What's it like to study at National University's Florida site? Meet Shelby Plante, a mother of two, and one of the first group students in National's St. Petersburg DC program.
"I worked in medical massage for a while, and that was where I fell in love with chiropractic medicine," says Shelby. "I noticed that those patients who received both massage and chiropractic care at the same time, got better faster than those who had only one or the other. I started to understand that it was essential to have both therapies working together."
Shelby enrolled in a different chiropractic school at first, but found that it wasn't a good fit for her. "It was what they call a 'straight' chiropractic school, and had a different philosophy on education and patient care than National. During the year I spent there, I realized that I was more interested in primary care chiropractic medicine and wanted to switch to a 'mixer' school. That's why I transferred to National and decided to start over from trimester one, so that I could get a full broad-scope chiropractic education."
How does she like studying at the NUHS Florida site? "It's really nice," Shelby reports, "especially the small classroom environment. Our professors are very accessible, and even the dean spends time in the halls just to ask you how it's going."
"I really appreciate the education itself," Shelby says. "National's approach is not 'how much stuff can we put in your head so that you can regurgitate it back to us.' They take the time to make sure you really understand what you are learning. I come away feeling like I really own this information and have a new skill set and that it's mine!"
How are the facilities on the St. Petersburg campus? Shelby reports: "I cannot explain how fabulous they are. The classrooms are really nice. Everything is clean and new. The icing on the cake is the anatomy lab. I've never seen such a phenomenal anatomy lab in my life. It's better than anything I saw in undergrad, grad school or at my other chiropractic college. Everything is brand new and state-of-the-art."
"And the clinic! I use it myself as a patient, and the interns have a wonderful work environment. It's a place you would be proud for the community to come and see. It would give them a great first impression of what chiropractic care is all about."
Shelby says she doesn't really feel like St. Pete is a separate campus from NUHS in Lombard. "There's so much integration with Lombard. During our interactive classes, we feel like we're right there and able to participate. Our professors ask us questions like we're right there in the room. The program quality is exactly the same. So if you're trying to pick between Lombard and St. Petersburg, it's more of a matter of what class size you prefer and what region of the country you'd like to live in."
Shelby says that in the future she'd like to spend a year or two as an associate in somebody else's practice to learn from someone who's already successful in chiropractic care. "Then I'd like to have my own clinic where I could integrate different specialties together, like massage and chiropractic medicine, and treat a special population."