Happy National Boards Week!

Another week has come and gone through the halls of National. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the snow is melting. The tourists are pouring into Chicago to celebrate St. Patrick's Day for this beautiful weekend. Where am I? Indoors at my isolated little cubby, at my favorite study spot in Lincoln Park.


(Image source: www.memecenter.com)

DC national board exams are administered twice a year, and this weekend I am taking parts 2, 3, and physiotherapy. With the looming 740 questions in 7 sessions of 90 minutes in 3 days, I think my brain might be fried by Sunday afternoon. We're down to less than a week until the fun begins!


(Image source: www.memecenter.com)

This previous week at school, we had the opportunity to listen to a guest lecture by MK Czerwiec, aka "Comic Nurse." She spoke to us about the importance of drawing in health care, and the incredible opportunity it offers our patients to express their experience of living with sickness and disease.


(Image source: www.memecenter.com)

In the spirit of drawing comics and expressing ourselves through art, I've decided to provide everyone with a few fun study-related memes for the week!


(Image source: www.memecenter.com)

Next week this time, I'll be free from Scantrons, metal-detectors, and No. 2 pencils!

Another Busy Week

It's been another busy week at National!

Midterms in Tri 8 are all crammed onto Tuesdays and Thursdays when we're in class, so although we have a lot of exams in a few days, at least we get them all done in a short period of time. Now that the middle of the term has come and gone, we're anticipating warm weather and dreading national board exams. March is always such a bittersweet month!

Outside of the classroom, our interns have been getting busier with new patients in clinic. I completed my first full "new-man" exam on a patient at Salvation Army. It's quite rewarding to see all of the hard work and studying I've done over the past two years finally come together. From learning to take a thorough medical history, to the extensive neurological and body system exams we are taught to do, all the way down to confidently treating the patient, we have all progressed so far! I scheduled my first follow-up visit with a patient, and I look forward to seeing him again next week!

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In the meantime, our 8th tri interns are spending their hours practicing adjusting each other. After all, practice makes perfect, right?!

The next couple weeks will be entirely devoted to studying for national board exams. I am taking Parts II, III, and Physiotherapy, all of which are held at separate times throughout the weekend. Although each exam builds off the others and they cover similar topics, this will be twice the amount of exams I took last March for Part I, so I have my work cut out for me the next couple weeks!

To those of you in Illinois, I hope you enjoy this warm week of weather! I'll be dreaming of spring from inside the library walls... :)

Greetings from Washington, DC

Ask not what your profession can do for you. Ask what YOU can do for your profession!

All right, so I'm no JFK, but walking through the halls of our nation's capitol sure made me feel like it! :)

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Last week, chiropractic physicians and students gathered together in Washington, DC, for the annual NCLC (National Chiropractic Leadership Conference). During our first day there, I spent eight hours wandering around the different House Office Buildings, attending various appointments with five of the 14 Ohio representatives in Congress. I was in the good company of executives from the Ohio State Chiropractic Association, learning their tricks of the trade.

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NCLC 2015 focused on lobbying for three different bills, two in the House and one in the Senate, all focused on increasing chiropractic care in VA hospitals and for retired veterans after their service. I soon realized how complex our government is, and I have a new appreciation for the many different steps that are required for a bill to become a law. Wow!

It was terrific to get to meet so many different students from other chiropractic schools, in addition to well-known leaders in our profession. We were able to spend quality time with Dr. Anthony Hamm, current president of the ACA, as well as very influential past presidents. We discussed the future of chiropractic and our integration into the new health care system, and I realize now more than ever how important it is to become involved in our professional organization!

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In our down time, we had the opportunity to attend educational classes hosted by various experts in our profession, spend time exploring the capitol, and I even had the opportunity to sit in while the House of Representatives was in session. The representatives were bustling about, casting their votes, and ended up declining the bill that had been placed on the floor. I got to witness U.S. history!

