Archive for tag: graduation

The End

Here we are. It's the end. So, the thoughts I'm leaving you all with, are what I deem, my "commencement speech." I wasn't asked to give the commencement speech (I don't even know if we have students give one at all), but if I had been -- this is what it might be like.

In the immortal words of Diane Court, from one of the seminal movies of MY generation (Say Anything):

"We're all about to enter 'The Real World.' That's what everybody says. But most of us have been in the real world for a long time. But I have something to tell everybody. I glimpsed our future, and all I can say is... 'Go Back'."

Well, Diane, I don't have the same advice.


Yes, we're about to go out into the "Real World," and some of us have been out there all along, and long before, but it's different now for us. Some people have their whole lives and careers ahead of them. They have families to create and fortunes to make -- names for themselves. Others have different goals entirely -- coming to this as a steppingstone, or a second career, or both. These are exciting, and scary times for all of us. Because after we walk across this stage, after the fanfare and the parties and the dinners and whatever else, we'll simply be -- Doctors.

It's a title -- sure. But it doesn't mean anything unless we MAKE it mean something. If I've learned anything at all over the course of my professional and academic lives (and there have been a few), it doesn't mean anything at all, if we don't do something with it.

We're called to be leaders and teachers. We're called to make a difference in the lives of our patients and communities. And if we so choose, we're called to be revolutionaries.

When people ask me (nowadays) what I want to be when I grow up, I often use the following quote (also from Say Anything -- in the voice of the illustrious Lloyd Dobbler):

"You mean like career? Uh, I don't know. I've, I've thought about this quite a bit, Sir, and I'd have to say considering what's waiting out there for me, I don't want to sell anything, buy anything or process anything as a career. I don't want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or... process anything sold, bought or processed, or repair anything sold, bought or processed, you know, as a career I don't want to do that."

And I might add.... So, I'm becoming a Doctor.


For those of you contemplating a career as a physician, know that it is one of the hardest choices you could ever make. The school is grueling, the hours are long, and the thanks may not be plentiful. If you can choose ANYTHING else that you believe you'd be happy with, do it. If you want to be a lifelong student, challenged every single day, and called to be more than you ever thought you could possibly be, it's the perfect place for you. What are you waiting for?

As for me, the first part (Yes, I said first part) of my education is over. There may be more studies. There may be research projects. There may be additional degrees. But I'm far from being finished. I'm just getting started. And so are my classmates.

It's been a ridiculously long, hard road. We've been through a lot together. There were times we hated each other -- and times we couldn't hug each other hard enough. I have watched my classmates grow as people and as practitioners -- into things they never thought they could be. From the first day of dissection when people didn't know if they could handle it, to the last days of clinic when some of us knew we'd never see each other again after graduation -- we are family.

For those just getting started, don't give up. No matter what -- whenever you're struggling or Life hands you a speed bump... DO. NOT. GIVE. UP. Persevere! Keep studying. Keep moving. Keep trying. Keep learning. I have faith in You... just like You've had faith in me.

Look out world. Here I come.

The Beginning of the End

This is the beginning of the end -- second to the last entry. I know I've said this before -- but time really does fly. I've been writing with you over 2 years. We've been together through a lot. This almost feels like a break-up.

It really is me this time -- I promise.

We're practically family -- you and I. Don't take my departure too hard. (It'll be hard for me, though). I'll miss you guys -- just like I'll miss all of my family here. We've been together for 3-½ years. I honestly don't know what I'm going to do when we're all apart -- probably cry. We've already talked about harassing each other from afar -- texting each other at godawful hours of the night (since I'll be 3 hours behind here), and flying back and forth to see each other (since we'll finally have the money to do so). I've already started recruiting them to move out to Oregon. (The power of inception is a beautiful thing).

You all have been "listening" to me talk, for the last 2+ years, about these people. So, I thought I'd introduce you -- to the people that have kept me going. These people are my family.


Here is Julia. Julia has honestly been the glue that has held me together for the last 3-½ years. If we were off from school, she and I still emailed and texted back and forth at least once a day. We stayed, and studied together during boards. Anyone that can deal with me when I'm that neurotic deserves sainthood. We've laughed together. We've cried together. We've dissected together. She's my sister and my best friend. I'm going to miss her most of all. She's my rock and I can't imagine having done any of this without her.


Joe has been my work/school brother since right after we met. He actually reminds me of my brother (except he's cool and I actually like him). He's given me way too many pep talks, helped me out with all kinds of business-type stuff, and has the most hilarious brotherly advice.


This is Leslie. Leslie came late in the game. She started here (transferred from Lombard) after 8th Tri -- but it feels like she's been a part of the "family" forever. From her pet lizard Roger, to her brand new baby Emma, she's always been amazing -- plus she cracks me up! She's probably glad I'm leaving Florida, because I keep teasing that I'll run off with her baby. Crazy Auntie Andrea will always be around Leslie... don't worry.


This guy probably has the biggest heart I've ever seen. Well, I haven't ACTUALLY seen it -- but I've listened to it. This is Ricky. Let me tell you, that he has been through hell and back, and always has a smile on his face, some new tune for me to listen to, or a REALLY corny joke. He joined our motley crew from an upper Tri -- but he never missed a beat. He's the only other intern that has stayed until late into the night (or so it felt) with me, working on paperwork. He's always been a dedicated guy.


