This past weekend was hectic, fun-filled and fulfilling all at
the same time! Many naturopathic and chiropractic interns from NUHS
served as volunteers both Saturday and Sunday at the American Lung
Association's Fight for Air Climb in downtown Chicago.
The Fight for Air Climb is set up so that participants can climb
the stairs of prominent local buildings throughout the country,
getting great exercise, reaching a fitness milestone or competing,
all while raising money to prevent lung disease. Participants
climbed one, two, three or all four of the Presidential Towers, a
residential high-rise complex in Chicago. Each building has 45
floors (585 steps) for a grand total of 180 floors and 2,340 steps
that could be scaled by participants.
In the words of the organization itself, the climbers climb
Saturday's activities involved setting up the event by staging
all the water, bananas and energy snacks for the participants
throughout the four towers. Then we had to move the tables, signage
and decorations to the appropriate common areas where the
participants would be traversing between buildings during the
climb. Finally, the most poignant activity was placing the 'In
Memoriam' signs throughout the stairwells of all four buildings.
Participants could name a family member, friend or loved one for
whom they were climbing and have the opportunity to let that person
know that they were missed and still loved.
Sunday included working at the watering station on Floor 19 of
Tower 2 (of four towers). We saw firefighters climbing with full
gear (including air tank), friends leading blind loved ones, full
families, corporate teams, a team of tooth fairies (none of which
were shorter than 6'2") and a gaggle of Leprechauns who must have
been training for the St. Patrick's Day rush! Sunday was a true
pleasure to cheer on the participants who, through their physical
and fund raising efforts, would be able to help so many!
So, while this weekend started out as the last great opportunity
to finish the required community outreach hours (being entirely
honest), the emotional and spiritual return on taking the time to
be with the dedicated climbers, volunteers and building staff at
the towers downtown was an experience I won't soon forget!
Hi, everyone! Welcome back for my final trimester!
I hope each of you had a wonderful holiday season and you were
able to be with the ones you love! This has been quite the four and
a half year journey at NUHS. It began with my prerequisite classes
in Fall 2009, through the basic science curriculum of the
naturopathic program, the clinical course portion of my education,
and now culminates with the Internship for the past year.
A sunrise view of downtown Chicago from the window of the
Salvation Army Clinic (beautiful!)
My winter break consisted of time at the main clinic at the NUHS
Whole Health Center in Lombard as well as time at the Salvation
Army clinic in downtown Chicago, along with my part-time job. Great
for getting patient visits, patient hours and income, yet not much
I also had to finish my final Grand Rounds presentation as a
naturopathic intern at NUHS over the break as I was the first to
present this trimester (sometimes having a name starting with 'A'
has its drawbacks). :) My topic was about a suitable treatment for
Lyme disease when prescription antibiotics have failed to eradicate
the disease. It is titled "Can Dipsacus sylvestris (Teasel Root)
administration with concurrent biofilm reduction diminish the
presence of chronic Borrelia burgdorferi?"
In this presentation, I examined Lyme
disease distribution globally, its associated stages and symptoms,
treatment with antibiotics, and antibiotic efficacy based upon in
vivo studies. Next, I compared researched methods of biofilm
reduction along with a look at Teasel's effectiveness versus
Borrelia burgdorferi (the bacteria that causes Lyme). Finally, I
outlined a treatment plan for a chronic Lyme patient along with
body systems support. This protocol is quite promising for reducing
the presence of Lyme, yet the topic was very hard to keep focused,
as Lyme is such a complicated and fascinating disease to
understand, formulate a plan of attack, and treat.
Well, enough about Lyme and the clinics. I promised to talk
about naturopathic philosophy this trimester and I will follow
through on that promise. Beginning next week, I will talk of the
basic tenets that we follow in our philosophy at NUHS, a solid
foundation that sets NUHS apart from the other ND schools. I may
just look back a bit at my time here throughout the trimester as
Until next week, stay warm and talk to you soon!
Sometimes I feel like I live, eat, breathe, and sleep medical
school and NUHS. Somehow, that doesn't leave balance for any
personal time, unless one makes it so. I'm a firm believer in
Vitamin R (rest, relaxation and rejuvenation...thanks Dr. Louise
Edwards) and decided after the engorged schedule of this trimester
and a slight lull just before finals, I would take a little time
out and have an inexpensive break on a Friday night.
So, this week I will write about a trip to Chicago's Loop, or
the section of downtown Chicago encircled by an elevated railway,
or the El.
Friday's classes ended and I was on the train with a good friend
riding to downtown Chicago! I decided it was time to visit the
Christkindlmarket (funny spelling, it's German) held annually on
the Honorable Richard J. Daley Plaza (who gets the reference
here?). The market is set up as a traditional German and Eastern
European winter market with music, food halls, ornaments, trinkets,
and even Santa Claus (the European Claus who will actually bring
you coal if you are naughty instead of just an idle threat). The
plaza is filled with people of all ages and you pretty much stand
"elbow to elbow" as you wait in line for the food, to check the
vendors, or scrounge in to hear the band a bit better. I'm not
normally a crowd kinda guy yet this has been one of my favorite
experiences here in Chicago and I go check out the market every
After a couple of hours of music, Glühwein (heated spiced wine)
and the crowds, we were ready for a break, so we took a stroll
around Chicago's Loop to take in a bit of the atmosphere. After
some leisurely walking, I ended up at Monk's Pub and the place
seemed to be full of the "after 5 Friday crowd", but a great vibe
overall! We grabbed a quick bite and a drink, and then took a walk
back to the train station for the ride back to Lombard (a quick 40
minutes or so).
