Archive for tag: friends

Moving Already?

Top -chicago

This weekend was spent packing as I am getting prepared to downsize my furniture to move into my boyfriend's apartment. My apartment lease is up at the end of next month so my dad, brother and family friend came from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, to lighten my moving load! It really is ridiculous how many books I have accumulated over the years of naturopathic school. I literally get anxious thinking about having to carry all of them down three flights of stairs… somehow it will get done! 

While my family was in town, we went downtown to the Hancock for a drink and a nice clear view of the city. Although we stayed out way too late, we had a great time hanging out!  

Ashley -Dad Ashley -brother -friend

New Years Resolution

Like many people, my New Year's resolution is to hit the gym a bit more often than I have been the last couple of trimesters. Getting out of clinic at 7pm most days really takes a toll on evening plans for a workout! Thinking about my patients that I encourage to make time for exercise despite their busy schedules really helps to motivate me to think of creative ways to fit in time for my own health. 

Not only does exercise keep us physically fit, but it also is a huge stress reducer! Who couldn't use a little stress reduction these days?? With graduation looming, papers to write and apartment moving, I need to keep up with stress reduction tactics! One of my favorite stress reducing activities that I recommend to many patients is simply deep breathing. Take 5 minutes several times a day to sit still, close your eyes, breathe in through your nose and out through your mouth slowly, and focus on something that makes you happy. It sounds so simple, and it is, and is very helpful in times of stress! 


Fellow interns and I agreed last week that we needed to have a night out to de-stress and just have a good time. We decided on bowling to get some laughs in and set the tone for the week! I am admittedly a terrible bowler and get freaked out at the thought of wearing bowling shoes with who knows whose feet were previously in them… but It will surely be a blast!  

I hope everyone has a nice week!

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!

New ND on Campus

Top -chi

This week in clinic we were introduced to the latest addition to our clinical staff, Julie Martin ND. Dr. Martin has been in practice for many years with an emphasis in oncology. She has spent most of the past week learning the ins and outs of clinic so I have not had the chance yet to pick her brain. I am very excited to have another ND on campus and can't wait to work with her! 

Happy Birthday to Me!

I am writing to you this week as a new woman… I am now a quarter century old! I most certainly rang in this birthday with a weeklong celebration starting by treating myself to a day off from clinic. My boyfriend and I spent a day in downtown Chicago beginning my celebration at the Shedd Aquarium! After touring the Amazon River, scoping out the aquarium's token sea turtle Nickel, and paying a visit to my personal favorite exhibit -the sea horses - we were off to dinner at Quartino's, a delicious Italian restaurant. We topped the night off with red velvet cake and beignets at The Grand Lux on Michigan Avenue. I had an amazing birthday to say the least… but that wasn't the end of the celebrations! 

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This weekend my friend Sarah hosted a party honoring my becoming a quarter century old. Each guest was asked to bring a white elephant gift, meaning, pick something in your home you no longer want and wrap it up to be given to a lucky party guest. You go around the room selecting gifts one by one, and then you open them and swap them. You will never guess what I started off with… a petrified tarantula!!! No worries however, I ended up swapping the tarantula for toothpaste, tic-tac's and a can of lock de-icer! 

Ashley -couple

It was an amazing time getting to celebrate my birthday with all of my friends from school and to think we packed 21 people into one small apartment was a feat! It was a great time to laugh off the stress from the week and eat way too much food! In addition to requesting that guests bring a white elephant gift I asked that everyone bring a non-perishable food item for me to donate to a local food pantry. I know, I am one high maintenance b-day girl, but it is important to help out others when we can… and to clean out the pantry too!

Where Did the Week Go

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Hello everyone! This week in clinic literally flew by and with the "falling back" time change I have felt discombobulated. It is going to take a while to get used to the sun going down before 5:00 pm! This is the time of year we have to adjust to less and less sunlight, which makes it difficult to not get sleepy in the afternoon… that's for sure!  

