Archive for tag: chicago

Closing the Chapter on Chiropractic School

As I was sitting down to write this week's blog, also my last blog as a chiropractic student, I realized that I have lately been saying a lot of "Goodbyes." Over a month ago, I said "Goodbye" to the Salvation Army clinic and my many friends who I spent endless hours laughing with and learning from. A few weeks ago, I said "Goodbye" to Dr. Owens and his receptionist Tammy at the Danville VA hospital, where I also made tremendous memories interacting with the veterans and working within the government's healthcare system. Instead of saying yet a third "Goodbye" to National, I will conclude my experience instead by closing the chapter and welcoming the next steps along my journey.

Chiropractic school has been one of the most challenging and rewarding decisions of my life. This week, four years ago, I was finishing up my fall finals at Ohio State and had just come home for the holidays, only to be surprised by a call from Karla Drew, one of National's admissions counselors. The phone interview with Karla was the beginning of a new chapter for me then, and I was thrilled when I received my acceptance letter in the mail a few months later, notifying me that I would begin studying chiropractic medicine at NUHS in September of 2012.

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My White Coat Ceremony in September 2012.

The move to Illinois was unfamiliar and yet exciting. I spent my first year living in libraries, as many students do in any medical or professional program. Phase I of the program seemed to drag on, but by 2014, I had moved on to the clinical sciences in Phase II and was soaking up all of the information. I quickly became involved in our university, both in student organizations and with the admissions office, so I spent the majority of my free time getting to know my fellow peers and developing closer friendships.

In 2015, I moved to the city of Chicago to be closer to the Salvation Army clinic and to enjoy a new experience as a young adult. I quickly became infatuated with my neighborhood in Lincoln Park and was thrilled to explore the city in my free time. I grew close with my "clinic-mates" as we called each other, and I developed both my diagnostic and technique skills as a chiropractic intern working with Dr. Erin Quinlan. During my year in Chicago, I found myself falling in love with all of the people and places around me. I decided to forego my previous plans to return to Ohio and stay in Chicago following graduation from chiropractic school.

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Soon to follow my brother Billy's footsteps at his NUHS graduation in December 2000.

It's hard to believe that the past years have flown by so quickly. I never imagined that this time would arrive! My experiences and memories at National changed my life, and for that, I am so entirely grateful. I believe that we as CAM professionals have so much potential to help others, if only we have the courage to speak up and initiate change in a society overwhelmed by pharmaceutical influence. The healthcare profession needs more chiropractors with big hearts and open minds so that we can continue to impact the lives of so many people struggling with chronic pain and disease.

It has been a pleasure sharing my experiences through my blog posts over the past two years, and I can only hope that you now feel more inspired to pursue a career in chiropractic medicine and come experience National University for yourself. As always, please don't hesitate to reach out to me via email at erinemley@gmail.com with any questions you may have.

In health,
Erin

Saying Goodbye to Salvy

To those of you who have followed my blogs over the past year, you've heard all about my experience at the Salvation Army clinic. What began as an ambitious decision to move to Chicago for my last year of school transformed into one of the best decisions I've ever made.

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View of Chicago taken from Lake Michigan

Living by myself in a big neighborhood taught me so much about myself, everything from identifying my living habits to realizing how much I love the energy of the city. I had the opportunity to work with patients I never would have imagined treating: People suffering from addiction, depression, challenging upbringings, and people who just wanted to live a better life. My patients taught me about patience, about humility, and most importantly, about perseverance. Working with these people was such a rewarding experience, and I learned so much along the way. Thank you to all of those who allowed me into their lives to connect and grow with over the past year.

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Shehab, me and Johnny being inducted into the "Salvy Wall of Fame"

It was difficult saying goodbye to my fellow interns. Shehab, Johnny and I became very close over the past 11 months, and I am so excited to stand by these gentlemen at graduation and watch them change the world.

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Student housing at the VA hospital

As I write this blog, I find myself sitting at my quaint little desk that faces a westward window in my room in Danville, Illinois. I'm watching the sun set on a beautiful November afternoon, gazing at the beautiful leaves changing color outside my window, and I am eager to begin working with the veterans here at the VA hospital. I have no doubt that the next four weeks will be challenging -- but also rewarding -- as I spend time with men and women who have served our country.

Until next time!

The End is Near

I hope everyone enjoyed learning about Johnny and Shehab in the Salvy Series the past two weeks! In the chiropractic profession, it's important to appreciate all of the different backgrounds students come from and focuses we have while going through school. I look forward to sharing my own Salvy Series blog closer to December!

