So all that whining, sleepless nights, long study sessions, and
sacrifices eventually paid off! I graduated from the Doctor of
Chiropractic Program December 16, 2010! It was an amazing feeling
to finally walk across that stage, get "hooded," and shake Dr.
Winterstein's hand as he said, "Congratulations, Dr.
Although having a winter graduation is not ideal, it was
absolutely astonishing how filled the auditorium was! I had about
20 people that came just for me and my dad even came all the way
from Alaska! No matter how much I had to go through to get to
graduation, my family and friends were always there for me. They
are an integral part to my success.
Over break, I had the chance to spend a lot of time with family.
We hosted Christmas at our house for the first time. We cooked a
lot of good food and celebrated together especially since it was
Xander's first Christmas.
After getting through the holiday fun, I had to get my butt back
into gear! I had fun celebrating graduation plus the holidays,
however I had to think about the future - back to school AND
Naturopathic boards. I started to "lightly" study over break as
much as I could mentally and physically tolerate. It is definitely
a battle to go back to Tri 1-Tri 6 and review everything! (Plus
naturopathic boards are known to be harder than Part 1 chiropractic
boards requiring a higher standard to pass.)
The first week of school went great! Getting back to being a
student isn't foreign to me since I had classes even through DC
clinic, but the best part is that I am ONLY an ND student so my
schedule is very open. I am planning on possibly working part-time
doing acupuncture or finding a position I could fill in part-time
since my schedule will be changing every four months. We will see
what doors open for me, but no matter what this is an exciting
Attending classes and having the experience I've had in the
chiropractic program has been amazing nonetheless. I find myself
being able to interact in class with a completely different
perspective. I am excited for what is to come. Even though February
1 can wait, I know that I will be prepared enough to get through
the next phase.
Oh, and to end on a very positive and exciting note: I passed Part
IV chiropractic boards that I took in November in Los
Have a great week everyone!!
Now I can see why 13 is a "taboo" number. Week 13 was tough! Out
of all the "tough" I've been through (and you, my readers, know
I've been through tough), man this one is up there! There are
various reasons… some I could have prevented… and some I could
First - classes.
My patience was tested right away. I love my naturopathic
classes because I always see it as a "break" from all my
chiropractic classes, but this week was a big test. It was painful
for me to sit still in class while attempting to focus - I had a
huge "to-do" list running through my head! My brain was going
non-stop because I knew it was crunch time! Then as my professors
started discussing finals, it hit me… I have finals DURING
graduation week! Whew! I had to work it out with my professors so
that I could take all my finals the Monday of graduation week since
each day (Tuesday-Wednesday) before graduation are packed with
Second - clinic.
As you may know already, I have completed that big 250
chiropractic manipulative techniques (CMTs) which many are still
struggling to finish. But after I celebrated for like a minute, it
hit me… whoa! I have tons of other numbers to finish! I have to
finish my blood draws, 20 narratives, and my case study that I am
trying to get published!
Oh, no! My goal was to get all of that done this week! A bit
ambitious? Eh… yeah. I finished my most of my blood draws, ALL my
narratives (woo woo), and have YET to start on case study. Plus
through all that madness, I still saw a couple of patients
throughout the week!
My tip: Work on a narrative a week!! That way, you would be able
to enjoy the last couple of weeks before graduation!
Third - family.
So through the craziness of classes AND clinic, it hit me again…
the world does not stop! I really LOVE my family - unconditionally
- but with love comes heartache too. I have definitely experienced
tough decisions this week… juggling my life in school plus making
everyone else happy. It is a hard task to follow my already tough
week… but that's life right? I know that on the 16th… my family
will definitely see all my hard work follow through as I walk
across the stage and shake Dr. Winterstein's hands as his
One more week of shear madness as we all race to the finish line…
this is definitely a holiday to remember. Wish me luck… take care!
And drive safe in the flurries and slick ice!
What's the best way to celebrate? Take a boat cruise on Lake
Michigan right in the middle of the beautiful Chicago skyline!
Well, what am I celebrating? I am DONE with my numbers! (All my 250
chiropractic adjustments!) OK, so I STILL have to finish my 20
narratives, BUT now I can treat my patients without stressing out
Narratives are a longer version of a patient chart note that you
can include with a referral letter if you have to refer a patient
for any particular reason. It's a good habit to pick up while in
clinic. It is too often that chiropractors (that I've met!) refuse
to refer their patients either because they lack knowledge OR
because they truly feel they can fix EVERYTHING. That is definitely
a dangerous belief to live in when people's lives are literally at
As a medical practitioner in any specialty, holding on to that
omnipotent mindset should be considered patient negligence. I am so
passionate about this because those are the people that scar our
profession's reputation each and every day.
This weekend, someone asked me, "WHY ARE YOU DOING TWO PROGRAMS?
YOU KNOW YOU CAN'T FIX EVERYTHING, RIGHT?" It turned into a very
intriguing conversation because for one split second, I thought
about that. "Do I really think that?"
