Another good week come and gone and we're already a month into
the Fall Tri! This past week was marked in particular by more
travel and some med school firsts: suturing and a Grand Rounds
Wendy, Mallory and Lisa prepare to learn suturing
For years I've watched my dermatologist mother suture her
patients after removal of suspicious moles or biopsy of suspicious
skin conditions. She works so methodically, looping the long end
around the forceps and securing a tight knot in one smooth motion.
After my first attempt at suturing I can tell ya, it's harder than
it looks! However, after another hour of practice following that
first attempt, I'm already feeling better about it, though I still
need more practice. The tricky part is focusing on all the
components; holding the tools properly, spacing your stitches just
right, and pulling them just tight enough, but not too
Lisa performs her first sutures on a plastic arm!
I also gave my first Grand Rounds presentation to a room full of
interns, clinicians and students from lower tris. In 9th Tri
we present for about 30 minutes on a clinical question, whereas in
10th Tri we spend an hour discussing a case and research. As I
mentioned last week, I presented on The Case of the Missing Organ.
My talk focused on the concept of considering a new basis for
health in patients who present for care after having an organ
removed, and on the importance of identifying the cause of dis-ease
if removal of the organ has not solved the problem. This
presentation was inspired by two of my patients, one who has had
the colon removed, and another who has had the gallbladder removed.
I was nervous, but it seems to have been well received and now I
can check that off my to-do-list for the tri!
After an interesting week I took to the skies again for a trip
to Vermont to celebrate the marriage of one of my very oldest
friends. In addition to getting all dolled up with a delightful
group of young women (I also wrote about them in a post from March:
Crunch-Pop and Lovely Intelligent Women), I got to go for a
beautiful, brisk morning stroll with my mom and discuss patient
cases, and danced with my dad to music played by a live band.
Everything about the weekend was beautiful!
A view from the top of The Flume, a little hike in northern
Hanzi and I made a point to stop for a walk in the woods of the
White Mountains on our drive back to Boston, where we caught an
early flight back to Chicago the next day. We also got to watch the
lunar eclipse/blood moon with my parents on their back porch. I
hope you all got to see that celestial masterpiece; what a perfect
symbol of the impressiveness of this world that has conspired to
bring about all the things from the marriage of two wonderful
people this past weekend, to my reaching this stage of naturopathic
Hanzi checks out the White Mountains scenery from a covered
Speaking of a world conspiring to bring about things for us,
please do not hesitate to email me with any of your questions,
thoughts, concerns, or celebrations from your process of applying
to, or considering this Naturopathic journey. I am never too busy
to reply; I love your emails! You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
And, we're back!
I'm sitting at my kitchen table with a glass of wine while a pot
of risotto stews on the stove, salmon is marinating and waiting for
the oven, and the first week of the tri is complete! It is
important to remember to do as much regular living as possible
before we hit Week 4 and midterms are upon us. There's something
sweet and fresh about the first 3 weeks of the tri that really
should be savored.
My first week back was short; we had the holiday on Monday and
thank goodness for it! I flew back from Washington, D.C. early
Monday morning after an intense and amazing 4 days of an IV Nutrition Therapy
Seminar, taught by some outstanding NDs. I am now certified in
IV therapy is a topic we cover in our Minor Surgery class in Tri
9, but due to the nature of practicing/interning in a pre-licensed
state without an MD here on staff at the NUHS clinic, we cannot
actually perform IV therapy treatments in our clinic. The course
taught me so much useful information applicable to my practice of
the future, and I got to apply the skills that I don't get to use
actively in our clinic here. I am now confident that I could, at
the very least, rehydrate a patient, and at the very most offer
basic nutritive support to any variety of sick patients. The group
also offers further education in IV therapy on specific topics such
as cancer support and detox. Judging by my great experience with
the basics course, I'm likely to take more in-depth courses in the
future. I highly suggest the course if you can find the time and
funds to make it happen.
My friend Guy, a 10thtri intern, also attended the course with
me. He leaves at the end of Week 2 for an externship in Montana
(licensed state)! He expects to use his newfound skills in IV
therapy at the clinic in Billings, where he will work for the next
few months before graduation. I'll keep my fingers crossed that I
can follow in his footsteps next tri... imagine the stories I will
be able to share from the West! (Wishing Guy safe travels on his
Back to my reality, or at least sort of. I spent the first
weekend back at school attending the wedding of two dear friends.
Hanzi and I traveled to a club in Pennsylvania and besides watching
Hanzi rock it as a handsome groomsman, I got to go for a paddle in
a solo canoe, catch up with college friends I haven't seen in 6
years, dance 'til I could dance no more, and shoot trap with some
excellent help from the resident shooting instructor. I have
returned from the weekend fully revitalized!
My old college friend Harrison put it pretty well at the end of
the weekend, "I hate hangovers, and I especially hate goodbyes." It
was hard to leave such a beautiful place and such beautiful
friends, but I have returned to campus ready to rock! And speaking
of friends, a handful of my closest ND student buddies who started
in January 2013 with me are now 8th tri interns in the clinic, and
I am so, so excited to have them there with me! Congratulations to
ALL the new interns entering this next stage -- DC, ND and AOM
And now the risotto is demanding my attention and the salmon
must go in the oven... Hanzi returns from work at the library
momentarily and we'll sit down to enjoy dinner together during one
of these rare early-in-the-tri nights with no assignments hanging
over my head quite yet. Welcome back all; let us have a fabulous
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
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!
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!
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
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
Lastly, a little blessing for us all; may our professors ask us
the questions to which we have all the answers! Good luck,
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