It's a pretty fulfilling experience to get to 8th Trimester, be
an intern in clinic (finally!), and know you've made it through the
majority of the curriculum in the chiropractic program. What they
forget to tell you is how much time you'll be spending outside of
the classroom studying radiology!
Now that I have passed courses evaluating imaging of
arthritides, trauma, congenital deformities, tumors, and chest and
abdominal pathology, they roll it all up into a big ball and say,
"Here! Apply everything you've ever learned and read this black and
white picture to tell me exactly what is wrong with this person."
Here I am thinking, "Wait, you expect me to actually remember 2
years of radiology courses?" The answer is definitely "Yes," and I
am conquering this challenge every day in 8thtrimester!
I am currently enrolled in two very important radiology classes:
Positioning and Report Writing, as we like to call them. In one
course, we spend hours in the X-ray lab, setting up the machines,
calculating the numbers, and developing the films in the dark room.
In the other course, we also spend hours in the X-ray lab,
but instead reading the images in front of us, identifying the
pathologies present, and writing reports that summarize our
findings and possible diagnoses. It's quite a lot of
responsibility, developing the skills to take the X-rays accurately
so that we may see all the pertinent anatomy, and then to identify
the patient's underlying pathologies so that we can take the proper
measurements to resolve or manage their condition.
I will admit, I spend a lot of time with my nose buried in
Yochum [Terry R., a 1972 NUHS grad] and Rowe, the bible of skeletal
radiology textbooks. I'm excited to use my laterality markers (with
my initials on them!) when shooting X-rays, and the Supertech is
the coolest sliding, calculating toy for goofs like me. All of this
studying will pay off soon, especially for Parts 2, 3, and 4 of
National Chiropractic Boards that I will be taking over the course
of 2015! Wish me luck! :)
Happy 2015 everyone! I hope you all had a relaxing holiday
season with friends and family.
As mentioned in my last post, this last year of school is going
to be a huge change for me. I'm getting used to leaving my
apartment at 6:30 a.m. just to avoid Chicago rush hour traffic, and
in the winter months, it's tough waking up before the sun rises.
Coming back from break and driving home to my little city apartment
was quite a change, knowing I'd left the comfort of the suburbs
behind. However, I'm looking forward to a year of experiences as an
independent city gal!
Intern name tag!
Our first week of 8th trimester began with clinic orientation
for new interns. We were congratulated for reaching this point in
our education, but also reminded of the importance of entering this
phase of our career. It is so humbling to have patients put their
trust and confidence in us as future physicians, yet I still
experience the pressures of accurate diagnosis and treatment with
each and every person.
At the Salvation Army clinic, these men and women will be coming
from all walks of life, not necessarily seeking relief from their
musculoskeletal pain, but needing a thorough full-body physical
examination. Internal disorders can have referral pain patterns
that mimic musculoskeletal conditions, and so it will be critical
that we interns can identify the underlying pathologies in an
efficient and timely manner.
It's going to be a challenging internship, both clinically and
professionally. Not only will I be learning how to speak about
chiropractic care with confidence, but also in a language that
patients will understand and relate to. We get so wrapped up in the
medical terminology, we forget how to convey the appropriate
information in a way that the patient will comprehend.
Additionally, speaking as a future physician will be another goal I
hope to achieve, as it is critical to express empathy but still
authority to our patients.
As always, please reach out to me at email@example.com
with any questions or comments about my life as a chiropractic
student and intern. I look forward to sharing my clinical
experiences with you over the course of the next 11 months. 331
days until graduation: the countdown has begun! :)
Well everyone, it's finally that time in the program that we've
all been waiting for -- Registration Week in 7th Trimester -- when
students frantically log on, racing the clock, and selecting the
clinician that they are going to be working with for the last year
of their education. We've speculated over this day since we entered
the DC program, dreaming of being in clinic and reaching the end of
this long educational journey. Finally, we're able to apply all the
hours of studying, practicing adjusting, and practical examinations
to good use. This registration process has been highly anticipated,
and I know that everyone is looking forward to it being over.
NUHS has clinic locations on our campus in Lombard, in Aurora, in downtown Chicago, and also at a
non-profit clinic in a
Salvation Army store in the city. Among these four locations, there
are eight clinicians to select from when choosing where to complete
your internship. I chose to visit and observe at the Salvation Army
clinic downtown earlier in this trimester, which is part of the
application process to be an intern at this location. After
completing the remainder of the interview and application process,
I am excited to say that I have been chosen to complete my
internship at the Salvation Army Clinic for 2015!
I am both so humbled and excited to be an incoming intern under
Dr. Erin Quinlan. Working at the Salvation Army clinic will be a
very unique and eye-opening experience, and I am ready for the
challenge! I have always found myself drawn to helping those in
underserved populations and those that are less fortunate than
others, and I know I will gain so much from this experience.
I've also decided to really get the full Chicago experience and
move to the city for my last year of school! I'm moving to the
Lincoln Park neighborhood, just north of downtown and right next to
Lake Michigan, a perfect area for a young professional student such
as myself. With so many changes ahead, I'm looking forward to
enjoying my last few weeks of this trimester and then relaxing at
home in Ohio over winter break.
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! :)
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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