Dave is the quiet guy sitting in the corner -- who, when he does decide to share something -- usually blows my mind. We've both, not so secretly at times, plotted to overthrow the powers that be (on more than 2 occasions). I honestly can't wait to see what he does in the future. He may be president someday. (I'll vote for you, Dave).


Last, but certainly not least, is Antoinette. Antoinette is the epitome of sassy, and she gives great hugs. She's another strong, quiet force sitting in the corner. But, she has a lot to say. She's great with her patients, and I know she'll be amazing. I can't wait to see where she goes.

There have been other people in my family here. Some are over at the other clinic, like Alid, who was so sweet that he even helped me move. (He's a smart guy -- look out for him in the future too!) But, our group here -- we're the close ones. I'm going to miss them terribly -- and all of you.


Next week -- the grande finale. Have a great one, Everybody.

85 Days

These are the weeks of dotting i's and crossing t's. How's everybody doing? Things are moving quickly here. I can't believe how fast it's going. 85 days. There are 85 days left in my experience here at National. I honestly never thought I would make it!

Now marks the chaotic time of resumé preparing, job hunting, extra courses, licensure exams, and everything else. In addition, I'm working on a million different projects plus a comprehensive exam for the master's. *Whew* There's no rest for the weary. The deadlines keep coming. Appointments are made. Guidelines are followed. But in a lot of ways, this is uncharted territory. Sure, I've applied for jobs before -- but not like this. Corporate America has a completely different way of doing things than healthcare or small business. The learning curve here is pretty steep.

We're getting back to basics in the clinic. As the 8th Trimester students come in, we're acclimating to new people and helping them get their feet wet. They're holding their own. History taking has never been more important. Each person that handles a chart adds more information. We've all been working together pretty well -- strengths complimenting strengths. It's nice to work as a team rather than individuals all the time. Our patients can definitely be served by a group of talented practitioners.

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Today I was given information for a case study. The patient in my case study was taking 6 medications. Yes, you read that right--6. It has become the standard that the average number of medications an elder-person is taking is 3. Most are taking more. Many are taking medications to combat their medications.

There's definitely something wrong with this. But it reminds me. A patient was speaking with me during a treatment today. She was asking me what my philosophy of medicine was. Patients sometimes believe that we hate all conventional medicine, which may be true for some practitioners. But anyone that's ever had an infection, or required surgery, knows that without those tools, we're lacking. There are alternatives to many things, but sometimes, surgical procedures are the conservative approach. It's a lot to think about.

What is it that our patients are going through? What are they taking (consuming) already? Where can we step in with THE BEST approach to help our patients? These are really big questions.

Food for thought, perhaps? (That's a whole different topic). Have a great week, everyone!

Getting the Word Out

In case you're not familiar with the NUHS Florida site, we share space with St. Petersburg College as part of the University Partnership Program. This means that NUHS, along with Barry University, FSU, USF, Case -- Bolton School of Nursing, Cleveland State University, and a whole bunch of other schools share some space with us. We don't often use the same classrooms, but we do have shared hallways and things like that. As part of the University Partnership Program, NUHS offers free exams and chiropractic care to all of the University Partnership participants (including SPC) and their immediate families. Check out UPC.

2014-10-15_bpAs part of SPC's health initiative, they've started adding automated blood pressure cuffs to some of their campuses. There are 10 different campuses in the area for SPC. In order to help us "get the word out," SPC has invited us to give information to students at these campuses, regarding blood pressure and cardiovascular health.

Last week, I had the great pleasure of spending a couple of hours with Dr. Michelle Jourdan and Intern Roshaun Hardy. We must have talked to a half dozen faculty members, including the provost at that campus, and also at least a dozen students -- who didn't know we were there.

There's something magical about seeing someone's face when you say the words "free healthcare." Many of these students are local, without health insurance, and have no idea that such a service exists. I'm hoping we see more of them in the clinic. I think we'd all be really happy if we were super busy -- but also that we're providing such a needed service. It was a great session. Unfortunately, I didn't take any pictures to share with you all.

There will be more events to share, and more outreach. In fact, we're participating in SPC's "All College Day" and their "Career Day" coming up later this month. Should be great! We may even be doing some presentations to let people know what we're all about. Who knows? We may end up with some more students because of it!

Grey and I have been looking at colleges. For those that haven't been following that story -- Grey graduates right after I do, and has been looking at colleges. I think he has his list narrowed down to about 6. We'll be writing applications here pretty soon. Some of the deadlines are in November for next fall! I can't even wrap my head around that. His front-runner is still the University of Washington, but we've found a few others that seem to have good programs he's interested in. We shall see what all pans out. *Crossing fingers.*

I'm reconnecting with people I've lost contact with and getting anxious to start looking for jobs. Boards are in about a month -- which is also hard for me to believe. We're checking off boxes and crossing things off the list. This might actually happen.

Have a Great Week, Everybody. Stay warm and dry, wherever you are.