Jumping into clinic the first few weeks of Tri-8 felt exhilarating and intimidating at the same time. It has been exciting to finally apply all the knowledge and concepts learned over all the trimesters and now tweak our abilities to determine which specific orthopedic tests and treatment plans would benefit the patient best. As an intern at the HEC clinic here at the NUHS- FL campus, we primarily tend to NUHS students and St. Pete College students, faculty and employees. This has its advantages as it enables us to practice completing full physical examinations (including collecting a urine sample and drawing a blood sample) on new patients that need one for their specific school program. Part IV Boards entails completing a full physical exam; thus, this is good preparation.
When not with a patient while in clinic, interns are finishing medical notes, completing treatment plans, researching nutritional and physical therapy modalities and having discussions with other interns and our clinician about potential diagnoses and treatment options for patients. I really appreciate having the ability to discuss cases with other interns. Without stating any identifiable details (such as name, age, patient file number), interns can discuss with each other possible orthopedic tests to do and treatment options. For example, if I have a patient coming in to clinic that afternoon with shoulder pain, I can prepare for this patient’s arrival by practicing the orthopedic tests I’d like to complete on the shoulder and reviewing what each ortho test indicates. I may ask a different intern who is interested in sports medicine if they have any therapeutic exercises they may recommend. I’m fascinated by functional medicine which entails analyzing blood work, finding root causes to illness, and providing botanical nutritional supplementations that may optimize wellness. When other interns have patients with conditions that may be comanaged with nutritional supplementation, they may collaborate with me to research which botanicals would benefit the patient best (and does not interact with any drugs they may be taking). Working together helps us learn better and enables us to find our own niches within the field of chiropractic.
Left: Jared, Vince and Chris reviewing PT board material
Right: Chris, Vince and Jared discussing a question presented on-screen.
Several Tri-8 interns have signed up to take Physiotherapy (PT) boards this month; thus, several of us have been meeting up after clinic in the library to review PT material. We connect a laptop to the TV screen and work together to answer questions and discuss material. Misery loves company….So why not study together through boards and push each other to succeed?!
If there’s any advice I can provide to current students and prospective students: Make friends in your program. On days when I am not motivated to study, my friends encourage me to push through. When I don’t understand something, they’re there to help teach it in a way I can understand. We have fun when we learn, and each study session is filled with lots of laughter, so we don’t feel as mentally drained by the end of the session. It’s amazing to recognize how fast this program passes….we’re already half way through this trimester!
For additional insight regarding what it’s like to intern, check out Almost Ready for Clinic! and Welcome to our NUHS Clinic: I’m Intern Alex and I’ll be Taking Care of You.