Archive for tag: boards

Go Us! Almost There!

Whoa, here we are! It's already my last post for the trimester, a sure sign we have only a handful of days left until we're done! Week 14 signals the beginning of exams with all the lab practicals taking place this week. My E&M Extremities practical on Monday has required me to learn and understand about 60 different types of orthopedic tests and 44 different types of mobilizations/manipulations/adjustments. Let's just say this is prime evidence of how medical school is like drinking from a fire hose.

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This trimester has been a significant one for me. I started the Clinical Sciences portion of my degree, made a decision on when to take boards, followed my intuition and decided to do a dual degree in massage, and learned so much from my sim-patients about what the real experience will be like. It was also the first trimester that I haven't had any classes with any of my best buddies with whom I started the program. This is a blessing and a curse because I miss their company terribly, but I have also made new friends who I value just as much. During this tri, I traveled to see some of my favorite people make the promise to spend their lives together, my best and oldest friend got engaged (I never told you this, ah!), I wrote a blog post here that elicited tears from an exceptional friend (the first time my written words have ever inspired such emotion), and my parents sold my childhood home. All this, and it still feels that these summer months have absolutely flown by!

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If you're not here at NUHS yet, you'll soon learn the value of our brief breaks between the trimesters. This time I will head east, and go on a 4-day backpacking/hut trip adventure in the White Mountains of New Hampshire with my family and Hanzi to celebrate my Dad's 60th birthday (wish us happy trails, we might need it!). After that, I plan to visit with some of my best college girlfriends; one of them just bought a house -- OMG -- grown-up things! Hopefully, I'll find a day to shadow my Mom at her Integrative Dermatology practice, and will crack my Boards study guide at some point (we'll see about that last one). I hope the rest of my peers also have something fun, and especially something relaxing, planned for break!

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But before we can totally engage with our time off, we have to give that last major push through finals. WE CAN DO IT! Remember, it's OK for life to be totally, completely unbeautiful right now. Also, the world is a whole lot bigger than NUHS finals week.

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Throughout my post is a series of photos I took around campus on the Friday before Week 14. I asked students to show me how the impending last 2 weeks of the tri makes them feel; this is what I saw. General consensus says we're all a little crazed, a little worn out, and a little hungry for the sweet stuff...so don't worry, here's the evidence that if this is how you feel, you're not alone!

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Lastly, a little blessing for us all; may our professors ask us the questions to which we have all the answers! Good luck, friends!

Walk the Talk

I told you all about me last week, which is good for foundation, but now I have to catch you up on what actually took place during my first week of the summer tri! 

My first week of classes in the Clinical Sciences phase was awesome. We are at the point now where we get to apply the information we've learned about how the body works to clinical situations; how a patient would present in clinic. So far I think GI & GU & Reproductive Systems is my favorite class. We talked about fascinating stuff like where the problem comes from if a patient in pain vomits or has black stool. I suppose only doctors and future doctors can be so enthralled with the color of poop and whether or not someone's going to vomit so as to make it their favorite discussion of the week. I must be in the right place!

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Digging around the NUHS botanical garden

I ended my first week of the trimester at the garden party on Friday evening.  Those of us who love to dig in the dirt or who want to learn more about medicinal plants meet at our modest botanical garden where we gather to pull weeds, laugh, review, and learn about the plants from our professor, Dr. Lorinda Sorensen. Thumbs up from my friend John who is as happy as I am to spend his Friday evenings diggin' in the dirt!

In contrast to our first week, this past week it rained. A lot. The lacrosse practice I usually coach was cancelled due to the chilly, wet weather. Despite this, I did manage to commute to school by train/bike on Thursday, and the rain held off just long enough!

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Lilacia Park in full bloom! It's located next to the train station in downtown
Lombard. I wandered through while waiting for the train to arrive. 

Mostly, I spent this rainy week struggling over whether or not to take the NPLEX Part I boards this August. I am eligible to sit for the exam now that I have completed the Basic Sciences phase. All the other ND schools have the summer off from classes (as far as I know), and many of their students study all summer long. Here at National, I am taking a full course load of 28 credits and the board exam falls during the week right before final exams. While I don't doubt that I COULD do it if I HAD to, the prospect of studying every free moment all summer long is unpleasant and intimidating.

It's decisions like these that make me realize the importance of walking the walk. As NDs we will advise our patients to optimize the determinants of health -- adequate sleep, hydration, community support, and healthy food -- to name a few. It is a true challenge to live the life of a student and embody naturopathy at the same time. My conclusion has been to take the board exam in February. This decision comes after listening to the advice of upper tri students, and also by listening to my own heart. In doing so, I'm embracing the reality of what it takes for me to stay happy and healthy, all the while keeping my eyes on the prize: McKenzie Mescon, ND.