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.
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
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
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 firstname.lastname@example.org with any
questions you may have.
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
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.
Shehab, me and Johnny being inducted into the "Salvy Wall of
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.
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!
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
View from the Salvation Army clinic on a beautiful October
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!
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!
I look forward to sharing my experiences with you from Danville,
Hello everyone, we've made it to Week 7! Please welcome to the
10th Tri Intern: Shehab Awadallah
Hometown: Chicago, IL
Specializations: Acupuncture Certified
What are your plans after graduation?
My plans after graduation include working as an associate for a
couple years to gain more experience in the chiropractic field and
seeking further education with completion of the DABCI program
offered by National University. After this I plan on opening my own
What is your favorite memory/most memorable experience
at Salvation Army?
My favorite memories at Salvation Army include the wide
interactions with the patients and their outstanding personalities.
Each person came in with their stories of achievements and
hardships growing up and how they are still pushing to get through
life with optimism.
What words of advice would you give to incoming
chiropractic students/those interested in
My advice for future chiropractic students is that you pick one
of the many certificates/programs offered at National that you have
a passion for and make it your specialty.
Welcome back to The Salvy Series! As I did last trimester, I
want to interview our 10thtrimester interns and give our readers
the opportunity to hear from other chiropractic students! :) Let's
welcome to the stage...
Intern: Johnny Buoniconti
Hometown: River Grove, IL
What are your graduation plans?
I plan on working as an associate for a private practice that
integrates chiropractic, sports medicine, and rehabilitation. My
focus is on diagnosing and treating neuromusculoskeletal diseases.
I have a huge passion for sports rehabilitation, so I see myself
treating a variety of athletes, weekend warriors, and the average
Spartan Crepe or Spicy Chicken Wrap from Iguana Café, hands
down. Just kidding. If I had to repeat the clinic selection process
over 5 times, I would have made the same decision every time.
Salvation Army has been a challenging, yet rewarding and humbling
experience for me. We have a tight knit group of interns over here
that work together like a family. It is a truly great
What advice would you give to incoming chiropractic
students/those interested in chiropractic?
Before you make the decision to come to school, spend as much
time as possible shadowing different DCs in the area you live. We
are in a profession where life after school sometimes surprises new
graduates. Get into as many offices as you can to see what we
actually do on a daily basis with patients and don't be afraid to
ask questions. The curriculum is grueling and stressful and at
times you may feel like throwing in the towel. You are not alone,
because everyone else is going through the same thing. Surround
yourself with like-minded people who are positive and you will get
through it if you put the effort in.
• 5-Minute NUHS Campus Tour
• What I Learned in 6th Tri
• Opportunities Outside the Classroom
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