Hi, everybody! The "First Tri Mixer" is the first social event
of each trimester where currently enrolled students of the
professional programs officially welcome the new students who are
in their first trimester, so the name "Tri-Mixer."
I had a great time and had the opportunity to meet four of our
new students outside the classrooms and busy schedules we each
endure. Talking with each other about our journey that led to
medical school, our choice of discipline, and the changes and
sacrifices each made to pursue a medical degree helped me to
reflect on my personal reasons for entering naturopathic medical
school - both on a personal and professional level.
Now the funny part: I guess I'm past my clubbin' years as I
arrived at the club around 9:30 p.m., texted a few classmates, and
they informed me they would arrive around 11:00 p.m.! At that
point, I realized my mistake of asking my colleagues in their
mid-20s "when" they would get to the club. My responses ranged from
"Come on over to the apartment, we won't leave for a while," to
"Wow! You're early. Save me a seat in the reserved section," to
"It's past your bedtime Grandpa, why are you still up?" :) Fun
Once my classmates started trickling into the club, I was
overjoyed to share laughs, hugs and smiles with students from just
about every trimester, including the new students and our Trimester
10 interns just a few weeks away from graduation (I'm going to miss
them!). After I sang/rapped "It Takes Two" by Rob Base and DJ EZ
Rock (thus revealing my "era" and also while trying to dance,
ahem), a couple of my classmates tried to get me onto the dance
floor but I'm not much of a public dancer. Ironically, as outgoing
as I am in everyday life, I'm a bit of a wallflower when it comes
to dancing. Maybe I need a few lessons and I can get over my
self-effacing approach to dancing. (Hoh! Yeh!...It takes two to
make a thing go right…it takes two to make it outta sight!)
Naturopathic Student Gathering Update
The Tri Mixer wasn't the only thing going on this week. You
remember before that I mentioned some news about the Naturopathic
Student Gathering coming up in November? Well, the Opening/Closing
Ceremonies Team has gotten a lot of work accomplished! We have the
structure for the stage built, props for the stage, lobby to the
auditorium, a display for the bookstore window, our choreography
for something special (to be revealed later).
I have included a pic of the structure for the stage. Disregard
the messy workshop; despite appearances a method exists to the
madness in the background! This structure was built without nails
or manmade connectors. It is free standing and pretty solid! We
used wood gathered from streams, ponds and fallen limbs after
storms in order to do our best to use what Nature provided us for
our conference. This is just the framework as we intend to use
Willow, Pine and Ivy boughs as accents for the
I'll keep you updated on the "goings-on" of the Gathering Teams
as we each prepare to host our student solleagues from the six
other schools in North America. I had a blast last year and made
many new friends! I, and many other students at NUHS, look
forward to seeing our colleagues once again this year!
That being said, and I've said this before, I am fully grateful
for my classmates here at NUHS. I never imagined that I would be at
a club on a Friday night having a blast! Thanks to all of you for
getting me out of my "Friday night rut" of movie, pizza and bed by
10:00 p.m. Maybe next time, I'll hit the dance floor, who knows?
Until next week, in the meantime, while I'm loading my iPod with
new club tunes, don't be afraid to dance a bit and sing out
Well, last week's midterms are done and I survived, if you call
living on about 5 hours sleep per night and coffee throughout the
day as "survival"! :) That was just about the toughest week of
exams I can remember! Not so much because of multiple exams in one
day or that any one subject was the 'killer' class. These exams
just seemed to march relentlessly in order (think White Stripes'
Seven Nation Army music video). Sample thoughts for the
week…Monday, exam…whew! Wait, I have another on Tuesday, better
study; time for coffee. Tuesday, exam again…whew! Crud! Another one
tomorrow! What?!?! I forgot about writing that summary for the
Practice Management Project; that's due when? Oh! Great! How about
another cup o' Joe? Until Friday…what? Who are you? Oh! You're my
Endocrinology professor…and we have an exam right now? Awesome!
:)…and the slow knock at the door just keeps tapping, tapping,
tapping…close with the Twilight Zone theme.
While my description of the exams last week is a bit dramatic,
suffice to say that after days on end of little sleep, little
exercise and lots of study, a naturopathic medical student's
'Determinants of Health' are a little out of whack! I suppose
I should give a bit of info on the determinants of health.
Naturopathic medicine considers the determinants of health the
'basis' for a healthy human being. Our medicine focuses on
returning people to that 'basis' for health by first regaining
balance amongst the Determinants of Health. These determinants
The determinants can also be anything a person is 'born with'
vs. 'environmental' exposures throughout life. The focus can be as
broad or narrow as the naturopathic practitioner deems necessary
for each unique case and each unique human being. Other key
determinants are genetic, mental/emotional state, education level,
work environment, history of illness, access to health care, etc.
The list can go on and on. While learning to become a naturopathic
doctor, we keep the determinants basic and simple. With each of
these basic six categories, a person can be led toward or away from
a 'Basis for Health' and a healthy person is our ultimate goal!
When we are in practice, we will listen to each patient, take a
thorough case study and find the unique combination of determinants
to help that person become as healthy as possible.
While medical school has never claimed to be the best thing for
a student's 'basis for health', we take measures sometimes in
attempt to balance our determinants and keep our basis somewhat
stable, even during midterms and finals. My effort to balance' is
to print study notes and walk at a nature preserve near NUHS called
Hidden Lake Preserve. Taking my 'study walks' helps to maintain a
bit of exercise, Vitamin R and fresh air while prepping for exams.
I've even done this in freezing temps during the winter!
The preserve has two small lakes, one wooded and the other on
open prairie with a small network of paths winding around the
lakes. While walking and studying, I have found and returned baby
snapping turtles who had lost their way from the water, with
blessings to be the 'scourge of the pond for decades to come.'
Chipmunks have also stepped up on a stump right beside me as I sat
and studied. I don't know how these animals keep finding me; I just
enjoy their company quietly (entirely out of character if you know
me) and we each go on our way. That is, unless a baby snapper about
the size of a silver dollar traipses away from their aquatic home,
then I'll usher them back to the water. I have included a pic this
week from the footbridge during my walk last Wednesday. This is
such a beautiful place, I don't mind sharing as long as you don't
tell too many folks!
This week I'm thankful that the 'slow tap, tap, tapping' at the
door signaling another midterm is only heralding the arrival of two
exams this coming week--an imaging (X-ray) midterm as well as a
'Head to Toe' unsupervised complete physical on a live patient in
less than one hour. The physical is filmed and graded based on
'proper sequence' of exams as well as proper procedure, patient
instruction and explanation of findings. Come to think of it, I
think that tapping is getting…just a little…bit…LOUDER!
See you next week…if I make it! :)
• Combined Classes
• Observing in Clinic
• Botanical Medicine
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