I hope everyone has been enjoying the beautiful weather of May!
So much has happened since I last blogged, and I'm excited to share
all my memories!
Once you reach clinic internship, we no longer have a break
between trimesters, so I stayed here in Chicago continuing to see
patients at the Salvation Army Clinic. I started working 5 days per
week, rather than 3, and I no longer have classes at NUHS. I've
been spending more time in my Chicago apartment and trying to
explore the beautiful sights and sounds of Lincoln Park.
I spent a few days away from the Midwest and traveled to St.
Petersburg, Florida, to visit one of my friends from college,
Jenny. While down there, I was able to visit our St. Petersburg
campus where our DC program is, and I visited with our previous
Student Council VP from Florida, Frank! The sun was shining, the
dolphins were out and about, and the summer vibes were flowing. To
those of you who are deterred by the Chicago weather, definitely
check out our St.
Pete campus! :)
My little sister graduated from Ohio University in early May, so
I loved having the opportunity to travel home to my family and
celebrate this huge accomplishment.
In the clinic, my schedule has been picking up with both new and
returning patients, and I'm learning more and more every day. I
have the opportunity to see many female patients, all suffering
from back pain of some type, but also troubled by more hormonal and
biochemical imbalances. It's a great chance for me to apply my
ongoing training in the online functional medicine program at
University of Western States. Every day is a new learning
I look forward to sharing all of my clinic experiences with you
over the next 8 months!
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.
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!
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
Recently at NUHS, I attended a weekend course taught by The
McKenzie Institute USA. This educational foundation has
developed a method to diagnose and treat patients suffering with
musculoskeletal pain originating from the spine and extremities.
Robin McKenzie was the founder of this institution, which began
researching disorders of the musculoskeletal system in 1982. Since
its beginning, McKenzie Method was utilized primarily by physical
therapists, but it has in recent years become more accessible to
(Photo courtesy of The McKenzie Institute, New Zealand)
One of the most unique features of McKenzie Method is the
concept that patients have the power and responsibility to help
treat themselves through exercises and lifestyle modifications.
This also adds a component of compliance to each patient's
treatment plan, assuming that they will actively work to help
correct and maintain proper posture and movement patterns. McKenzie
treatment involves the patient in actively caring for their
symptoms, which has an empowering effect that is able to eliminate
pain for each person in the end.
I was enrolled in the Part A course, the first of the series
toward certification that is geared toward focusing on the lumbar
spine. With our class size of about 20 people, an even mix of both
students and practicing doctors, we were able to work hands-on with
two patients who were coming in complaining of low back pain. We
practiced running through a McKenzie-based physical examination,
taking a thorough history with the patient, and going through the
diagnostic protocol that are used to help identify the
classification of different pain presentations.
Once we were able to identify the type of mechanical back pain
we were dealing with, we proceeded to work on exercises with each
patient to help reduce and relieve their pain in different regions.
The most rewarding aspect of the weekend was to see both of the
patients leave the seminar with a reduction in their low back pain
as well as in their radiating pain.
Getting to work with current DCs throughout the seminar was such
a tremendous experience, and there was much clinical knowledge to
be gained from these doctors! I even had the opportunity to meet
Dr. Anthony Hamm, the current president of the American
Chiropractic Association! In a couple weeks, we will be returning
to complete Part A of the seminar.
Now that I am an intern in clinic, I'm beginning to hone in on
what seminars I hope to take in the next year and what types of
additional skills I want to obtain for practice. At National and in
the Chicago area, there are so many tremendous seminars and
certifications available for us as students. With all of the
developments in the field of medicine, it will be valuable to have
other skill sets such as McKenzie to offer to my future patients
when I am in practice.
Last Friday night was our tri-mixer where all of the students
were invited to come out and meet each other. As an officer for
Student Council who helped plan the event, it's always fulfilling
to see tons of students come and participate in social events! The
cold and the snow can't hold us back from enjoying a weekend night
out with friends (like my friend KC and I)! :)
One of the most crucial steps to success in the chiropractic
profession is active involvement in your state and national
professional organizations. Intending to move back to Ohio and
practice after graduation, I recently attended the annual
convention in Columbus, Ohio, for the Ohio State Chiropractic
Association (OSCA). What a weekend! Myself and four other DC
students, all from different stages of the curriculum, attended the
convention to learn more about the future of our profession,
why we need to maintain our presence in the field of
health care, and what we can do as students to become more
Brent, Stephen, Jess, and myself enjoying a night out in
Our students attended a session about treatment of shoulder
conditions, which are said to be the 3rd most common reason that
people present to a chiropractor's office for care. We were taught
by Dr. Brett Winchester, a well-known educator and instructor for
Motion Palpation Institute, DNS, and other valuable organizations.
He emphasized the importance of understanding the kinetic chain of
movement, rehabilitating more than just the site of pain, and
teaching patients correct lifestyle modifications they can make to
prevent re-injury from occurring.
Saturday night was the beautiful gala for all attendees of the
convention -- physicians, students and office staff alike. I
watched in amazement as Bharon Hoag, the Executive Director of the
OSCA and a dear friend, presented prestigious awards to members of
the Ohio Senate, Ohio House of Representatives, Ms. America 2014
(who is a chiropractor!), and other incredibly influential people.
Ohio is the first state in America to have passed
legislation allowing chiropractors to be on the front-line for
concussion care, which is PHENOMENAL. If it weren't for the hard
work of the board members, directors and current doctors in Ohio
fighting for our rights, we never would have achieved this
monumental step for chiropractic.
Me with my brother and sister-in-law, Billy and Kelly
My brother and sister-in-law, Bill and Kelly, were in attendance
at the convention as well, both also practicing DCs in northeast
Ohio. Visiting with my family and discussing our profession was
such a perfect way to spend my weekend, and I amsothankful to have
them as role models and inspiration for my career! This weekend was
also a tremendous opportunity to meet current doctors, hear their
advice and success stories, and bring back this spirit to our
fellow students at NUHS. I took away so much valuable information,
leaving with an overwhelming sense of excitement and hope for our
profession, and there is no doubt in my mind that I will be
attending the convention again next year!
Why Become Involved?
Participating in professional organizations such as the OSCA
gives us a greater sense of purpose. We entered this healthcare
profession to touch people's lives and positively impact our
communities, but who says that our influence has to stop there? It
is our duty to take pride in our career of alternative healthcare
and therefore fight for it. At times, we are so unaware of the
overwhelming sacrifice and dedication that our predecessors
contributed to the advancement and success of our profession.
Photo booth fun with NUHS peers and Bharon Hoag, OSCA
We are the future leaders of chiropractic medicine, and
we are the ones responsible for the success and
continuation of our craft. We are given the tremendous opportunity
to change lives, so if we do not do all that is in our power to
protect and preserve this right, we are selfish. Becoming involved
in these organizations is not only of value for us and our future
practices, but for the success of our profession as a whole.
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! :)
• 5-Minute NUHS Campus Tour
• What I Learned in 6th Tri
• Opportunities Outside the Classroom
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