Archive for tag: classes

Midterm Number ???

What week are we in? You mean we only have ONE MONTH until finals? Ah yes, it's that time of the trimester again, the time when students begin to realize that the end is nearing and the studying is only beginning!

It's funny that I say that though. Not only has 7th trimester been the fastest trimester I can recall (I feel like it's still September!), but it has also been one of the most hectic trimesters yet. Fall is always a lively time of year, when the leaves are changing, football is on TV four of the seven weekdays, and school is back in full swing for students of all ages. Maybe time has flown because I've been having so much fun?! In my last blog, I wrote about all my terrific experiences at Chiro Games in Florida, and I'm worried I left part of my brain on the beach. :)

Tri 7 has been jam packed with assignments, quizzes, papers, and best of all, midterms. We just finished Week 10, and I STILL have exams this upcoming week! I will admit that this program is quite challenging at times, and it really assesses your ability to manage time efficiently. It's also our last trimester of full classes, so the end is near! In 8th trimester, we split our week by spending three days each week in the clinic working as an intern, and the remaining two days wrapping up the curriculum aspect of our degrees.

2014-11-14_pt

PT Modalities

As chiropractic students, we are taught about various physiotherapeutic (PT) modalities that can be used when treating patients. Things are always changing with the insurance companies, especially with the new health care reform that will be implemented over the next few years, and modalities are being reimbursed less often on many plans. Modalities represent passive care, which is starting to trail behind the active care and rehabilitation aspects of our profession. However, the various modalities still have very therapeutic and beneficial effects for both acute and chronic conditions, and just because insurance companies are changing their ways doesn't mean they aren't still valuable for patients!

This week in our PT lab, we practiced treating different electrical stimulation cases, primarily interferential current. We applied the treatment for conditions of lateral epicondylitis (pictured below), acute intervertebral disc pain, and chronic shoulder arthritis. Interferential current (IFC) is most commonly used for conditions with pain, edema, muscle spasms, or in order to re-educate and strengthen muscles. The best part is when we crank up the intensity on each other, to the point where the patient is feeling the sensory stimulation but ALSO starts to have involuntary muscle twitches! (Yes, I promise we are supervised when we do this!) Practice makes perfect!

Look out for my next blog, since all 7th tri students will be selecting clinic positions here in the next week! Have a great one!

Physician in Training

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 patients.

2014-09-24_friend

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!

Tri-Mixer

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! :)

Hobby and Hard Work

2014-09-17_garth2If 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 evening.

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 absolutely irreplaceable.

2014-09-17_erinI'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 tri!

2014-09-17_garth1

Until next week, take care!

Goodbye Tri 6

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

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!

2014-08-05_lrc

Radiology

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.

Pharmacology

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.

Marketing

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.

2014-08-05_lake

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! :)

Marketing the Chiropractic Practice

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.

2014-07-23_businesscard

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

2014-07-23_wrigley

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.

2014-07-23_wedding _bride

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!

2014-07-23_wedding _group

Another busy week at NUHS has concluded, and I am eagerly preparing for finals! The end of the tri is near! :)