The trip was a wonderful time and having a good friend to share
the experience with was icing on the cake (in moderation, of
course)! The trip was so good, in fact, that I forgot to take a pic
of me at the market or with the German accordion players (which I
fully intended to do). So, you get a quick pic of me while writing
my blog this week. Notice the disheveled hair and forced smile
indicative of a 3rd year ND student nearing the
end of 7th Trimester.
I hope you enjoyed my narrative this week. Not much to say about
school, just a little trip into the city to "catch my breath"
before finals weeks. I'm thankful (yet again) for good friends who
can keep me laughing on a train ride during rush hour and multiple
times getting lost in the Chicago Loop and their understanding when
I said, "If we run into the El, then we know to turn around and go
back to the center."
With that, I plan to take a nice break over the holidays, spend
some time with family, catch up on my personal reading list, maybe
do some hiking in the Pisgah National Forest back home, and catch
up with friends. When I return to school after the holiday break, I
will be entering Student Clinic as an Intern, advancing beyond
"Observer" status. This means that I will have real patients for
the first time! I'll be sure to share the experience along the
I hope each of you has a safe and fulfilled holiday season.
Personally from me, Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!
Until next January, get plenty of Vitamin R and we will catch
What an event filled week! We started out the second week of the
trimester with a presentation in our Advanced Naturopathic Clinical
Theory class on a simulated patient case centering on a "Welder
with Respiratory Distress." After helping him take care of his
bronchitis and getting him back on track to a basis for health, we
took our first 'stab' at phlebotomy lab a couple of days later (bad
puns are my specialty)!
In phlebotomy lab, we took a few practice turns at drawing blood
from fictional patients to make sure that we had the proper
technique for a safe blood draw for both patient and future doctor.
Once the safety factors were mastered, the technique committed to
memory and all checklists covered, we took our first turns at
drawing blood from classmates! My partner seemed to have mastered
the technique from the first attempt. I barely felt a thing and the
entire process was over from start to finish in just a few seconds.
Great job, T! I was a little slow on the first try, but had a
successful draw on my second attempt. Practice makes perfect as
long as your phlebotomy lab partner is willing!
My birthday was this past Friday, and it was great! The Student
Council sponsored Club Lunch Day, typically the second week of
classes, where all clubs on campus set up a table, introduce their
club and speak to students who may be interested in each club's
focus. This is a great chance to meet all students from those just
beginning their degrees to student interns as well as faculty who
stop by to grab a bite to eat. Life in medical school is not all
work early in the trimester (a few weeks in and I'll be singing a
different tune), so Friday evening I had dinner with three great
friends and ended up sitting around and chatting about the plans
Cubs vs. Sox
Saturday was the cap on a great week! It was my first trip ever
to Wrigley Field to watch the cross-town rivalry between the
Chicago Cubs and Chicago White Sox! I'll be clear on this subject,
I don't have a stake in the rivalry, so the opinion on the best
team in Chicago is best left to the locals! :) I have played
baseball since I was a boy (and softball for years as an adult) and
always dreamed of visiting both Fenway Park in Boston and Wrigley
Field in Chicago.
I waited for the right time, and this week was it! A very good
friend of mine suggested that we go to the game as a birthday gift
and we had a blast! Every time something happened in the first few
innings, half the crowd cheered, either for the Cubs or for the
Sox. I had never experienced such balance in a huge sports crowd
before. Before the night was over however, the Sox fans were the
happy bunch and the Cubs fans were resigned to endure another game
in a 'rebuilding' year, according to the guy sitting next to me at
the game. I was filled with the history of the building, the
loyalty of both groups of fans to their teams and their unending
support in the face of adversity.
Made me think a little bit about the trailblazing naturopathic
docs from about 30-40 years ago--their perseverance and the
responsibility we new docs carry into the future. We have many
happy patients who have seen the success of naturopathic modalities
who have cheered when they have become well. We have many
naturopathic doctors who are loyal to the principles of
naturopathic care and will stick with us new docs as we enter
practice and share the work of educating others about our medicine
and its benefits.
This week I am grateful for the enduring loyalty and respect of
Chicago's people. The City of Big Shoulders believes in her teams
and will stick by them through the worst of times, while accepting
some good-hearted ribbing from their rivals.
I am grateful that my classmates have that same trust, loyalty
and belief in each other's ability to learn, improve and perform,
not only when we must, yet also when others aren't looking or
gratitude may not be forthcoming. That trust in colleagues and
patients is one of the best measures of a good doctor, in my
opinion, and I believe our school is packed with great docs, from
our most senior professors down through the students in their first
• Combined Classes
• Observing in Clinic
• Botanical Medicine
• Minor Surgery
• Intern Skills
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