There is no greater feeling than knowing you have just jumped
over your last hurdle in what seems to be the most exhausting race
of your life. That's the metaphor I am using to describe this
overwhelming relief of having completed Part Four (IV) of the
chiropractic national board exams. I haven't quite reached the
finish line yet to cross through that final threshold, but the only
elements that stand between that graduation stage and me are four
weeks and the unknown certainty of board scores.
A beautiful sunrise I witnessed driving down one morning from
Chicago to Danville
The National Board of Chiropractic Examiners, or as we refer to
as the NBCE, is the organization which administers all components
of chiropractic board exams, and they always have a six-week
waiting period for scores to be graded and posted. All board exams
up to this point had been written exams, consisting of oodles of
multiple choice questions that covered the diverse curriculum of
our education. The last series, Part IV, was a practical style of
exam, which in my opinion, was much more nerve-wracking!
The exam took place over two days:
Saturday was by far the longest and most draining day of the
board exams, but I walked out feeling confident that I was amply
prepared through my education at National University and with my
weeks of independent preparation. It was great to spend time with
my friends and peers again, those who I haven't seen much since
beginning clinic at Salvation Army, even if it was only because we
were all forced to convene in Davenport, Iowa, for exams!
My sister Liz and I relaxing on Saturday night after my long
weekend of board exams
After the exams were finished, I came back to Chicago to spend
Saturday night relaxing and decompressing from the long weekend in
Iowa. I was excited to spend some time with my little sister Liz,
who was in town briefly and was there to celebrate with me when I
Over the next couple weeks, I will be finishing up my internship
in Danville, preparing the last components of my Illinois license
application, and gearing up for graduation. The last hurdle has now
been jumped and the finish line is finally within reach!
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!
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.
Over the weekend, a handful of chiropractic students from
National attended the 12th Annual Leadership Conference, held
in Des Moines, Iowa. Every fall, the Student American Chiropractic
Association (SACA) hosts the LC in an effort to prepare our
nation's students to serve as future leaders in our profession. In
the winter, SACA travels to Washington, DC, for the National
Chiropractic Leadership Conference (NCLC), which is meant to be a
weekend of preparation and inspiration for our students.
National students with our very own Dr. Derek Dyer and Dr.
Tony Hamm, ACA president
The LC was sponsored by tremendous companies such as NCMIC,
Standard Process, Foot Levelers, and Cleveland Chiropractic
College. It was so inspiring to hear from famous doctors in
chiropractic like Dr. Tony Hamm, Dr. Carl Cleveland, and Dr. Louis
Sportelli, among many others. As a student, our dreams are so big
and our path to private practice seems so long. However, when
listening to these speakers and representatives from successful
companies, I feel so inspired to stand up and be a future leader in
Lucky me, I got to converse with some chiropractic
We discussed how chiropractic has conquered adversity over the
past 120 years, how we can propel our profession into the realm of
mainstream healthcare, and how to put out leadership into motion!
It was a special opportunity to connect with doctors who are
leaders in the field, but also with students from other schools who
are leaders at their own campuses.
Peyton (from Texas Chiropractic College), Ryan, and Dustin
wearing our new NCMIC t-shirts
A huge "Thank You" to everyone with the ACA, SACA chapters, and
sponsoring companies who made the weekend such an amazing success!
• 5-Minute NUHS Campus Tour
• What I Learned in 6th Tri
• Opportunities Outside the Classroom
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