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.
I can't believe we are approaching October! Where has this year
gone? Another week has passed, and things are starting to wrap up
here in clinic.
No one ever complains when we bring donuts to clinic!
Our 8th trimester interns are really getting the hang of things
around here, and they're beginning to take on much more
responsibility with new patient exams and learning the details of
the clinic. One intern, Andrew, sat in with me on a new patient
visit and since then, he has almost completely taken over
View of the city from Navy Pier
Being an intern is quite a comprehensive task! We build up our
tools throughout the curriculum, learning to take a comprehensive
history, perform a full-body physical, and develop a treatment plan
for the patient with appropriate outcomes to achieve. Oh yeah, and
actually treating the patient! There are so many other steps in the
process, and our clinical internship is the time where we really
perfect these skills. Teaching a new intern the ropes makes me
realize how much responsibility we have as doctors, and it really
has been a challenging journey!
Birthday dinner at Bub City
KC and I celebrating on Friday night
Over the weekend, I celebrated my 25th birthday with some
friends and fellow interns. I made it to a quarter century! We
listened to live music at Bub City, one of my favorite country
music venues in Chicago. I don't think I'll ever get tired of
exploring this beautiful city!
• 5-Minute NUHS Campus Tour
• What I Learned in 6th Tri
• Opportunities Outside the Classroom
To read older blog posts, scroll to the bottom and click the "Older Posts" button.