People can construe many thoughts when you tell them that you are
dually enrolled in TWO DOCTORATE PROGRAMS. "Does she just want
alphabet soup behind her name?" "Is she just going to be good at
everything and not AMAZING at one particular thing?" Oh, I've
gotten all those and more.
I basically explained to that person that my passion molded while
I was in the chiropractic program. I gradually started to see holes
in what or how I could treat (at least how I wanted to treat and
WHAT I wanted to treat), and I looked for other options while
finishing this current program. My situation was a natural
progression of how I became engulfed in loving both programs
equally. My clinic experience has allowed me to fall deeply in love
with physical medicine and it's power and affect on people…just as
much as I love what naturopathic medicine can do for more
Now ask yourself those questions. What are your intentions?
Motives? If they are not for the right reasons, you are going to
spend A LOT of money on a couple extra letters behind your
Every time I think about the negative dollar signs I owe, I feel
at peace with my decision and do not regret it whatsoever. I know
that God has intended this for me, so that means He will pull me
through financially. Now will you have that same peace? Food for
Have a Happy Thanksgiving everyone! Eat lots and sleep lots!
Have you ever studied from 11am to 4am in the morning? I have! I
know most college students have had the chance to experience a
"true" all-nighter, but this is the closest I've been to a pure
study marathon. My husband went out of town this weekend, and I had
a couple friends from school come over and participate in a
grueling study marathon for Part IV boards this coming weekend. (In
the picture, Jackie and I are studying using my teddy bear to
demonstrate orthopedic tests! Ha ha)
I have to be honest and say… I am scared! Like I've already talked
about before, Part IV boards are a clinical/practical exam that
lasts two whole days. The first day is all radiology. Basically you
walk into a room, look at an X-Ray or MRI, and diagnose or pick the
findings. The following day consists of demonstrating orthopedic
tests, chiropractic manipulations, and physical exams along with
answering diagnoses and treatment/management.
It should be pretty straight forward considering we have received
such an amazing education here, right? Um no. Our education has
been great HOWEVER the things the board may choose to test you on
may be things: 1) orthopedic tests/physical exam methods that we
will NEVER USE; 2) clinically, it does not translate to how I treat
patients because a lot of the treatment comes from an "old school"
of thought since all chiropractic schools are so different; and 3)
biggest of all, I will not read my own X-rays!
So what do I do? Pray! Enjoy the palm trees and 80-degree weather
(Did I mention I'm taking them in my hometown of Whittier,
California?) and Breathe! I am looking forward to my trip with my
good friend from school especially since I will get to see my
family plus our husbands will be joining us as well! But I look
forward to this time next week when I am reflecting on my
experience and crossing my fingers that I have passed!
And I have that amazingly cute picture of my nephew that I'm
putting on my graduation announcements, that Yes…. his aunt is
going to be a doctor. So that little face and big eyes makes all
this work worth it.
Well, it seems surreal but 9th trimester is coming to a close. I
can't believe it has already been four months and that it will only
be FOUR more months until I can add "Dr." to my name!
The last four months have definitely been a time of learning for
me. I have learned that I still NEED to focus on my classes more
now than when I had 30 credits! I still have some finals to finish
up and this "senioritis" has really gotten to me. I have learned
that my weakness is the rehab aspect of treating a patient but
after being on Dr. Solecki's shift, I truly feel I can visualize
that aspect for a patient more so than before.
I have learned how to interact with my colleagues in a more
supportive way, and have definitely gotten that same support back.
Coming into the program from undergraduate, I feel that it's in our
nature to be competitive. However, this program is not about
survival of the fittest (Well, it shouldn't be!). There is always
something you can learn from someone else. We are missing a couple
interns, but in the picture, you can see both 9th & 10th tri
I have learned that I love and definitely will use homeopathy in
my practice. It is such an amazing medicine that although not well
understood, works! Evidence based medicine is very important and
research is imperative in practice, however there are certain
therapies that are not heavily supported by research but still
shows great effectiveness. Always keep the patient in mind, and the
more you individualize care, the more results you will see. Not all
therapies work for EVERY patient. That is something else I also
took from 9th Tri.
A highlight from being on Dr. Solecki's shift is our mandatory
abstract that we have to write. An abstract is very similar to a
case study of a patient that you've been working with. It has to be
under 500 words and cover the history from the beginning all the
way to the conclusion of the treatment. A select few of us
including myself wrote abstracts that Dr. Solecki picked to
possibly get published in the Journal of Chiropractic Medicine! How
exciting! After finals, I will start working on the article so that
I can start the process of getting it published if accepted by the
JCM! Plus we might get the opportunity to be a part of the annual
Sports Medicine Symposium!
Overall, 9th Tri has been a huge learning experience and I am
looking forward to what my LAST chiropractic trimester has to
offer! I will be taking acupuncture and adding about three ND
classes. I also have Part IV boards in November and I will be
racing to finish my numbers! I am so excited. The best is yet to
Have a great week and good luck for those starting the program in
September!! See ya then!
• ND Clinic Format
• Love Your Profession
• MD vs. ND
• CAM Day
• Working During School
• Q&A with Readers
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