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!
This week is quite the busy week! Between finishing the
move from my old apartment to the new place on campus for my final
trimester, work, and seeing patients in clinic, I have been a busy
This week I'm introducing two of our new clinicians in the
Naturopathic Clinic here at NUHS.
(L-R) Dr. Melissa Dybala, Intern Tim Ammons (myself), and Dr.
Dr. Kathy Kaminis a naturopathic medicine graduate of Bastyr
University. She recently sold a successful practice in Arizona that
she owned for over 20 years to return to Illinois. Dr. Kamin has
had much success with weight loss therapies, chronic illness, and
as a general practitioner while in Arizona. Dr. Kamin brings a
wealth of clinical, business and practice experience to our clinic
and program. Her clinical pearls and vignettes on how to set up,
start, run, and build a successful practice are invaluable. She
will help many of us who will be stepping out on our own in the
coming months and years.
Dr. Melissa Dybalais both a naturopathic and chiropractic
medicine graduate of NUHS. Dr. Dybala has been a member of a
successful practice in Chicagoland for the past several years. She
brings the physical medicine aspect of naturopathic care to her
guidance of our interns. Combining physical medicine with the
naturopathic philosophy to return our patients to a basis for
health is one of Dr. Dybala's guiding principles. Combining this
treatment modality with her vast knowledge of botanical treatment
protocols is an advantage that our interns enjoy here at NUHS.
We are lucky to have both of these excellent clinicians join the
faculty as our mentors, guides and leaders on the naturopathic side
of the NUHS Whole Health Center. Each day is a joy to learn, grow
and thrive under their tutelage.
Until next week, stay warm and keep plenty of vitamin D3 on hand
until winter is over!
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.
Rather than continue the Naturopathic Principles this week,
since this is most likely my final Thanksgiving here, I want to
share what I am thankful for both here at NUHS and in my life.
Thank you all for indulging me this week.
Happy Thanksgiving from the Naturopathic Interns of the NUHS
Whole Health Center - Lombard!
Just a few things that I am thankful for...
In my life...
That just about does it this week! Hope each of you has a
wonderful Thanksgiving and are with the ones you love! I'll
continue next week with the Naturopathic Principles.
• Combined Classes
• Observing in Clinic
• Botanical Medicine
• Minor Surgery
• Intern Skills
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