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NCLC was a tremendous experience, and I wish I had started attending the conferences earlier in my education. I strongly encourage all students to attend as early as possible, because the connections you make and the memories you bring back with you will last a lifetime. :)

Standard Process Tour

It is a both a privilege and a requirement that all students in the chiropractic and naturopathic programs take a one-day field-trip to the Standard Process factory and farm in Palmyra, Wisconsin. What is Standard Process, you may ask? It is a whole-food-based supplement company that is committed to providing quality products for distribution through health care professionals. Standard Process has one of the largest organic farms in the state of Wisconsin, and they are continually improving their agriculture methods to ensure the highest quality organic crops to utilize in their hundreds of different whole-food dietary supplements.

On Wednesday, we embarked for our trip to Palmyra and were greeted with such kindness from the executives and employees at the factory. We were walked through the various different processes of production: from the biochemistry labs that test for quality of the crops, to the state-of-the-art tablet-cutting and capsule-filling machines, to the assembly line where the products are all packaged and shipped at 2,000 orders per day. It was truly an incredible display of innovative technology meeting the core fundamentals of whole foods and quality nutrition.

Our afternoon consisted of a series of breakout sessions with various different speakers and educators from the Standard Process company. We learned about a handful of clinical findings that correlate with nutritional deficiencies. For example, did you know that those little white marks that can occur on your fingernails may be indicative of a zinc deficiency in your diet?! We were also educated about some of the core supplements that Standard Process has to offer and when to prescribe them to certain patients. It was a very informative and exciting day for our interns!

In other news, I actually am one of the finalists for a scholarship being awarded by Standard Process! The four top-rated videos on YouTube will be awarded scholarships this week at the NCLC (National Chiropractic Leadership Conference) in Washington, DC. The video topic is: "The most important thing I want to teach my patients," and I hope you enjoy my thoughts on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle! :) Voting is open until Wednesday by clicking the "thumbs up" under my video.

I look forward to writing all about NCLC next week! DC, here I come!

Webster Technique

In an effort to continue to expand my skills and techniques, I traveled to Columbus, Ohio, this past weekend to take the Perinatal Care: Webster Certification course of the International Chiropractic Pediatric Association's diplomate program. This first module offers the opportunity to learn and become certified in Webster Technique, a method of diagnosis and treatment for correcting dysfunction in the pelvis of pregnant women.

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Good morning from the beautiful city of Chicago!

The Webster Technique has been taught by Dr. Jeanne Ohm for over 30 years, and she has truly changed the lives of so many women with whom she has worked. The concept of Webster is to optimize pelvic function, alignment, and movement, in order to potentially decrease the difficulties associated with pregnancy and labor. The protocol consists of analyzing the direction in which the sacrum may be fixated, increasing motion in the pelvic joints, and affecting the correlated soft tissue structures such as muscles and ligaments. The technique has tremendous success with easing pain and challenges associated with pregnancy, so women are always searching the online database for local Webster providers. It is exciting to have earned my certification and be able to work with this population of patients! :)

The entire seminar was so inspiring. We discussed the changes in obstetric care over the decades and how chiropractic care can offer tremendous relief for women seeking alternative options during their pregnancy. It was so empowering, realizing that I am going to make these important changes in women's lives, and in the lives of their future children.

National has always been a very science-based chiropractic program, aiming to train its students as primary care physicians. Although we don't focus too much on the traditional philosophy of our profession, this weekend taught me how important it is to keep an open mind about this topic. Some chiropractic schools really focus on the concepts of innate intelligence and subluxation, and although National does not, Jeanne Ohm truly made a valid argument: Despite what each of us believes, she kept emphasizing that "Life is intelligent," and there is no reason to argue with that.

Two cells can come together and develop into a fully functioning human being. Pregnancy and birth have been occurring in our species since the beginning of time, and it is important to realize that the body truly does know what it is doing. Life IS intelligent, in that even before the development of modern medicine, miracles have been occurring naturally and without all of the interventions we use today. Maybe it's time that we take a different approach to the way we bring infants into this world, and the way in which we support a woman's natural ability to carry and care for a child.