Archive for tag: clinic

Radiology May Be the Death of Me

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!

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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! :)

New Year, New Start

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!

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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 erinemley@student.nuhs.edu 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! :)

Clinic Selections

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.

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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.

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.

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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! :)

TAC, Tumors, and Travels

Ah yes, another busy week has come and gone as a student in the chiropractic program!

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 practice.

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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. :)

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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!

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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!