Last Blog as an ND Student


I don't even know where to begin…this is my last blog!  I seriously cannot believe I will be graduating in less than two weeks! Of course, I am excited to move on from NUHS, but I have to admit it is quite scary! Not being told where to be, what to do, and how to do it every day is going to be a very big change… but I am sure I will adapt!!  

I have become very nostalgic lately, hugging my friends more than usual knowing these last few days may be the last time we are all in one room together. I have been saying goodbye to my patients, which is extremely hard! I love my patients and will think of them often even when I am gone! I poured my last tincture in the dispensary, performed my last hydrotherapy and wrote my last paper this week. Every day there is a new reminder of the closing of my time at NUHS. 

As sad as it may be to say goodbye to friends and old routines, I am very happy to be going to spend time with my sweet little niece! My sister is always sending me pictures of her… the latest photo shoot was of my niece dressed up in her various bathing suits with captions saying, "Come visit me soon Auntie A!" How could I not want to just drop everything and go squeeze her!!

Ashley -niece -big 

Hospital Shadowing Experience

This coming week I will be shadowing at a Joliet hospital ER room. I have never been exposed to emergency room situations and am very thankful for this opportunity! I know I will see things I might never see in real practice. Not that I have any plans to become an ER doctor, but it will be worthwhile to learn a new aspect of medicine and meet new doctors. It's like Dr. Lou always says… make friends everywhere you go! 

As I move on to hopefully bigger and better things… I ask that everyone stay in contact! I will certainly be happy to update everyone on my goings on!

I hope that everyone has a happy and healthy summer!

Open House

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As I had mentioned last week, my friend Sarah landed a job at the National Center for Integrative Medicine in Joliet, Ill. The official ribbon cutting of the new facility was last Wednesday and it couldn't have been more perfect! The facility is state-of-the-art with all new equipment and treatment rooms. To top it all off, they served a gluten-free breakfast for everyone to enjoy! The alternative health care wing turned out beautifully and we are all so happy for Sarah and her new job!  

Julie Martin, ND, our newest clinician here on campus, attended the open house as the keynote speaker of the ribbon cutting ceremony. Dr. Martin stated that what this facility is providing for patients is exactly what health care needs in the future. One place, full of a variety of health professionals, all ready to work together to help regain health for their patients. She also spoke on the future of naturopathic medicine and how our profession fits into the current medical model. She commended Rao Kilaru, MD, the facility owner, for helping to change the future of medical practice to a more holistic practice.  

I could not imagine working in such a beautiful space and wish the medical group much success in the future!

Family in Town

I know it seems like I am always having family coming to town, but that's because I have been! My boyfriend's brother came to visit us from Boston for the weekend and we took full advantage of the opportunity to go out on the town. We went to my favorite comedy show in the world, The Cupid Players, at the IO Theater in Wrigleyville. No matter how many times I see the show, I laugh just as hard as the first time! I recommend it to anyone entertaining family and friends when they come to town!  

Ashley _Friend

Women's Health Seminar

In addition to hosting company, treating patients in clinic and celebrating Sarah's grand opening, I attended a Women's Health Seminar put on by Metagenics. The seminar was a great review of the biochemistry behind our natural therapies and provided many research articles on the various modalities we frequently employ. Although the seminar was long and took up my entire weekend, it was free to students, which is very rare! You have to take advantage of all the freebees being a student has to offer, because once you graduate you are paying full price!

Next week, I plan to finish my patient numbers at clinic… YEAH!!!!! So cross your fingers and your eyes for me!!

Job Hunting

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Well, I wish I could report the job search has been successful, but it has been a bit rougher than I had anticipated. Because I have been limiting my search to the Chicagoland area it has been quite difficult to find a medical group to take me on. One of the many challenges of job-hunting in an unlicensed state is explaining what it is that I do in addition to why someone would hire me when I am not currently licensed in this state. 

As soon as I find a lead that sounds promising, it ends up being a wash! I have hope, but am starting to think more seriously about my Plan B. Plan B consists of moving in with my sister in Missouri to help take care of my niece for the summer while studying for the NPLEX 2 board examination, which will be held this August. While I would love to have a job right out of school, it may be a blessing in disguise that I am not finding just any job here in Chicago… meaning I can focus on studying for boards and potentially move to a licensed state and get a great job! Here's to hopin'!! 

On another note, my best friend Sarah, who is also a 10th trimester intern, landed a job at an integrated practice in Joliet, Ill. The official open house for the alternative medicine wing of her facility is this Wednesday and I am planning to attend with several of my fellow interns. Our newest clinician, Dr. Julie Martin, was asked to be the keynote speaker at the open house and we are anxious to hear her speech! We are all very happy to celebrate Sarah's success and will jump at any opportunity to hang out together as one big ND bunch! As the days grow closer to graduation, we are beginning to realize we aren't going to be spending every day together as we have for the past 4 years. At least we all have Skype to keep us connected! 

