8th Trimester, Here I Come!

Hello everyone! I cannot believe that break is actually over! It has been a long week of new classes and orientation. This trimester is like none other because I am starting STUDENT CLINIC! Although I am extremely excited to begin treating patients and showing off my naturopathic skills, I am completely overwhelmed with angst! Luckily, I am entering into Student Clinic with an amazing group of students and clinicians whom I can turn to for advice. 

Student Clinic is something that my fellow classmates and I have been looking forward to since Day 1. Upon entering 8th Trimester you get to spend 8 hours a week seeing students on campus who come in for a variety of ailments. When you start a professional program at National, you are required to visit Student Clinic at least one time for what we loosely call a "freshman physical." The purpose of this requirement is to give earlier trimesters an idea of how clinic is run. It also gives us 8th trimester student interns a chance to get our physical exam and intake skills down pat before we move into main clinic where we see paying patients from the community. Although Student Clinic is only 8 hours a week, there will be an overwhelming amount of charting and behind the scenes research that will need to be done. I will keep you filled in on my Student Clinic experience as I progress through this trimester. 

Aside from Student Clinic, this trimester includes business courses to get us thinking about our future. Being that I graduate in less than a year, my future is always on my mind. There are many options for naturopathic doctors (ND) post-graduation. My plan as of now is to apply for an oncology residency and gain more experience as an ND in a hospital setting. My ultimate goal is to work in pediatric oncology, a field that could benefit greatly from naturopathic therapies. But ask me in a week and my plans could change… I've been known to be indecisive!  

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Another aspect of student life is volunteering. Prior to graduation you must complete a set amount of community service and clinic outreach hours. A fellow classmate and I had the opportunity over the break to volunteer for the Pediatric Oncology Treasure Chest Foundation. This is a group that supplies a treasure chest full of toys in many pediatric oncology centers throughout the United States. We participated in a fund raising benefit in which our duty was to set up the raffle. While there were many hours behind the scenes preparing for the event, the night of the benefit brought with it several opportunities to talk to guests about naturopathic medicine, a topic near and dear to my heart!  I just received a hand written "thank you" from a child who was a recipient of a toy from the foundation stating that our efforts alone raised over $1,100! It was a precious reminder that a little volunteering can really make a difference.  

Even though National is located in an urban setting, there are many opportunities to engage in outdoor activities. A project I have gotten myself into this trimester is a community garden. The village of Lombard allows residents to rent a plot of land for a season to grow whatever you would like. A friend of mine and I are sharing a plot and although we are so called "gardening rookies," we are figuring things out as we go! We have already befriended a few of the seasoned gardeners whom have offered all sorts of advice for our first growing experience. I can't wait until I don't have to shop for fresh veggies and can get them from my very own garden! 

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This is just the beginning and I look forward to sharing this trimester with you!

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