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!
As the summer trimester rolls to an end, I've decided to reflect
on the past 14 weeks to evaluate everything I've learned and the
experiences I've had.
Trimester 6 is a big deal, because it signifies the completion
of your second year in the chiropractic program. I've walked away
with the knowledge of performing a full physical exam on a patient,
evaluating different types of lab work, and learning how to collect
samples of my own for lab work. I learned about the protocol of
performing blood, urine, and strep tests, as well as male and
female sensitive exams. The jitters of "stab lab" eventually
subsided and I began to appreciate the privilege that we have in
our scope of practice to be able to perform phlebotomy. Holy moly,
I punctured someone's skin and actually drew blood!
Between the three radiology courses I've taken, I've learned to
identify and differentiate all the various types of arthritides
that can occur, the various fractures commonly seen in trauma, and
the red-flag signs of skeletal tumors and metastasis. We have been
educated to not only perform orthopedic tests to determine what
muscle or ligament is causing symptoms, but also how to identify
these pathologies on imaging such as X-rays, CT and MR imaging.
Our pharmacology courses have given me the skills I need to
converse with other medical professionals about various drugs and
medications, in addition to educating patients about the potential
side effects of the pharmaceuticals.
I learned first-hand how difficult is to develop a unique
business plan, analyze the population demographics in a target
area, and excel in marketing your brand and your practice to those
people seeking health care.
The Bottom Line
Of the many things I have learned from my second year here in
chiropractic school, the most important take away is this: WE have
the opportunity to TRULY change peoples' lives through the power of
chiropractic care. We listen to our patients, we relate to our
patients, we have the power of physical touch and interaction with
our patients. We are going to impact the health and lives of so
many human beings, and THAT hope in itself is worth waking up for
each day. Despite the endless assignments, group projects, quizzes,
practicals, and written examinations, I know in my heart this is
where I belong: earning my Doctor of Chiropractic degree at
National University of Health Sciences.
I truly hope you have enjoyed reading my weekly blogs and that
I've helped influence your life in some way. Please feel free to
contact me with any questions or comments you may have! Until
September, take care everyone! :)
We are entrepreneurs. We are go-getters. We are representatives
for the field of alternative health care. We are chiropractors!
A very critical aspect of the chiropractic profession is our
community presence as both a health care provider and a business
owner. We believe in a natural, more holistic approach to health
care, and therefore, we do not fit into the traditional western
medical model. I often describe our situation as "not having a
plug-in" to an established health care system, and this requires
chiropractors to wear both hats: the business hat and the doctor
hat. We have such a unique situation with endless potential to grow
our practices and create financial well-being, but it also comes
with great commitment.
In our chiropractic program here at National, significant
emphasis is placed on business and marketing training. I am in a
course now where we created our own hypothetical business, designed
a marketing theme, and developed a calendar of both internal and
external marketing strategies to promote our practice.
We titled our business "Women's Oceanside Wellness," placed in
Oceanside, California, specializing in female and pediatric health
care. This project required a demographic analysis of the area,
various marketing tactics to reach our target population, and a
handful of graphic designs to create a professional image for our
practice. Our 45-minute group presentation required quite a bit of
brainstorming and preparation, but we were so excited to present
our hard work to the class, and our professor was pleased with our
marketing presentation! This was perfect practice for opening up
and marketing our own businesses some day! (View our business brochure.)
Unwinding on the Weekend
After a long week of quizzes and presentations, I celebrated the
weekend by attending Billy Joel's concert at Wrigley Field on
Friday night. I have my older brother, Jed, to thank for my love
for the legendary Piano Man. Isn't it bizarre to think about how
much music has changed over the past 50 years?! Billy Joel is such
a talented, inspirational musician, and I have no doubt his music
will last throughout the years.
On Saturday morning, I traveled to Cincinnati and Dayton, Ohio
to attend both a baby shower and wedding for two of my close
friends from Ohio State. I loved the opportunity to connect with
some of my sorority sisters and friends from college, and it's so
exciting to see everyone progressing with their lives!
Another busy week at NUHS has concluded, and I am eagerly
preparing for finals! The end of the tri is near! :)
Ah yes, another busy week has come and gone as a student in the
I began Week 9 with a larger level of anxiety and a smaller
amount of free time. In our Physical Diagnosis class, we were
expected to perform our Head-to-Toe physical exam in the Training
and Assessment Center (TAC) of the clinic. Although we had been
practicing for weeks, nothing can fully prepare you for the
nervousness that accompanies a 50-minute physical exam, memorized
in a specific order and graded for accuracy. Since the exam was
held in the TAC, we performed the practical on a standardized
patient, and what you don't realize is that giving sufficient
patient instructions throughout the exam are half of the battle!
The Head-to-Toe exam consists of an examination of the head and
neck, EENT exam, cardiac exam, pulmonary exam, abdominal exam,
neurological exam, and a handful of other miscellaneous tests
thrown in between. Whew, am I glad that practical is over, but I am
proud to say I took away a tremendous amount of knowledge and
In Tri 6, the Imaging of Tumors course is the class that
challenges many students. (It sure is tricky to differentiate 30
different types of skeletal tumors on black and white X-ray films!)
Fortunately, I felt sufficiently prepared for both the practical
and written portions of the midterm, so I was content with my
performance and had a nice confidence boost to end the week. :)
Thursday night, I took off for Bemidji, Minnesota, with my
friend and classmate, Bethany. Having both grown up in the town and
been a collegiate athlete at the Bemidji State University, I was
excited to experience this scenic, friendly Minnesota city that she
had so often talked about! We spent the 4th of July with her family
on one of Minnesota's 10,000 lakes, and although the weather that
day was not cooperating with the holiday festivities, we celebrated
later that night by watching fireworks on the water. On Saturday,
we made up for the previous storms by spending the day relaxing on
the lake, jet-skiing, tubing, and most importantly, laughing. It
was hard to say goodbye to her family and make the 10-hour drive
home on Sunday afternoon, but the memories we made throughout the
holiday weekend were worth it! My first trip to Bemidji was a
terrific experience, and I look forward to (hopefully) going back
to visit next summer!
Back at National, we still have midterms and quizzes for the
next couple weeks, but I can see the end of the trimester in sight!
Summer sure flies by when you're having fun!
• 5-Minute NUHS Campus Tour
• What I Learned in 6th Tri
• Opportunities Outside the Classroom
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