Archive for tag: holidays

Moving On Up

This past Friday was a tough day for all of us at the Salvation Army Clinic. We celebrated the last day for our 10th trimester interns, Jena and Andy, before they graduate in a couple weeks.

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This was the final time that all of our interns would be together again, so we wanted to make the most of our shift! We all contributed to a delicious potluck, Jena and Andy "passed on" their treatment rooms to us 8th tri interns, and we had a whole morning of endless laughs. Congratulations to all of the 10th tri students who will be out in the field in less than one month!

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As 8th trimester comes to an end over the next couple weeks, it's hard to believe this journey has flown by so quickly! I spent the Easter weekend in Ohio, visiting my boyfriend's family and enjoying a relaxing weekend at home. There's something to home cooked meals, card games, and playing bocce ball in the yard that truly makes me appreciate the slower pace of the real world. In chiropractic school, we commit ourselves to a rigorous program of classes, exams, weekend seminars, and hours in the library, so it's nice to be reminded of what life is like after professional school. It gives me the opportunity to daydream about how my life will be 8 months from now. :) Oh, how I'm looking forward to life after school!

As always, I hope everyone has a terrific week ahead, and enjoy the warm weather and sunshine as we grow closer to summertime in the Midwest!

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! :)

7th Trimester COMPLETE!

It's hard to believe that the fall trimester is almost over. With the holidays being so highly anticipated by students, it seems as though there is always something to look forward to that makes the time fly by.

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This past weekend, I spent the Thanksgiving holiday at my parent's home in Ohio. I did my best to follow my own Thanksgiving recommendations, but it's safe to say that I still ate my share of satisfying, home-cooked calories! Having the opportunity to study chiropractic medicine is a blessing in and of itself, but then when I think about all the friends I've met, memories I've made, and life lessons I've learned, life really does seem wonderful. Every day I am in this challenging program, I am reminded how much I have to be thankful for.

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Alright, so my weekend didn't stop there. I traveled to "old Columbus town" for the remainder of my trip home to spend time with college friends and watch the rivalry of the year, the Ohio State vs. Michigan football game. (This may be the point in my blogs where some people stop reading!) I have been and will always be a Buckeye alumnus and diehard fan, so this is commonly my favorite weekend of the year. I was able to catch up with friends from college that I hadn't seen since we graduated two and a half years ago, and I couldn't have asked for a better weekend revisiting college memories!

So now I'm back in Lombard, gearing up for 10 days of final exams, practicals, and papers. These are commonly everyone's least favorite two weeks of the trimester, when we find ourselves increasing our coffee intake and our eyes dry out from staring at endless notes. It's going to be a challenging period, but you just feel that much more accomplished by the end of it all. Wow, I'm going to graduate chiropractic school in just about one year!

My 4-week winter break is going to begin by moving to my new apartment in Lincoln Park, spending time in Ohio visiting friends and family, and taking a nice tropical vacation over New Year's! I'm really looking forward to a little R&R and a chance to unwind before the last year begins.

I wish everyone the happiest and safest of holidays! As always, I'd love to hear from you if you have any questions about NUHS and our programs. :) Take care and enjoy the new year!

A Guilt-Free Thanksgiving

I can't believe we've reached the end of November already. It seems like just yesterday we were beginning the fall term and watching the leaves change color. The weather here in Illinois sure has been brutal lately, but I am optimistic for safe and sunny driving conditions this upcoming Wednesday as I join the other 46.3 million Americans on the road home. (Good thing gas prices are low these days!)

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A couple friendly tips on how to stay healthy this Thursday:

  • Stick with the guidelines of the anti-inflammatory diet:
    • Fruits -- fresh cranberries, preferably with little sugar added
    • Veggies --green beans, a hearty salad of greens, and try mashed sweet potatoes instead! A friendly reminder that white potatoes and corn are not vegetables :(
    • Instead of stuffing made exclusively with starches, throw in some big chunks of carrots and celery to spruce things up
    • Red wine and stout beer are your allies! Skip out on the sugary cocktails
    • Real butter is a healthy fat, so don't feel guilty tossing a dollop on those 'taters!
  • Don't cut out all your favorite foods just because you're being healthy. Eat sensible portions of everything and just keep things in moderation. :)
  • Listen to your leptin! Trust your body when it's telling you it's full. Small and frequent meals are always best to keep your metabolism chugging along.
  • Just because Grandma made 4 different pies doesn't mean you have to eat a slice from all 4 in one sitting. Maybe just 3, hehe!

In the spirit of the holiday season, I hope everyone has a safe and wonderful Thanksgiving weekend with friends and family. We have so much to be thankful for!

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!