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View from the Salvation Army clinic on a beautiful October morning

The past few weeks of clinic, I have been passing off my patients to 8th and 9th trimester interns who are eager to get more hands-on with patient care! I've been keeping myself busy studying for Part 4 board exams in mid-November, working on my Illinois state license application, and studying material for my Nutrition and Functional Medicine courses that I'm currently enrolled in. With the University of Western States program, I am learning about gastrointestinal and immune system imbalances, classes that I find both incredibly fascinating and invaluable. We have always been taught in school that food itself is NOT medicine, yet eating a properly-balanced diet and incorporating a wide variety of nutritious foods can have a life-changing impact on your health! Making these lifestyle changes can be a challenge, so I'm enjoying using myself and my friends and family as guinea pigs before I'm in clinical practice!

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View from the rooftop of my new apartment in Lakeview overlooking the city

For the month of November, I will be interning with Dr. Donald Owens (a 1992 National University grad) at the Illiana VA hospital in Danville, Illinois. I'll be moving down Sunday afternoon and preparing for my 4-week experience working with veterans. Fortunately, there is housing provided for me while I am participating in the internship, and I plan on returning on the weekends to Chicago for seminars, Part 4 boards, and the Thanksgiving holiday. November is already booked up, and before I know it, December will be here. Woah, time has flown! I think it's safe to say our entire class is eager for Week 15 to arrive! #DecemberDocs

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you from Danville, Illinois! :)

10th Tri Sets In

I can't believe we are approaching October! Where has this year gone? Another week has passed, and things are starting to wrap up here in clinic.

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No one ever complains when we bring donuts to clinic!

Our 8th trimester interns are really getting the hang of things around here, and they're beginning to take on much more responsibility with new patient exams and learning the details of the clinic. One intern, Andrew, sat in with me on a new patient visit and since then, he has almost completely taken over treatment.

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View of the city from Navy Pier

Being an intern is quite a comprehensive task! We build up our tools throughout the curriculum, learning to take a comprehensive history, perform a full-body physical, and develop a treatment plan for the patient with appropriate outcomes to achieve. Oh yeah, and actually treating the patient! There are so many other steps in the process, and our clinical internship is the time where we really perfect these skills. Teaching a new intern the ropes makes me realize how much responsibility we have as doctors, and it really has been a challenging journey!

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Birthday dinner at Bub City

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KC and I celebrating on Friday night

Over the weekend, I celebrated my 25th birthday with some friends and fellow interns. I made it to a quarter century! We listened to live music at Bub City, one of my favorite country music venues in Chicago. I don't think I'll ever get tired of exploring this beautiful city!

9th Trimester Comes to an End

I hope everyone enjoyed the past few weeks of the Salvy Intern Series! I think it's important to hear other students' experiences in the program and their interests. After all, we are such a diverse group of doctors coming from different curriculums and schools of thought, and that is what has allowed the chiropractic profession to persevere over the years!

It's hard to believe that that just three years ago, I was packing up my life in Ohio to move out to Lombard and begin chiropractic school. I remember being nervous, excited, and full of big dreams. As my 9th trimester dwindles down, I am optimistic about what the next months of my life will bring. I have had terrific experiences as an intern at the Salvation Army clinic, and I am confident that I have developed both my communication and treatment skills with patients. Working with such an underprivileged population has opened my eyes to what the world will be like outside of my educational bubble. I am so appreciative of all the people who have shared their stories and experiences with me over the past 8 months.

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As I prepare to enter 10th trimester, my head is buzzing with thoughts. Will I find the right practice to join as an associate? Will my path lead me back to my home in Ohio where my family and friends are awaiting my return? Will I pass Part IV of the national chiropractic board exams? Will I graduate having gained all of the necessary skills and knowledge to be a successful chiropractic physician? When will my LOAN PAYMENTS kick in? There's a lot to think about during this transition.

What do I do when I have a lot on my mind? I go for a run. Yesterday, to prepare for the busy week ahead, I spent my evening running along the lakefront and enjoying the Chicago summer sunset. There's something so calming about being one person in a city of millions, being able to just blend in and savor each moment as it passes me by. So for the next few weeks, I will enjoy each day one at a time, continuing to learn from each patient I see and each experience I encounter.

Best wishes to everyone as they prepare for finals, board exams, and a relaxing fall break!