I can't believe it's already been a week since I last wrote.
Time at the VA is FLYING by. I'll only be there a couple more weeks
and then I'm back at the student clinic. Six weeks after that is
graduation. I'm having this great realization that graduation is
coming up on me like a freight train. Sometimes I feel like I'm
stuck down on the tracks, and sometimes I'm the one driving.
I'm working feverishly on finishing the master's work. That's
over in about a month. Just in case anyone was thinking about doing
this at the same time as getting your DC, be forewarned: it's a TON
of work -- especially the last quarter. This is not for the
faint-hearted. I honestly can't believe that I've done it. There
are times when I definitely feel like a masochist. It took me 6
quarters (a year and a half), but I'm almost done. Now to get all
of the papers and projects done; that will be a feat.
While I'm working at the VA, I'm finishing up all the paperwork,
volunteering, and other things needed. Last weekend I made a trip
to Sarasota to the American Youth Cup Series I. Apparently the park
where it was hosted, Nathan Benderson Park, is home to a world
class rowing event. In fact, the 2017 rowing championships are
being hosted there. It's a unique facility with a round lake. There
are a number of events coming up there -- including several
additional rowing events, a pentathlon, and a 5k. I'm hoping to
attend a few more of them.
It was a quiet day (no injuries); the weather was chilly and
windy (for Florida). Dr. Guadagno, Dr. Jake LaVere (a distinguished
recent National alumnus), Nick Herrild, and myself braved the
chills to be on hand in case anything should happen. When we
weren't watching the crew members running around or rowing, we were
sharing stories and business information. We had a pretty good time
talking about future business endeavors, practice models,
conferences, and plans.
Here's a wind-blown picture of the 4 of us.
As I continue my time at the VA, I'm seeing what it's like to be
in a completely different model of care. There are things that I've
learned that I know I will carry with me into my future practice,
and others that I know I won't. One thing I really appreciate, and
I touched on this last week, is the willingness to try something
new (or discharge from care) if things are or are not working.
People come in and they get better -- they stop coming in. People
come in and they don't get better -- they stop coming in. It's very
simple. It's ethical practice.
Well, I best stop writing here and get to some of my papers!
I hope that everyone here -- regardless of where you are in the
world, are staying safe and warm.
I'll see you all next week! Have a great one!!!
The NFL is merely a tribute league for The Turkey Bowl. These,
and many other words were uttered by our fearless leader, President
Joseph Stiefel, in his Newt Rockne-esque speech leading up to the
Turkey Bowl last week. I wasn't sure whether we were going into war
or going to the fields.
President Stiefel gives the speech to end all
For those not familiar with the Turkey Bowl, it's National's
annual foray into the world of sports, celebrating all that is
football, camaraderie, and Thanksgiving. With flags and fanfare,
students, significant others, faculty, family, and friends clad in
shorts and T-shirts charged onto the gridiron, doing everything
that they could to avoid a pile up on the field. The Turkey Bowl
is, of course, a flag football event. And might I say, I saw some
pretty amazing acrobatics from players trying to avoid tackling.
Flips here, somersaults there -- it was quite impressive.
We had enough players for 4 teams. Forest even played. All
players, in fact, were welcomed with open arms. And of course, both
guys and girls play, which makes it even more interesting. And the
number of people on the sidelines cheering was phenomenal.
There were new rules this year. Some were pretty hilarious. I'll
leave names out of it, but one of my esteemed colleagues had a rule
named after her -- just to illustrate that tackling is absolutely
prohibited. And there's also the rule that if you've been hurt
before, you're excused from playing. Granted, all of the injuries
at The Turkey Bowl have been pretty minor: bruises, sprains, small
bones broken. Everyone is a GREAT sport.
The winning team
Our MVPs were Bryan Nicholas and Dr. Michelle Jourdan. I'll put
a plug in for both of them. I don't think I've ever seen Bryan
without a smile on his face. He's just an all-around good sport and
he plays hard. Dr. Jourdan is one of the most enthusiastic players
I've ever seen. The NFL's got nothin' on either of these two.
I'm keeping it short and sweet for this week. Hope everybody had
an amazing Thanksgiving!
Well, that's what Billie Holiday thought. Here in good 'ol'
Florida, it's HOT (and also very busy). This is the boys' last week
of school; clinic is in full-swing; classes are well underway; and
the schedule is getting crazy. I'm 3 weeks away from finals for the
Master's program. Schedule changes are tough. I'm still getting
used to being in clinic and splitting my time between classes and
How was your Memorial Day weekend? Mine was SUPER low key. After
Acupuncture on Saturday, I spent time with friends in Tampa, and
Sunday and Monday were focused on reading, research, and recovery
(the new 3 R's). The Master's has me working on all kinds of stuff.
I'm most fascinated, right now, with articles on lifestyle factors
and inflammation. Dr. Seaman's classes really focused on some
basics of inflammatory cytokines and the biochemistry of the food
we eat and what it does to our body. Now I'm at a whole different
level of learning with this, and it's REALLY cool. I'm discovering
how the same set of cytokines, combined with other hormones use the
foods we eat to make things even more complicated. How we think and
feel about what's going on in our lives can lead to chronic
inflammation, autoimmune disorders, and chronic disease. I'm so
glad that I've chosen to study this for the rest of my life.
Right now we have several classes on how we, as physicians,
should interact with patients. Whether it's doctor-patient
relationships, jurisprudence, or clinical natural medicine -- we're
discussing everything from what we're responsible for ethically, to
how patients (or potential employers) might perceive us. The latter
topic has created a bit of a rift in my life. We were counseled to
be careful how much of our personal life we allow the public to see
-- specifically, our patients. Do we give patients our phone
numbers? Do we friend them on Facebook? Do we give advice out in
public? Do we share pictures of ourselves online? The idea behind
it incites a lot of fear -- that we'll have stalkers, or share too
much that can be used against us, or somehow lose patients because
of things we do, say or show.
