Salvy Series - Part 2

This week's interview with a 10th trimester intern features...

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Intern: Abby Kramer

Hometown: Libertyville, IL

Certs/Specializations: Professional Applied Kinesiologist (PAK), Neuro Emotional Technique, Fascial Movement and Performance Movement Taping (Rocktape), Webster Technique (ICPA), Certified Personal Trainer (ACSM)

What are your graduation plans?

I will be practicing at Be Optimal Holistic Health Center in Glenview, IL. We have practitioners in the fields of chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage therapy. We also offer monthly workshops and classes such as: yoga, meditation, health talks, and guest speakers to help educate the community on alternative care and wellness. I look forward to practicing in a clinic that has something to offer for everyone!

What is your favorite memory/most memorable experience at Salvation Army?

The best thing about being an intern at Salvation Army is the ability to help those in the drug and alcohol rehabilitation program complete their program and better their lives through chiropractic and holistic medicine. My favorite memory was when one of my favorite patients, an older man, commented that chiropractic had helped fix his broken body and soul and that he felt better than he had in over 10 years!

What words of advice would you give to incoming chiropractic students/those interested in chiropractic? 

My advice would be to find your PASSION within the field of Chiropractic. Before attending school, I had no idea that there were so many different techniques and specializations within the field. Take full advantage of your time in school to attend seminars, courses, and the different clubs on campus to find what gets you excited.  Whether its nutrition, adjusting, pediatrics, rehab, etc....hold onto that!  The program is incredibly rigorous, demanding, and exhausting! Finding techniques and modalities that I loved helped me to see the light at the end of the tunnel...which is treating patients and doing what I love!

Salvy Series - Part 1

Instead of always focusing on my experiences in the chiropractic program, I wanted to give everyone an opportunity to hear about the other interns at Salvation Army clinic. Each week, I'm going to interview a 10th trimester intern about their experiences in the DC program! First up...

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Intern: Doug Krefman

Hometown: Highland Park, IL

Interests: Motion Palpation Institute, Functional Rehabilitation, Orthopedics, English Bulldogs

What are your plans for after graduation?

I plan to join a musculoskeletal based practice in Chicago that integrates chiropractic, rehabilitation, and medical interventions.

What is your favorite memory or most memorable experience at Salvation Army?

One patient had 7 years of low back pain, numerous MRIs, X-rays, steroid injections, and 6 different prescribed painkillers with no relief. Through proper patient education and chiropractic care, we were able to resolve all symptoms and get him back to a pain-free active life. It gave me first-hand experience that all the long hours of practice can positively impact the lives of our patients.

What words of advice would you give to incoming chiropractic students and people interested in the chiropractic program?

I would suggest that prospective and current chiropractic students work for a doc and shadow as many chiropractors as possible. No matter how many seminars and classes you attend, nothing can prepare you for the real world like seeing actual practicing physicians. It will also open your eyes to different styles of practice that best suits your interests and strengths. Also remember to practice, practice, practice! Chiropractic and manual therapy is a psychomotor skill that can only be mastered through lots of failures and successes!

Interviewing for the Job

As my December graduation date quickly approaches, I've begun the daunting search for an associate chiropractic position. I'm looking forward to returning to my home state of Ohio, where I was this past weekend for the holiday, and I'm jumping into the interview process headfirst!

I've been keeping a close eye on the Ohio State Chiropractic Association's (OSCA) website for associate postings in the central Ohio area, near Columbus, and have sent my CV to a few practices.

On Friday afternoon, I met with the first practice that I am considering in my job search. I took with me the interviewing skills and advice we have been given throughout school, however, there is no better measure of your preparation than a first-hand experience!


Photo source: 635.gtbank.com

I wanted to share with everyone a couple important questions or topics that either I was asked or that a potential interviewer may ask when applying for job. I hope these questions spark your thought process and excite you for the opportunities that lay ahead!

  • What type of practice style do you envision yourself having?
  • What is your philosophy/belief of chiropractic care and its place in current healthcare?
  • What techniques of adjusting or manipulation do you use?
  • What is attractive to you about our practice, and what would you like to contribute?
  • Why do you think you would fit well within our practice?

It's also important to keep in mind that asking questions of the interviewing doctors is JUST as valuable!

