Well, we are at that time of the trimester where the days seem
to drag a bit and we are concerned either with midterms or
double-checking our competencies, skills assessments and total
numbers for graduation.
Each intern is either busy seeing patients, busy scheduling
patients or busy with practicing competencies, discussing treatment
strategies, and assessing each other prior to sitting with a
clinician for assessment.
As I write this, I see my colleagues discussing botanicals
protocols for estrogen balance in a post-menopausal female, as well
as the proper settings for immersed ultrasound therapy for a wrist
As far as my competencies and numbers are concerned, I'm closing
in on my primary visits as the primary intern, pretty much have my
competencies covered except for a couple of items, and am ready to
start my assessment discussions.
That being said, time to get back to the grindstone, finish up
charting my last two patients, and hopefully end clinic on time
Until next week, keep your nose to the grindstone and we will
visit again soon!
This past week has seen some of the greatest teamwork I have
witnessed since beginning clinic observation over a week ago.
Sometimes when working as an intern at the NUHS Whole Health
Center one can feel a bit 'behind the eight ball.' Seemingly
running from patient to patient, keeping the cases and patient
presentation in mind, completing and filing paperwork, correcting
paperwork, retrieving and returning needed supplies for each
patient visit is a challenge, all while ensuring that our patients
have our undivided attention and best possible care to attain the
most favorable outcome.
During these times, as naturopathic interns, we feel that we can
accomplish everything, don't really need anyone and can never 'miss
a beat.' Well, I'm here to tell you that great teammates mean
everything! There's the teammate, a secondary on a patient visit,
who goes the extra mile by staying late to help with getting lab
samples centrifuged, plasma gathered and shipped overnight to the
lab for processing ensuring the patient will have their results in
a timely manner. There are the teammates who flawlessly fill in for
an intern with a patient who needs regular treatment, help the
patient on their healing process, and give the patient a strong
sense of continuity of care. Finally, there is the teammate who can
step in at a moment's notice with a patient who needs expert
procedural care or a quite challenging venipuncture and can hit the
bullseye with excellent bedside manner, giving the patient
confidence in the care we provide.
Part of the joy of attending in the NUHS Whole Health Center is
precisely the teamwork shared by the naturopathic interns here. At
any moment, we could be the primary intern on a case, the
secondary, or called in to help with a skill that we have mastered.
We all recognize each other's strengths and call on each other,
without ego interfering, when we need the help. This is my idea of
being a doctor, healer, and caregiver. This is how I envision my
future clinic running. This is the type of intern/doctor that I am
proud to share my education with here at NUHS and in the future as
Much thanks to all of my colleagues here at NUHS for your
knowledge sharing, cooperation and guidance. I am fortunate to have
spent some time with you here at NUHS and feel secure in the future
of our medicine with you in practice and caring for our fellow
Winter continues here at NUHS in the Chicago suburbs. While not
a normal winter for the Chicagoland area, the snow has been
beautiful in its ubiquitous falling, blanketing and build-up!
Clinic has chugged along through the weather, low temps and snow
squalls. Our interns and clinicians have battled through the
snarled traffic, snowdrifts and partially successful attempts to
start their vehicles to maintain the excellent level of care that
the NUHS naturopathic clinic provides!
On days that are not as busy because of the weather, those of us
who are in tenth trimester clinic are going through our portfolios
and check-off sheets to ensure that we have met our requirements
for graduation. When possible, we sit with a clinician and speak of
various ailments, maladies and injuries followed by the appropriate
triage, treatment and healing strategies for a patient with that
The portfolio includes everything from prenatal care to
geriatrics and all stages of life, health and illness in between.
Combined with our patient variety, over 450 or more total unique
visits and rotations with the Salvation Army clinic in Chicago, the
Naperville clinic and homeopathic rotations, we are well prepared
as we sit down to discuss these patient conditions and how we would
So, even though winter is keeping most of us indoors for the
next few days, we are quite busy with our clinic duties and
fulfilling clinic requirements...well, except for the occasional
midnight stroll through a nice little snowstorm!
Until next week, keep warm and talk to you then!
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!
This week marks the end of my classes at NUHS and only one more
trimester of clinical internship to go.
I have shared time for the last two weeks between at the
Salvation Army rotation in downtown Chicago and the NUHS Whole
Health Center in Lombard, Illinois. Working at both clinics makes
for long days (typically 5am-7pm). At the same time, some of the
most rewarding patient interaction I have experienced has been over
these two weeks with our patients at the Salvation Army clinic!
There is the combination of compelling patient histories
combined with the opportunity to quickly examine, diagnose (under
the guidance of our clinician at Salvation Army) and treat our
patients in a high-speed clinical setting, solely because the
patient volume is so great.
Michael and Candice, two of the incredible interns at
Salvation Army who share their time,
patients and expertise with the ND Interns who rotate through
This trimester has helped me to grow as a future doctor through
improving my examination, diagnostic and charting skillsets. What
used to take more than an hour to chart can now be accomplished in
a matter of minutes through efficient use of charting during the
visit, as well as charting the necessary and relevant information
as a means of documenting the patient visit.
Now, as I enter what may well be my final Christmas season here
in Illinois, say goodbye to many friends who are graduating this
week, and prepare for the final trimester here at Illinois, I also
look forward to the opportunity that the next five months are going
The opportunities for externships (the chance to work in a
practice outside the NUHS system) are available for those who
finish their competencies (or specific numeric and knowledge based
goals) with time left in their final trimester. I am on track to be
able to compete for the externships and hope to have the
opportunity to put my education to use outside these hallowed
grounds prior to graduation. After all, what better way to see how
we "size up" to practice in the real world, than seeing patients in
a true private practice setting!
I wish each of you a joyous and fulfilling holiday season! I'll
start up the blog upon returning in January.
• Combined Classes
• Observing in Clinic
• Botanical Medicine
• Minor Surgery
• Intern Skills
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