying a night out in
Our students attended a session about treatment of shoulder
conditions, which are said to be the 3rd most common reason that
people present to a chiropractor's office for care. We were taught
by Dr. Brett Winchester, a well-known educator and instructor for
Motion Palpation Institute, DNS, and other valuable organizations.
He emphasized the importance of understanding the kinetic chain of
movement, rehabilitating more than just the site of pain, and
teaching patients correct lifestyle modifications they can make to
prevent re-injury from occurring.
Saturday night was the beautiful gala for all attendees of the
convention -- physicians, students and office staff alike. I
watched in amazement as Bharon Hoag, the Executive Director of the
OSCA and a dear friend, presented prestigious awards to members of
the Ohio Senate, Ohio House of Representatives, Ms. America 2014
(who is a chiropractor!), and other incredibly influential people.
Ohio is the first state in America to have passed
legislation allowing chiropractors to be on the front-line for
concussion care, which is PHENOMENAL. If it weren't for the hard
work of the board members, directors and current doctors in Ohio
fighting for our rights, we never would have achieved this
monumental step for chiropractic.
Me with my brother and sister-in-law, Billy and Kelly
My brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Kelly, were in attendance
at the convention as well, both also practicing DCs in northeast
Ohio. Visiting with my family and discussing our profession was
such a perfect way to spend my weekend, and I amsothankful to have
them as role models and inspiration for my career! This weekend was
also a tremendous opportunity to meet current doctors, hear their
advice and success stories, and bring back this spirit to our
fellow students at NUHS. I took away so much valuable information,
leaving with an overwhelming sense of excitement and hope for our
profession, and there is no doubt in my mind that I will be
attending the convention again next year!
Why Become Involved?
Participating in professional organizations such as the OSCA
gives us a greater sense of purpose. We entered this healthcare
profession to touch people's lives and positively impact our
communities, but who says that our influence has to stop there? It
is our duty to take pride in our career of alternative healthcare
and therefore fight for it. At times, we are so unaware of the
overwhelming sacrifice and dedication that our predecessors
contributed to the advancement and success of our profession.
Photo booth fun with NUHS peers and Bharon Hoag, OSCA
We are the future leaders of chiropractic medicine, and
we are the ones responsible for the success and
continuation of our craft. We are given the tremendous opportunity
to change lives, so if we do not do all that is in our power to
protect and preserve this right, we are selfish. Becoming involved
in these organizations is not only of value for us and our future
practices, but for the success of our profession as a whole.
This past week, I celebrated my 24th birthday in the company of
my friends, peers and coworkers. I'm not always one to make
birthdays a big deal, especially as I get older, but with the
beautiful September weather and midterm season coming up in a
couple weeks, I decided to splurge and have a few nights of
Wednesday night, some friends and I went to Joe's Bar on Weed
Street in Chicago, one of the most popular country venues in the
city and a place I have frequented for many musical performances.
Randy Houser was in town, so we jammed out to his country and blues
music in the beautiful city of Chicago. The following evening, I
celebrated with some girl friends at Bonton in downtown Lombard,
enjoying tapas, appetizers, and fruity beverages. I loved having
the chance to sit and talk with some of my closest girl friends in
school, even though the conversation always somehow reverted back
to classes and NUHS!
Friday night, I went out to dinner in the suburb of Oak Park and
had the chance to catch up with NUHS alum Dr. Candace Gesicki,
visiting from out of town. Candace opened up her own practice just
outside of Cleveland, Ohio, and was so excited to share
her experiences in the real world. We discussed the details of
opening an independent practice, drafting and presenting a business
plan, and becoming involved in the local community. Not even six
months out of chiropractic school, I am so proud of her for
following her dreams! I'm fortunate to have such a great role model
to look up to with all my concerns and questions about the
One of the most exciting courses in 7th trimester is Advanced
Diagnosis and Problem Solving, and I am definitely doing a lot of
problem solving, that's for sure!
Two days a week, we are in the clinic with simulated patients,
or "sim patients" as we have grown to say. We encounter a brand new
patient, gain practice taking a thorough history, performing the
appropriate physical exams, establishing a diagnosis or diagnoses,
and reporting our findings with the patient. Nobody said becoming a
doctor was easy, and this class is a representation of the
challenges many students face when learning to interact with
Sometimes, the patient's clinical presentation is simple, and
you know exactly what steps need to be performed to establish the
diagnosis. Other times, the pieces don't fit together and you find
yourself researching a condition you studied a year ago, trying to
ask the appropriate questions to ensure you are on the right track.
This is the challenge of becoming a doctor: having the
responsibility of someone's health and wellbeing, but also being
able to think critically on your toes and establish a comforting
relationship with that patient, all in a 30-minute period. I have a
long way to go until I feel more confident during my patient
encounters, but I accept the challenge!
On Friday night, Student Council hosted its Fall Tri-Mixer at a
local venue that we all know fondly as Rita's. Between the dancing,
the photos, and all the laughter, I hope everyone had a great night
out! It's important to spend time with your peers outsidethe
classroom, getting to know people for who they are and as friends.
To all of the new 1st trimester students who attended, we hope you
got to know some of your other classmates and enjoyed a night off
from studying all that anatomy! :)
If there's anything I've realized about
myself over the past year of my life, it's that I love live music!
To those of you who keep up with my blog, you may have noticed a
trend of country concert followed by country concert. To me, the
combination of soothing guitar solos, compassionate lyrics, and a
positive atmosphere of fans is a recipe for the perfect
I packed my first couple weeks back with shows by Carrie
Underwood, Craig Campbell, and the highly anticipated Garth Brooks
2014 world tour. Whew! Nothing could have prepared me for the
energy and emotion that accompanied Garth's show up in Rosemont,
Illinois, this past weekend, and the memories I made were
I'm thankful that I have found such a
rewarding hobby for all of the hard work I spend involved in the DC
program. With any luck, I'll find time for an opera or philharmonic
concert this fall concert season, and I can then continue to expand
my appreciation for music of all genres.
This trimester is looking to be an exciting, yet intimidating,
series of classes and assignments! Last week, we encountered our
first "simulation patient" in Tri 7's Advanced Diagnosis class.
These actors and actresses are such a tremendous experience for us
to interact with patients of various disease states, both
physically and mentally, and react appropriately to the challenging
cases we will encounter in practice.
I look forward to perfecting my technique when it comes to
history taking, the physical exam, diagnostic skills, and most
importantly, building a relationship with the patient. No amount of
knowledge can replace the necessity for a kind, understanding, and
compassionate doctor, especially in today's age of "Doctor Google,"
when the most crucial component of a doctor-patient relationship is
trust. Gaining these skills is my top priority both in this class,
as well as over the next year before I am practicing on my own. I
can't wait to take advantage of every opportunity to learn this
Until next week, take care!
• 5-Minute NUHS Campus Tour
• What I Learned in 6th Tri
• Opportunities Outside the Classroom
To read older blog posts, scroll to the bottom and click the "Older Posts" button.