Midterm week(s) is the time of the trimester devoid of
reflection. Midterms is the time to hunker down, rehash covered
concepts, make sure the latest lectures are covered, and the first
round of papers have been completed and turned in either
electronically or as hard copies.
This past week or so has consisted of a combination of study,
online quizzes, classroom quizzes, papers and now...midterms! That
being said, this week's entry will be a bit abbreviated as I have
just finished a paper on the style of practice I plan to exercise
with my patients, and whether that style is informative,
collaborative, deliberative, or paternalistic. Once I have turned
that paper in electronically (very convenient), I will complete my
"mop up" studying for a dermatology midterm tomorrow.
I define mop up studying as covering the concepts that I don't
have a firm grasp upon as an exam approaches. While I study for
exams, as I feel I have mastered a topic or concept, I move away
from that concept and take on another topic. While I review as exam
day approaches, I take the concepts that I'm not as comfortable
with and spend a bit more time with them to help reinforce any
"weak spots" in my learning for that exam. Takes a little more
preparation ahead of time, yet I can spread out my study and not
feel as compelled to cram for exams.
Once I complete the final study for Dermatology, I will move to
Advanced Botanical Prescribing and study the botanicals suited for
the respiratory tract in preparation for that midterm later this
week. This is a busy time over the next couple of weeks and at the
same time, whether from three years of practice at this point, the
joining of the concepts and improvement in efficiency, or pure
enjoyment of my classes, studying just doesn't seem like the chore
it was back in the fall of 2010. The light is at the end of the
tunnel, and I'm pretty sure it's not a train.
next week, I'll leave you with a handy and easy recipe for making a
nice root veggie side dish for the week. This dish provides plenty
of carotenoids, minerals and fiber! Root Veggie Guy gives it the
Roasted Root Veggies
Makes about 5 servings (enough for lunch Mon-Fri).
Midterms are FINALLY over! Talk about a roller coaster week! The
euphoria of earning an A on one exam, followed on the same day by
discovering a "less than stellar" grade in another class,
immediately prior to entering a midterm for Psychopathology
class...of all things! When considering how appropriate entering a
midterm dealing with psychological pathologies is compared to any
other exam that could have been scheduled at that time, at that
place, in the wake of the experiences of the day, the only thing I
could do was laugh (not during the test of course).
This past week has truly been a blur. When sitting to review
tests with my instructors, I had some difficulty remembering
specific content or details around large concepts. This is the
first time I have experienced this feeling since second trimester
(the Terrible Triad trimester of Neuroanatomy, Neurophysiology
along with Head and Neck Anatomy...alliteration unintentional
here). I'm starting to think that the notion of taking 28 credit
hours while planning the Gathering involved a bit of masochism in
my planning objectives for this term. :)
Well, my mighty Carolina Panthers came to Chicago this week and
ALMOST pulled off the victory from the hometown Chicago Bears. I
did my share of talking up my team in the week prior to the game,
though tempered a bit as the Bears are looking great this year. My
good natured classmates, who are true fans and have great respect
for a good contest, didn't give me a hard time at all even though
we lost in the waning minutes of the game. Here's to my classmates
and all the fans of the Chicago Bears! Good people all! We'll get
you next year, though! :)
I'm very happy to report that the administration of NUHS opened
all resources necessary on campus to ensure that the Naturopathic
Gathering is a complete success for our university! While I am not
surprised at all regarding the support of the administration, the
entire Gathering Team and I have been thrilled at the cooperation
and support from our school. This is teamwork among colleagues,
trust in the student leaders of the conference, and good will built
within the naturopathic community from the original (and newest)
naturopathic medical school.
I'll close this week with best wishes for our colleagues, their
families, friends and everyone impacted by the path of Hurricane
Sandy this week. May the first responders safely care for those in
the wake of the storm and may those who are watching over others be
safe in their duties as well. Everyone hunker down, stay safe, and
keep thoughts and prayers strong for this storm to be over quickly
and with as little damage to lives and property as possible.
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! :)
Not much to report this week except for midterms! Let's see,
this week an exam on heart and lung sounds in Physical Diagnosis
lab on Monday, midterm for Homeopathy III class on Wednesday,
midterm for Pharmacology II class on Thursday, as well as a
40-minute marketing presentation for Practice Management class.
Finally on Friday, a midterm in Advanced Lab Diagnostics and
Endocrinology class! A busy, busy week coming up so I haven't
had much opportunity to get "out and about" for the past few
I promise I'll have more next week! I want to talk about our
Practice Management class a bit more as well as Homeopathy and our
Pharmacology courses. Talk about building a toolkit to prepare us
for being great doctors in the future! Well, back to
Let's see, this week I am thankful that I don't have any more
exams, presentations or cases due than I already have! There's the
silver lining! Until next week!
• Combined Classes
• Observing in Clinic
• Botanical Medicine
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