Old Photos

While going through old photos I came across a couple of old pictures of the ND gang back in our first year of school. The picture at the top is of a group of ND students and I posing after a long day at school during second trimester. I remember feeling so adult back then, thinking that I knew exactly what I was going to do once I graduated. 

Ashley -2-1_1

The above picture is from the white coat ceremony where we got to dress up in our white coats and feel "official." Today, I can say with certainty, I had no idea what I was getting into back then! This program has taught me more about myself that I could have ever known back then. I know in 4 years from now I will look back at graduation and feel the exact same way… thinking I had everything figured out!

Graduation is One Month Away

Graduation is now officially one month away and I couldn't be more excited! I am more than ready to be done spending all of my time within the confines of the NUHS clinic walls and get out into the "real world." Sometimes I think we spend so much time worrying about graduation requirements and check-offs that we start to loose touch with reality; we are going to be doctors!! 

I think my reality set in hard this week when one of the adjunct faculty, Dr. Lou, wanted to take the 10th trimester ND students out for a graduation dinner before she left for the trimester. She praised each and every one of us and pointed out each of our strengths. She really knows how to speak to your heart. After some Thai food, talking and tears, we all left feeling confident and ready to graduate!   

A Favorite Memory

One of my most favorite memories of Dr. Lou was her lecture on finding your "target" - meaning, we all have goals in our life that we aim for. Some are small and some are large but they all are leading towards a common goal/target. That goal may be to have the means to support children and a family in the future, or to have the means to travel freely, or it may be to build your ideal medical practice. Whatever the goal "target" may be, there will undoubtedly be obstacles that will come along and try to knock you off of your course toward your target. 

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Dr. Lou explains that it is no one's fault but your own if you allow these obstacles to let you get off course. She also explains that once your start to rationalize the obstacles and let them lead you astray, you will in the short term be aiming for your target, but in the long term you will miss the target by a long shot. For example, if you are in an unhappy relationship and are aiming to have a happy healthy family in your future, you can rationalize that things will get better as time goes on and ignore the fact that you are no longer aiming for your target. As difficult as it may seem, removing yourself from a situation or people that do not support your reaching your target is what you must do. 

I know it sounds cheesy, but when you sit down and think about what makes you get out of bed in the morning and what actually makes you tick, you realize what your most important goals/targets in life are and this will help to re-direct you onto the appropriate path. 

Mama Chella comes to town!

My boyfriend's mother flew in from Boston this past weekend to pay us a very short but sweet visit. We were able to go downtown for a very nice dinner and drinks and some long overdue shopping! I also attended my first temple service with my boyfriend and his mom to observe the Jewish festival Purim. It was a learning experience to say the least! I love learning new religions and traditions and can't wait for the next holiday!

Ashley -bfmom

Shadowing Experience

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For the past few weeks, I have been lucky enough to shadow Andrew Peters, ND, DC, in Danville, Ill., a 1997 graduate of National. He allowed me to sit in on patient care and quizzed me on clinical skills and treatment plan recommendations. I loved the small town feel of his clinic and how close his patients are to him. Most of his patients are family friends and neighbors that he sees on a regular basis. This makes for cheap advertising through word-of-mouth and networking.

Dr. Peters is the only doctor in his clinic but has a reliable and people-friendly front office worker to take care of payment issues and scheduling. This is one thing he said is a must when starting your own clinic, as talking to patients about their health care and then asking for payment can sever the doctor-patient relationship and create a salesperson relationship. To avoid conflict he definitively recommends leaving the finances up to a tactful receptionist.

As for practicing naturopathic medicine in an unlicensed state, Dr. Peters also has a DC therefore he practices under the scope of his chiropractic license; however, he still practices many naturopathic therapies. The thing that surprised me the most was how receptive patients were to naturopathic medicine. Many of the patients he sees have sought him out and come from as far as 3 hours away for his services. This motivates me even more to stay in the Midwest and push for licensure. We need more people like Dr. Peters in here in Illinois to perpetuate the naturopathic movement!

Guest Lecture

CroninDr. Michael Cronin paid NUHS a visit recently to lecture on up-and-coming events and therapies in naturopathic medicine. Dr. Cronin has been an ND for 31 years and has recently become the president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP). He practices in Arizona, a state that allows a full scope of practice for NDs. As president of the AANP, he is committed to providing support to states like Illinois to help them gain licensure.

He also spoke on what it was like to start a naturopathic college, as he is the founder of the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Arizona. He was a charismatic speaker and full of information. It was a great experience getting to meet him.