Well, here we 10th Trimester Interns sit working on our final
'check-offs', competency skill evaluations, and patient
Between the patient visits, acting as mentors for our rising
classmates, completing outreach hours for the clinic, sitting and
discussing conditions with our clinicians, preparing our grand
rounds presentations, and double checking charting and paperwork,
we don't have much time for anything else.
For some reason, I thought this part of the internship
experience would be a time to sit back, relax and enjoy the
clinical experience. I suppose I was pretty far off target on this
notion. I am thoroughly enjoying myself however. The clinicians
have given the 10th Trimester Interns a bit more autonomy with the
diagnoses, treatment plans and conversations with our patients. We
are now expected to train our underclassmen in clinic protocol,
procedures and patient interaction. This is an exciting time!
The clinic is hopping today and is chock full of naturopathic
patients! What a great problem to have in our little clinic! The
word seems to be getting out about the services, therapies and
treatments available at the NUHS Whole Health Center.
As the weather changes, the temps rise and spring arrives here
in Chicagoland, the NUHS Whole Health Center, the naturopathic
medical school and our students are rising to the occasion, growing
and sharing our knowledge, skills and healing therapies with our
neighbors in greater numbers!
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!
This has been a long two weeks here at NUHS. Old Man Winter has
taken hold and doesn't seem to want to let any warm air at all in
Chicagoland. This is not the normal state of things here -- the
'Minnesota Chill' invading from the North. Even the lifelong
Illinois residents are shocked at the low temps plus the extended
time that they have been a visitor to the shores of Northern
After a few trips to jumpstart friends' vehicles, make a couple
of runs to the auto parts store to help them purchase and install
new batteries for their cars, then a quick stop at the grocery
store (just to be sure I have the necessities, as any good
Southerner in the face of winter would do), I settled down by my
window to write this week's blog.
I intended to write on a different subject this week; that topic
will be saved for later. This week is all about beauty. I write
about this because the cold weather, dark clouds, winds and
sequestration required in the house due to subzero temperatures can
make one a bit stir crazy. Sure, I have my studies, books,
exercises, and some cooking to keep me busy, but that doesn't
compare to the feeling a drawing in a long deep breath, even if it
freezes and solidifies my epiglottis!
So, as I started writing this entry, I glanced out of my window
and saw the sun...and crystal clear blue skies that reminded me of
the community swimming pool and the first day it opens! So
crisp, no jet contrails, the sun with an aura of warmth that
doesn't quite reach yet feels wonderful through a protective pane
That sun was beautiful, the sky was gorgeous and with those two
prompts these past few days have seen an explosion of beauty all
around me. From a realization that only a few more weeks of winter
are left to counting down the days to graduation and seeing beauty
grow in my colleagues around me, with me and beyond all of us.
If you want my advice, (and I understand if you don't) take in
the beauty around you. Even if that beauty is the tiniest thing, it
can jumpstart a progression, a cascade, or avalanche might be more
appropriate at this time of year, of beauty extending from you, to
you and within you.
Back to clinic, Lyme disease and musculoskeletal rehabilitation
today. All beautiful in their healing design and effectiveness!
The "whole foods" diet is going well. I had one hiccup this past
week while making a gluten-free pizza recipe. The pizza crust mix
that I purchased, while gluten free, had 11 ingredients rather than
my specified five. While all of the mix's ingredients were types of
flour or simply salt, I did surpass the allowable number of
ingredients. The cost to purchase all the flours involved would
have been enormous compared to the mix. The cost difference was
roughly $40 for the ingredients separately and $5 for the
I may have to submit a request to my "local panel of judges" to
determine cost vs. "letter of the law" with regard to the
five-ingredient rule. I'm beginning to feel that as long as the
ingredients are something I would put together myself, without
having to purchase them in bulk on a student's budget, the point
should be to eat healthier foods. My intent is to become healthier,
not develop into a zealot in any undertaking, especially when
working toward a healthier life and lifestyle for the long
© National University of Health Sciences
Classes have become more exciting as the trimester has started
rolling. In our Advanced Botanical Prescribing class, we have been
working on developing synergistic botanical formulas whose chemical
constituents can function together and increase the efficacy of
both botanicals (or more) depending upon the condition being
treated. I'm certainly happy I opted to take the Special Topics in
Botanical Medicine class offered last summer as the formulations,
interactions, contraindications and application of the botanicals
is starting to come together and make perfect sense in
We have started building a website for our future practices in
our Practice Management/Jurisprudence class. We spend a portion of
each class on preparing and building a future marketing strategy
for our practices. The strategies include electronic media,
outreach programs to the community, affiliation with other
practices and modalities, as well as the costs involved with each
method. On the jurisprudence side, we are learning about how to
document a visit, secure the information and maintain each
patient's file in a secure location, whether electronic- or
paper-based. The guidelines for safeguarding patient information
under the auspices of HIPAA, or Health Information Privacy and
Accountability Act, are taken seriously and taught with close
attention to detail at NUHS. I'm happy to have that education
provided here rather than learn a hard lesson later as a doctor.
The real world application of the business side of medical practice
is one of many clinical assets provided here at NUHS.
Well, I'll get back to work on this botanical formula and finish
up a quick case before taking a nice walk this (Monday) afternoon.
We are being "blessed?" with 50º weather after a nice ice storm
last night. The Chicago winters for the last two years have been
much more "squeak" than "roar." I'm not complaining though,
my first two winters here were "typical Chicago"...including the
blizzard in 2011!
I'll close this week with grateful thanks for the mild winter
and a motivating workout partner! A great workout partner makes
arriving that much easier!
• Combined Classes
• Observing in Clinic
• Botanical Medicine
• Minor Surgery
• Intern Skills
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