  • Why is your practice hiring an associate at this time? (Are they trying to save their practice from going under, or do they simply need help to meet the demands of their patients? Are they financially able to hire an associate and support your growth?)
  • What are your expectations for an associate, short and long term?

NUHS Homecoming 2015

One of my favorite times of the year at National is our annual homecoming weekend. Younger trimester students take advantage of the four-day weekend and break from classes, but once you're in clinic, it is so valuable to participate in the festivities!


With Alumnus of the Year Dr. Tony Hamm and Megan Procaccini

Dr. and Mrs. Ken Dougherty were kind enough to sponsor my attendance to this year's homecoming. Dr. Ken and his wife live in Florida, where he practiced for 28 years in his own private practice, and now serves the university on various committees.


With Brent Heitmeyer, Mrs. and Dr. Ken Dougherty

At this point in my education, I cherish every opportunity to gain free knowledge. The doctors that presented covered a wide variety of topics, and you can bet I was sitting there soaking it all up!

  • Dr. Georgia Nab provided an introduction to functional medicine, which was very exciting to me since she recently graduated from University of Western State's master's program that I am currently enrolled in.
  • Dr. Nick LeRoy discussed his success in treating cervical dysplasia through conservative measures, and I think it's safe to say that the entire room was in awe after hearing the dramatic improvements that conservative treatment can provide to different grades of cervical dysplasia.
  • Dr. Craig Morris spent an entire afternoon walking us through the progression of rehabilitation over the decades, and he gave us a glimpse of how dynamic neuromuscular stabilization (DNS) can retrain proper motor patterns and through reflex point stimulation.

Homecoming photo
 With Dr. Erin Quinlan, my SA clinician

Homecoming photo
With Dr. Kristine Tohtz

The gala held on Saturday night was a perfect ending to the weekend. President Joseph Stiefel spoke of our university and recognized many individuals for their contributions to our university, most notably, the late Dr. Vrajlal Vyas. Although I never knew Dr. Vyas while he was still at the university, it was clear that this man made a lasting impression on students, faculty and friends within the National community. He was remembered through the words of Dr. Robert Shiel and inducted as the newest member of the NUHS Hall of Honor. We spent the rest of the evening eating a delicious meal, conversing with others, and dancing the night away.

Photo of Homecoming
With the university administration

A tremendous thank you to the alumni office for all of the time and hard work they contributed to making yet another homecoming weekend successful. I hope in years to come, I will be equally involved with our university and be able to pay it forward to future students at National! #TGIHomecoming15

A Typical Day at Salvation Army

Oftentimes in my early trimesters, I would wonder what a day in clinic would look like. From the beginning, students dream of that white pressed coat and intern nametag, dreaming of how exciting it will be to finally work with real patients (aside from our fellow classmates!). How much work would be involved with the paperwork? How much freedom would our clinicians give us? What really cool cases would we see?

Here is an example of a typical day at the Salvation Army Clinic:

Our hours begin at 7:00 a.m. in the busy River West area of downtown, right near the intersection of Halsted Street and Grand Avenue. Since many of us arrive by 6:45, we spend some time scouting for street parking and often walk 5-10 minutes to the building. After four flights of stairs, we've reached the clinic.

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Photo taken of the city while I was exploring this weekend!

Dr. Erin Quinlan begins each Monday by giving us an overview of the week. We review who is on the mandatory "new-man" exam each morning and make sure we have the appropriate paperwork put together. Patients who come up to the clinic for their "new-man" exam are people who have recently entered Salvation Army's work therapy program, so it is our job to give them a full physical and take an extensive history to determine if they are well enough to participate in the program.

Most of our interns see patients independently by 9th trimester. We have gotten into the routine of making our own schedules with patients, completing thorough SOAP notes about each visit, and oftentimes preparing one week's worth of supplements for the workers to take with them. Within the intern room, we can share patient cases and consult each other for treatment ideas. Overall, we spend most of our time working, but we still find opportunities for laughter and fun.

By about 1:00 p.m., all of our patients have gone to eat lunch and the clinic is calm again. We tidy up our belongings, make sure our routing slips have been sent down for upcoming appointments that week, and we give our tally sheets one last review for all of the names of patients we had seen that day. We keep very busy in the 6 hours that we are at the clinic, but it makes for a much more relaxing rest of the day.

If you have any questions about my experiences at the Salvation Army Clinic, I look forward to hearing from you at erinemley@student.nuhs.edu!