Well, here we are guys. This is my last blog to you EVER. Can
you believe it? We've been on this journey together for a LONG time
now--ever since I started the chiropractic program all the way
through finishing the naturopathic program! It has been a huge
blessing to reflect every week on this blog not only to give you
insight but for myself. Now I can look back and remember small
details of my life that I may not have stored in my memory. That's
the great thing about blogging.
I want to tell you about my week in sunny California. I am glad
I will be able to share my experiences with you because it was
absolutely amazing. I had the pleasure to shadow a naturopathic
doctor in Monrovia, California. Dr. Jennifer Wicher was such an
amazing influence not only from her point of view on patient
care/management, but the fact that she is married, a mom, maintains
a busy schedule (she has a waiting list), and has a great spirit
about it all!
Dr. Jennifer Wicher and me
I was also able to speak with her husband who does a lot of the
business aspects of her practice. The business "stuff" is not my
forte and it was nice to speak to him and get some pointers. Since
Illinois is not a licensed state yet, there are restrictions on
many things that we are capable of doing including IV therapy,
injections and prescriptive pharmaceuticals. In California, you are
able to do all of that under your license.
I was able to observe Dr. Wicher perform numerous IV therapies
from hydrogen peroxide to vitamins/minerals to using Ozone, which
was SUPER cool. I also saw numerous joint injections, intramuscular
injections and Ozone injections! She had awesome rapport with her
patients and every patient had amazing improvements that urged them
to refer patients to her. She had a very busy practice, spent
quality time with each patient, had time to spend with her
2-year-old, and maintained a positive and grateful attitude about
Dr. Jennifer Wincher
I am so glad that I randomly found her. I had to drive
about 3 hours round-trip (with traffic) to her practice every day
but it was MORE than worth it. We plan on keeping in touch and I am
excited to potentially move out west one day (maybe) and have some
awesome resources! I encourage each and every one of you to utilize
your allotted observation days during clinic to travel to a
licensed state like California (with a larger scope than others)
and see the amazing things our profession has to offer! It is well
worth the plane ticket fare!
Ryan and I at his friend's wedding site, a vineyard in
Temecula, California--on top of a mountain! Breathtaking!
My husband Ryan joined me in California for the weekend and we
called this part of the trip our "Babymoon," which is basically a
trip before the baby comes to enjoy each other's company and relax.
We attended the wedding of one of his good friends and had an
amazing time reconnecting with his friends from back home that have
moved out to California.
We topped off the busy weekend with our first baby shower, which
was lovingly thrown by my California family including my
grandparents. So exciting! We are so blessed to have such amazing
family and friends to share this new journey with and could not be
more excited after seeing all the little baby clothes!
My grandparents with Ryan and me
Strangely enough, you have been a part of my life for some of my
biggest life changes and events from starting school, getting
married, graduating (twice), and then starting our baby adventure!
I am truly saddened to say that the journey we have been on
together has to end here, but I want to thank all of you that have
taken your time to read my blogs. If anything, I hope I have been
able to give you some honest insight into my life as a
real person...not just another grad student. Thank you,
thank you, and thank you!
May you have a blessed journey as well no matter what path you
choose! My last piece of advice: Find the good in all you
do/choose. It will help you appreciate the beauty in all the
Take care and God bless!
I spent this past week at an integrative medical practice
observing a medical doctor provide "natural" injection therapy for
patients with anything from trigger points to osteoarthritis of the
knee. At first I was actually skeptical of how "natural" injections
were considering it was an injection, which is pretty invasive, and
definitely not anything we have the opportunity to perform or be
exposed to in clinic.
However, after speaking with the medical doctor and his
patients, it was amazing to see the impact his care was doing in
conjunction with chiropractic care. He was injecting a homeopathic
remedy called Serapin, which is similar to what we learn in school
as Traumeel (contains mainly Arnica) as a potent anti-inflammatory.