I don't like this at all. As alternative practitioners, I think
we have a little bit more lee-way than others might. Some of us are
into some unique areas of study. We are more touchy-feely, and that
lends itself to a different type of interaction. They say that
we're less likely to get sued because we tend to be more
interactive with our patients. So, except for the stalkers, why
would we want to withhold that information from those people in our
lives every day? I guess it's something that we all have to think
about. What do YOU think?
Have a great week everybody. As always, if you have any
questions or comments, please feel free to contact me.
Nearly two and a half years, countless exams, memorization of
facts and figures, pathologies, prescription drugs, and maneuvers
that scare you to death -- and you think you might actually know
"something" (but not everything). And then the first patient walks
through the door and you realize nothing you could've possibly done
thus far could have prepared you for what you're about to
experience. Welcome to being a student physician.
Throughout my various collegiate undertakings, I've felt
ignorant. There was never much of a point to thinking I knew
everything or even all that much because I was constantly reminded
that whatever bits and pieces I've pulled together meant only a
drop in the bucket toward what's out there. I hate feeling
ignorant. Maybe that's why I'm constantly reading and researching
-- because I know that I don't know anything.
Ricky in Radiology Positioning class
(Special thanks to Dave Aiello and Ricky King for this
Dr. Harrison, our clinician, brought up an excellent point last
week (he has LOTS of amazing pearls of wisdom). He said that the
stuff that we learn the best is the stuff that we're faced with. If
there's a condition that we, a family member or friend, or a
patient has, we WANT to learn about it. And so we learn those
things the best. But when something is sitting right in front of
you, there's this overwhelming need to know it -- right now.
Sometimes that learning curve can be pretty frustrating.
Questions get asked. Tell me about your family. How are you
feeling? What's going on in your life right now? Can you describe
this or that sensation? As the physician, you're supposed to know,
not only what it is they're talking about, but also how to put all
of it together to make sense of what is in front of you. It's a
complex task. Then you have to take the person in front of you, and
figure out how to make them better, take away the pain they're
having, help them cope with what's going on in their life, and help
them re-enter their space of wellness. And of course, you hope that
they're working with you on this. This takes skills they don't
teach in school. We can take all of the interviewing skills
sessions, basic and clinical sciences, and psychology classes and
still not be able to put all of these "issues" into the complex
Being that sits in front of us. So, as I sit here wearing my white
coat, I can honestly tell you that nothing I've done over the last
two and a half years prepared me for my first patient. Not a thing.
Not even remotely. Of all the things I've learned, even over my
whole life, listening seems to be the most beneficial.
One of my biggest fears when starting clinic, besides being
worried I wouldn't know what to do, is that I would be stuck with
pure musculoskeletal cases. I know, this is chiropractic and
musculoskeletal would theoretically be a big part of most chiro's
practice, but I wanted the hard cases. And I'm getting them. From
complex vascular issues to hormone imbalances, I've had to do
research in the first week on topics that we didn't learn in any of
our classes. Before any physical exams, before any orthopedic
testing, just doing the history, I'm learning so much. I love
learning this way. Get a topic, find out as much as you can, and
then apply it.
Pick up a copy of Harrison's Internal Medicine, and
also a copy of the Textbook of Natural Medicine, and
Textbook of Functional Medicine. All three of these will
serve you very well. Even though these three are great resources,
there are some things that still require digging. I love a
challenge. Good thing I'm in the right field.
Have a great week everybody!
Two weeks of break isn't anywhere near long enough. It seems
like just about the time that I get into a new groove of being out
of school, things start up again. But, this time -- it's different.
I'm an INTERN!
My intern badge
Last week was the first week in Student Clinic. We went through
procedures and charting info and a bunch of other things. I think
it's going to be AMAZING! Dr. Harrison (our clinician) has taken
the time to explain so many things to us already. It's a whole
different world, now. I don't know what I thought it was going to
be like, but it's different. And I think it's going to be great. I
started out this week as a secondary, and I see my first patient on
Break was wonderful. I was able to take some time off, do some
volunteering, and work on some projects. I feel "lighter" -- having
been able to accomplish some things that I hadn't had time for thus
far. That having been said, I'm still behind. That's not
tremendously surprising. I'm making lists and slowly getting things
Sunrise over Tampa Bay
The Master's has been ongoing. My classes right now are in
Botanical Medicine and Immunology. I've learned so many fascinating
things. Last week I got stuck in researching zonulin and tight
junctions. I've been trying to pool together all of the locations
that contain tight junctions in the body, so I might be able to
link proteins and chemicals that disrupt the tight junctions with
disorders that occur at those locations. I have to stop myself
sometimes, from going too far down the rabbit hole with some of my
research -- because I'll get so engrossed that I forget about
everything else. Sometimes I have to stop myself at the point of
too many questions. It turns out that some of the ones that I came
up with last week (according to my professor) don't currently have
answers. I guess I'm not the only one with questions.
I'm looking forward to the Tri mixer -- whenever that will be --
and Wednesday with my first patient. I'm secondary on patients
before then, so that will be interesting as well. Mostly, I just
want to say how excited I am to be here.
Welcome back, everyone! I'm glad you're here.
• After the DC Degree
• Botanical Medicine
• 1 Year at National
• Marketing Project
• First Week in Student Clinic
To read older blog posts, scroll to the bottom and click the "Older Posts" button.