Archive for tag: career

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!

Snow Day

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This week we had a huge blizzard blow through Chicago that brought almost 2 feet of snow! In some places it felt like much more due to the high winds causing the snow to drift. As we sat in clinic and watched the snowstorm roll in, we finally got word we were able to leave early to get home safe before it really got bad. Unfortunately for some, their normally 20-minute commutes were turned into a 2-hour plus ordeal! Luckily for me, I had gone grocery shopping the night before and could go straight home and prepare for my first snow day of 2011! 

Ashley -snow

Aside from catching up on television watching on my extra day off, my boyfriend and I painted our living room and began organizing my things into the apartment. It always sounds like a good idea to paint until you realize how much prep work there is! Filling nail holes, sanding bumps and priming… I will be glad once it is done! By the end of the month I will be completely moved out of my old apartment and finally know where all of my things are! 

Saturday Clinic Shifts

This past Saturday was our first Saturday naturopathic clinic shift. We were surprisingly busy with each intern on shift having a new patient. Being open on a weekend day will help patients who work during the weekdays to be able make an appointment. We have had many new patients since the beginning of the year, which goes to show that word about our clinic is being spread in the community. With our newest staff member, Julie Martin ND, coming from a strong oncology background, she has referred several recovering cancer patients to our clinic for adjunctive care. This is an awesome experience for the naturopathic interns as many of us have a specific interest in oncology. 

Job Hunting 

The search for a job continues! I have had some promising leads in the Chicagoland area but am still unsure where I want to set up shop permanently. I am looking forward to graduation, which will open up a lot more time for job searching. One step at a time! 

Ashley -snow -vert

Have a great week and let's hope for no more snow!!

Break in Boston

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This past holiday break was one of the best! Not only did I get to spend quality time with my friends and family, I was able to meet my boyfriend's family in Boston! Being a Midwest girl, I had no idea what to expect in "Bean Town." I swallowed my first oyster out of a half shell, walked along the Freedom Trail and went to a New England Patriots football game! I was hoping to have a Boston accent after the trip… but my friends back home gave me a hard time when I tried to incorporate the term "wicked" into normal conversation!!  

The one thing that surprised me was how many people know about naturopathic medicine. One of my boyfriend's classmates from college shared with me her father's story of his battle with colon cancer. He utilized alternative medicine including acupuncture and naturopathic medicine in addition to traditional treatments. Her father is in full remission currently and now the whole family seeks alternative medicine practitioners for their health care needs. This was only one of the many people I spoke with who have been recently looking for a natural health care doctor. This got me thinking more seriously about practicing in a licensed state, as I want to utilize all of the modalities I have been trained to do. There are several states in the Northeast that currently license naturopathic medicine including Connecticut, DC, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

Ashley -boston2 Ashley -boston1

Helpful Websites

One website that I have found particularly helpful in seeking future job opportunities is the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. This website will advertise naturopathic doctors in any state as long as they have graduated from an accredited program, passed the NPLEX board exam Part 1 and Part 2, and hold a license in a licensable state. This site also lists job opportunities around the country for naturopathic physicians. Another way to search for employment is good old craigslist. My close friend Sarah was recently hired at an integrative practice in Joliet, Ill., and she found the job listing on craigslist! It goes to show that with a little research there are opportunities out there.  

Clinic Expansion

Clinic has been getting busier every week as we are starting to establish a larger patient base. With our new clinician on staff, Julie Martin, ND, we are able to see more patients at one time, which will allow greater flexibility for our patients. In addition, we are adding a naturopathic shift on Saturday to increase our availability in clinic. While this will be more work for interns, we are excited to bring in more patients and practice naturopathic medicine! 

I hope everyone had a nice and restful break!