The medical doctor himself revealed that when he was asked to be
part of this treatment protocol, he was very skeptical himself. He
did not think there was any way for the "homeopathic remedy" to
work as well as something like a corticosteroid. However, after
utilizing this treatment modality for 6-7 months now with multiple
patients, he has admitted that he has "converted" to a believer in
non-invasive and gentle therapy such as homeopathy! What a huge
accomplishment for us as naturopaths!
After all, we are not in this medical profession alone but we
are surrounded by brilliant and knowledgeable medical doctors who
may start off just as skeptical as the medical doctor I observed.
But our medicine works! Most of the patients at this clinic are
part of the geriatric community, already take tons of
pharmaceuticals, and are not willing or able to participate in all
the "lifestyle changes" we may want to make before resorting to
something like an injection. So, I completely learned to understand
and respect the medicine that was being practiced at this clinic
and became very impressed. Due to HIPPA, I could not provide you
with pictures of the actual injections I witnessed but it was a
very awesome experience!
And the people we got to work with were great! They even had a
potluck while we were there that we participated in! (The picture
above shows the food and some of the therapists at the clinic.)
The patient population I see at school is mainly 20-50 years of
age, which is still very young, while the clinic I observed this
week ranged mainly from 50-90 years of age! That is a huge
difference in how treatment must be delivered and patient
management in general. It was a great experience to be exposed to
something so different and a fun break from being on campus all day
My grandma and I at dinner after my family picked me up at the
Now, I am (don't be jealous) writing this blog from sunny
Southern California! I am actually sitting enjoying a cup of coffee
(just ONE cup) while waiting to head into my next clinic adventure
with a licensed naturopathic doctor. I am so excited and nervous at
the same time. I have absolutely no idea what type of patient
population I will be exposed to but just love that I get to be in
California. Driving in morning rush hour traffic isn't so bad when
you have mountains and palm trees surrounding your view! :)
Next week will be my last blog for you guys...for good! I am so
happy that I have the opportunity to share with you my experience
in California and hope you have enjoyed my blurbs thus far. :) Take
care and have a good & sunny week!
Oh, and here is my 16-week baby bump!
I can't wait to share with you my next upcoming weeks! I will be
shadowing a physical medicine clinic in Arlington Heights this week
and the following week, I will be venturing off to sunny Southern
California to shadow a naturopathic doctor. Not only am I excited
to travel to California, but also I am excited to see an ND in a
licensed state while being able to see my family all at the same
The picture I included just encompasses how my life has been
lately. Sunny, happy and SUNNY! I cannot believe that we have been
blessed with this amazing weather, and seeing my nephew with his
big smile just makes me even more excited for the little one I'll
get to hold in September! :) Although we have had this joyous
weather, I heard it's going to change soon and be a bit chillier
than the mere 70-80º we've had, which I am fine with considering I
am literally an oven right now!
Ryan and I went to enjoy the weather this weekend and had some
amazing RAW food at "Borrowed Earth Café" in Downers Grove. It's a
vegan raw restaurant that always makes me feel AMAZING afterwards
because it's really just raw vegetables that are transformed. You
should try it at least once as a student. It's so close to NUHS. It
made me feel good to feel like myself again. This pregnancy has
definitely taken my body into completely different directions of
emotional and physical feelings. In the beginning, the only
calories I could stomach was junk food! Bleh! But now I am finally
"indulging" in my normal meals filled with lots of fruit,
vegetables and good healthy protein! Nutrition is really key to a
healthy life in general but especially in pregnancy.
We (you and I) have been on this journey together for a long
time and I can't believe that it is coming to an end soon. It's
bittersweet really. I have enjoyed writing this blogs, receiving
insight and questions from you all, and it has given me my own way
to reflect. I hope I have been able to help you make some important
decisions in your life and give you an honest and open outlook into
what NUHS has in store for you if you choose it as a part of your
Have a good week everyone!
The title of my blog is so random, I know! But I can't get over
how awesome it felt to wear a mustache out in public for my
cousin's birthday! Since the first trimester of my pregnancy is
over, it's been more do-able to enjoy life in general including all
the joy of finishing up my clinic numbers.
