Well, we knew winter was going to sneak up on us at some point.
It seemed that a January without snowfall was too good to be true.
According to the records, this weekend's blizzard was the 5th largest snowfall Chicago has ever seen.
We're a lot tougher than we look in the Midwest! It was great to
see people coming together to help salt sidewalks, shovel cars out
of the snow, and share rides around the city. I never thought I'd
see the day when I had to walk down the street to purchase
a shovel that I needed just to be able to drive my car!
Oh, the challenges of living in the city of Chicago!
When we have snow days at school, you have to take full
advantage of the extra time away from class. I spent the past few
days catching up with close friends, exploring new places in the
city, and enjoying great food. For my Type A personality, it feels
great to have a break from the normal routine of class and
Coming up this week, I'm looking forward to getting together
with The Ohio Club members at National to gear up for events in
2015. It's exciting to share a common connection with fellow
students interested in practicing in the same state and area,
especially to support each other when making tough decisions about
our futures! I hope that over the next few years, other state clubs
are formed at National and can offer a sense of community for other
students from different areas.
On another positive note, congratulations to the Clinic team
(Trimesters 8, 9, 10) who won the dodgeball tournament at Tri-Games
on Friday night! Although I was not in attendance, I heard the
Clinic team rocked the court!
I'm looking forward to seeing the sunshine again this week and
hopefully no more snow here at NUHS! :)
Recently at NUHS, I attended a weekend course taught by The
McKenzie Institute USA. This educational foundation has
developed a method to diagnose and treat patients suffering with
musculoskeletal pain originating from the spine and extremities.
Robin McKenzie was the founder of this institution, which began
researching disorders of the musculoskeletal system in 1982. Since
its beginning, McKenzie Method was utilized primarily by physical
therapists, but it has in recent years become more accessible to
(Photo courtesy of The McKenzie Institute, New Zealand)
One of the most unique features of McKenzie Method is the
concept that patients have the power and responsibility to help
treat themselves through exercises and lifestyle modifications.
This also adds a component of compliance to each patient's
treatment plan, assuming that they will actively work to help
correct and maintain proper posture and movement patterns. McKenzie
treatment involves the patient in actively caring for their
symptoms, which has an empowering effect that is able to eliminate
pain for each person in the end.
I was enrolled in the Part A course, the first of the series
toward certification that is geared toward focusing on the lumbar
spine. With our class size of about 20 people, an even mix of both
students and practicing doctors, we were able to work hands-on with
two patients who were coming in complaining of low back pain. We
practiced running through a McKenzie-based physical examination,
taking a thorough history with the patient, and going through the
diagnostic protocol that are used to help identify the
classification of different pain presentations.
Once we were able to identify the type of mechanical back pain
we were dealing with, we proceeded to work on exercises with each
patient to help reduce and relieve their pain in different regions.
The most rewarding aspect of the weekend was to see both of the
patients leave the seminar with a reduction in their low back pain
as well as in their radiating pain.
Getting to work with current DCs throughout the seminar was such
a tremendous experience, and there was much clinical knowledge to
be gained from these doctors! I even had the opportunity to meet
Dr. Anthony Hamm, the current president of the American
Chiropractic Association! In a couple weeks, we will be returning
to complete Part A of the seminar.
Now that I am an intern in clinic, I'm beginning to hone in on
what seminars I hope to take in the next year and what types of
additional skills I want to obtain for practice. At National and in
the Chicago area, there are so many tremendous seminars and
certifications available for us as students. With all of the
developments in the field of medicine, it will be valuable to have
other skill sets such as McKenzie to offer to my future patients
when I am in practice.
Last Friday night was our tri-mixer where all of the students
were invited to come out and meet each other. As an officer for
Student Council who helped plan the event, it's always fulfilling
to see tons of students come and participate in social events! The
cold and the snow can't hold us back from enjoying a weekend night
out with friends (like my friend KC and I)! :)
Nothing says fall quite like the changing of the leaves, the
crisp afternoon air, or a good pumpkin spice latte from your café
of choice. But wait, I'm sure you were thinking, "HOW could she
forget pumpkin carving?"
This week, SACA (short for the Student American Chiropractic
Association) hosted a pumpkin carving event for students and
faculty. After a disastrous creative attempt last year, I channeled
all my energy and precision into one artistic pumpkin, which also
serves as a proud reminder of my home, Ohio. I was told that there
was to be a contest for the best pumpkin, but unfortunately for me,
this is college football season, and despite my artistic abilities,
my allies are few and far between. ;)
So what is SACA, you may ask? The Student American Chiropractic
Association is a local, student-run chapter of the American
Chiropractic Association (ACA). This club is our opportunity to
get involved in our profession early, and there are endless
benefits for being involved while being a student.
Every year, SACA brings students from NUHS to the National Chiropractic Leadership Conference
(NCLC) in Washington, DC, where we meet with current doctors in the
field, leaders within the ACA, and members of congress who will
fight for our profession. Students join the fight to educate our
country's political leaders about the benefits of chiropractic and
why we deserve an equal place in the health care field.
On a more local note, SACA holds weekly informative meetings
open to students of all programs. Recent workshops include
practicing "elevator speeches" to use when asked about
chiropractic, discussing the role of ethics in health care and
especially alternative medicine, interviewing new physicians about
their experiences in practice, and many other valuable topics. Our
student leaders within SACA have done a terrific job at encouraging
student involvement and a sense of community among our student
population, and I look forward to future opportunities the club
To learn more about what SACA has to offer, check out
the ACA's website.
All right, so my title is a bit silly, but it's also quite
fitting. This week, students, faculty, and staff joined together to
celebrate the grand opening of the Eagle's Nest at our Lombard
Move that bus!
The Eagle's Nest is the new "student hub" here at NUHS, serving
as a place for people to congregate for lunch, conversation,
study-breaks, and relaxation. The Eagle's Nest is open 24/7 and is
now the best location available on campus for students wishing to
study at any hour of the day. Beginning the first day, students and
faculty have been taking advantage of this gorgeous new lounge
located in Janse Hall. This was a much-needed space for students,
who have been looking for a casual place to relax between classes
and gather with friends.
With President Stiefel in the Eagle's Nest
We also held a mascot-naming contest in October to promote
school spirit and get students involved. Our official NUHS mascot
is "Fitz" the Eagle, named after our institution's founding father,
John Fitz Alan Howard.
Integrative Pediatric Care
Over the weekend, I took a course offered by our Lincoln College
of Postprofessional, Graduate and Continuing Education titled
"Pediatrics for the Integrative Medicine Practitioner." The
instructor, Dr. Robert Dumont, is an MD who realizes the importance
of integrative medicine and utilizes natural therapies to help
relieve children of illness.
We covered different therapies such as traditional Chinese
medicine, acupuncture, homeopathic medicine, and dietary
modifications. All of these categories of therapies can be utilized
and combined to naturally treat common pediatric conditions without
intervention of pharmaceuticals.
One of the biggest concepts I took away from the seminar was the
importance of diet and nutrition in childhood wellness. Food
sensitivities to dairy, soy, and gluten can have a myriad of
negative effects on different systems throughout the body, and they
present as an incredibly diverse array of symptoms. Sometimes, a
thorough lifestyle evaluation and simple observation of the child
tell us exactly where the problem is arising, and exactly where we
can intervene. It was a very unique and beneficial seminar that
provided me with great reference material for treating children in
my future practice!
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! :)
• 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.