Trimester 9 Phase Exams

This week was extra stressful in clinic with the Trimester 9 Phase Practical Exam that all Tri 9 interns are required to pass before moving into 10th Trimester. We are set up in the TAC (Training and Assessment Center) where a simulated patient is trained to pretend to have a specific symptom of a disease. It is our job to ask the appropriate questions and perform the appropriate physical exam and to then formulate a treatment plan. There is a clinician in the room taking notes while you complete the 30-minute intake and physical exam. Next, you move to another room where you formulate a list of differential diagnoses based on your findings and formulate a treatment plan for your mock patient. After your clinician approves of your plan, you then go back into the treatment room and give a report of findings and treatment plan to your patient. The simulated patients are told to ask questions including:

  • Why do you want to run all of these tests?
  • This is going to cost a lot of money. Can't you just give me a cheaper treatment?
  • Am I going to die from this?

Although I knew the sim patients were told to ask a myriad of tough questions, I know that real patients will be coming in with similar questions just as tough if not more difficult to answer. It was good practice to run through an entire patient visit from start to finish and to get feedback from our clinicians. 

Dr. B's Birthday!

Thursday was our main clinician's birthday so in honor of this my fellow intern Sarah and I made her a crown out of construction paper. Being a sport, she wore it during our preview session at the end of the day to humor us! It made for a good laugh at the end of a long day!

Ashley -Sarah-crown


This weekend a group of friends from Eastern Iowa came into Chicago to attend an Iowa Hawkeye football game followed by a Chicago Bears football game. I did not get to attend either game… one of the perks of being a poor college student.  But I did manage to go downtown Saturday night to the Hancock building for a little wine and amazing views. I love going up to the lounge on the 96th floor and looking down on the city at night. It was a nice end to a hectic week! 

Ashley _Friend

Next week a group of ND interns and I are set to go for a tour of the CTCA (Cancer Treatment Center of America) in Zion, Ill. We are going to meet with ND residents and see how they practice in an integrated hospital setting. I'll be sure to report how it goes next week!


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Clinic was outrageously busy for all of the student interns this week! With midterms winding down and finals up and coming there was a bit more free time this week for students to come in and get some TLC. A common theme amongst my student patients is fatigue. Go figure! A lot of the treatment plans I have constructed include dietary modifications like decreasing caffeinated beverages and sugar intake; sleep hygiene changes like removing the television and computers from the bedroom; hydration changes like increasing water intake and decreasing dehydrating beverages (sodas); exercise changes like increasing cardiovascular workouts; and stress reduction tips like yoga, meditation and breathing exercises.

  • Diet/Nutrition
  • Hydration
  • Sleep
  • Exercise/movement
  • Breath

These are the five essential determinants of health that naturopathic doctors work with first before going for the big guns like a sleep aid prescription. Essential determinants can be compared to Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. If we don't have a strong base to the pyramid with proper physiological functioning, there would be no way we could reach the top of the pyramid where self-actualization occurs. This is similar to the naturopathic medical model. If you don't re-establish the basis for health by building from the bottom up starting with the essential determinants you will never be able to reach the top of the pyramid - true health!  


This weekend was a celebration of a handful of summer birthdays. With midterms always cramping summer birthday style we decided to go downtown Saturday night for one big birthday celebration! Aside from it being hot and humid that night, it was fun to get together for one last hurrah before finals settle in. 


I recently went to my first Cubs game at Wrigley this year! And what a game it was! It doesn't get much better than a Cubs vs. Cardinals Sunday night game! One of my favorite parts about Wrigley field is the famous ivy that coats the outfield brick walls. It's a nice way to gauge the seasons as the ivy fills in and fades away thorough out the season. Unfortunately, the Cubs lost in extra innings, but the weather and company couldn't have been better! Afterwards we grabbed a burger at Bar Louie on the corner of Clark and Addison while we waited for the line for the train to thin out. All in all a very fun filled weekend in the city and now back to paper crunching and preparing for presentations!

Ashley -cubs