After this past week, I have finished up about 90% of my
requirements, which is huge!!! I still have some loose ends to tie
up, but the hard part is officially over for me. It is a different
type of experience to still deliver quality health care while
thinking in the back of your mind that you have very specific
requirements to obtain. The support of my colleagues as well as
opportunities that have opened up to me have really helped ease
I remember sitting in 8th trimester clinic
orientation looking at the minimum requirements that need
to be obtained before you get to walk across that stage to get your
diploma. I had feelings of anxiety along with uncertainty that I
would be able to accomplish these requirements while still
maintaining my sanity. It has been a difficult journey thus far,
but looking back, I can appreciate all the rough spots I had to
experience in order to fully be grateful for the future.
It's the little things that have helped me through this process.
My patients telling me how much they'll miss me, and that I'm
irreplaceable. Referrals from very happy and trusting patients have
been amazing. And most of all, the camaraderie among some of my
colleagues has been priceless and has helped me get to where I am
today--not to forget the support and prayers from my family and
This time next week, I will be preparing to enter my first round
of clinical observations at a rehab clinic with a chiropractor and
medical doctor. Then, I'll be packing up to head to Southern
California for about 10 days to observe a naturopathic doctor for 4
days as well as visit family. After returning from California, I
will have about 1 week before graduation!
Time has definitely gone by and I still can't believe that a
year ago, I was sitting in class still studying for exams and
writing papers. Now I am enjoying the work I've put in and waiting
to get that diploma in my hand!
Have a good week everyone! And for those Illinois residents, go
out and enjoy this amazing March summer-like weather!!!
I still can't believe it. I am closer to graduation and it's
getting very REAL.This upcoming week will be my last week
at the inner city clinic I spoke about before, and then I have
about 2 more weeks until my 2 weeks of observation off campus! Then
when I get back, I will have about 4 days left of clinic before
graduation week! It's so crazy!
I remember this similar feeling when I was graduating from the
chiropractic program, but the feeling was halted by the sense that
my graduation was only the mark of the beginning of the
naturopathic program. While all my colleagues were putting their
business plans into action, interviewing for associate positions,
or packing up and moving back home, I was studying and preparing
for my 11th trimester! It was still an exciting
time considering it is still a HUGE accomplishment. However, it was
bittersweet for me.
Now I sit here, writing one of my last blogs ever,
preparing for a new journey in my life, and feeling an amazing
amount of joy and peace! It's still very stressful realizing that I
am still at that place again--not completing a business plan or
interviewing for any associate positions, but preparing a nursery,
utilizing the summer to relax, and enjoying life without the
pressures of school. I feel much better about it all than I
You might hear over and over again about the "Numbers Game" in
clinic. There are high expectations and huge requirements that are
obligated for you to pass your clinic internship, and the
naturopathic program has definitely trumped the chiropractic
program in my opinion! I learned so much from both programs on many
different levels, but because the naturopathic program is still
relatively young at NUHS, there are different struggles that we
face. The numbers were driving me crazy but definitely did not
affect my ability to give my patients the best care possible. And
our clinicians were right, if you treat your patients right, the
numbers will take care of themselves.
As I am heading into my last couple weeks with patients on
campus, I am feeling more comfortable than ever about my competency
AND numbers. Although I won't be out in practice right away, I have
been able to soak up the experience the best way I could. I
struggled, I cried, I became frustrated on the verge of walking
away--but looking back now, I can appreciate the obstacles I've had
to overcome and above all else, I've had the best patients ever!
I only hope you will be able to soak up my experience no matter
what school or program you choose! Take care of people and they
will take care of you. :) Here's to my last weeks here at
• ND Clinic Format
• Love Your Profession
• MD vs. ND
• CAM Day
• Working During School
• Q&A with Readers
To read older blog posts, scroll to the bottom and click the "Older Posts" button.