October 1, 2013, was the start of open enrollment for affordable
care act at healthcare.gov. So during my down time early in
the week, I made it a point to look at the site, and get acquainted
with it just in case any patients had questions. The site is very
easy to use with the initial process involving a few pages of
information to fill out to set up an account. You can also select
the state you are in to get information about that state's health
insurance marketplace or to be sent directly to that site to apply.
The site has been running a little slow due to large amounts of
people using it, but overall it's very simple to use.
The clinic time this week flew by. We had a very busy week at
the Chicago clinic with a high volume of patients and X-rays to be
taken. Having a large number of patients is great for me as a ninth
trimester intern because as soon as the tenth trimester students
finish with their numbers for graduation, those patients are turned
over to us. That process has already begun since several of the
tenth trimester students already have some of the numbers
Even though we do not have a large amount of our own patients,
we ninth trimester interns still have plenty to do to keep busy.
Each week we are assigned to a particular tenth trimester intern
whom we help with patient care and charting. Also, any of the X-ray
patients that come in are mainly our responsibility. Any other down
time we have is dedicated to file audits, OAPs that need to
written, and research to help with patient care.
On Sunday evening, Rob and I made Halloween cutout cookies, one
of my favorite Halloween traditions, for a party we are having in a
few weeks. Every year I forget how long the cookie making process
actually takes between making the dough, rolling out the dough,
cutting out the shapes, baking, frosting, decorating, and cleanup
afterward. But it is all worth it when they are finished because
they taste and look great! Plus, throughout the baking process, we
watch one of the best horror movies, "Halloween," and listen to my
favorite Halloween themed music. If you haven't noticed yet, I'm a
bit of a Halloween fanatic. Next week, I'll be sure to include some
pictures of my decorations.
It appears that fall has hit in Chicago. The weather has begun
to get cooler, the trees are slowly beginning to change colors, and
I love it. This is my favorite time of the year for many reasons:
the weather, fall clothing, apple picking, Halloween, October
Fests, haunted houses, pumpkin flavored everything, costumes, and
it's the best time of year for scary movies. This year will be
especially fun because it is my first fall living in Chicago. I
can't wait to see what the city has to offer this time of the
My time in clinic has been moving along very well. I have gotten
fairly comfortable in my new clinic setting. As the weeks progress,
the 10th trimester interns are slowly giving more responsibilities
and patient care to us 9th trimester interns. Our clinician, Dr.
Miller, has us on a one-week rotation with each 10th trimester
intern. By doing this, all of us 9th trimester interns will have an
opportunity to see how all the other interns practice and be able
to assist in patient care for a larger variety of patients. As the
10th trimester students finish with their numbers for graduation,
their patients are transferred to one of the 9th trimester
students. By keeping all of us on a rotation, it keeps the
amount of patients per intern even.
On Thursday evenings from September until early February, I am
enrolled in the 100-hour acupuncture certification course. The
course is taught by Dr. Duarte at NUHS. Dr. Duarte graduated with
his doctor of chiropractic degree from National University in 1986,
and he received his master of acupuncture degree from National in
2013. Dr. Duarte also is a Diplomate of the American Board of
Chiropractic Orthopedists and the American Chiropractic Board of
The acupuncture course is very comprehensive. It covers oriental
medicine history, acupuncture theory, meridian therapy, electrical
stimulation, auricular therapy, and much more. Each week in the
beginning of class we cover lecture topics that include theory,
techniques or meridians. In the second portion of the class, we
practice the techniques and meridian points we learned that evening
in class. So far, the class has been far more interesting than I
originally thought it would be. Acupuncture and oriental medicine
have such a different way of thinking and practicing than western
medicine does. And I think as a physician, it will be extremely
beneficial to my future patients to be able to wear two different
hats as I practice.
Last weekend was Part II, III, and Physiotherapy board exams.
Physiotherapy exams were on Friday afternoon. The exam covered
passive adjunctive procedures (thermo-, electro-, mechano-, and
phototherapy) and active adjunctive procedures (functional
assessment, exercise physiology, endurance training, muscle,
neuromuscular, and disorder-specific
Saturday morning was the two sections of the Part III board
exams. This exam covers case history, physical examination,
neuromusculoskeletal examination, diagnostic imaging, clinical
laboratory and special studies, diagnosis, chiropractic techniques,
supportive interventions, and case management. Each section of the
exam consisted of standard multiple-choice questions with extended
case vignettes questions at the end.
Saturday afternoon started the first exams of Part II, and they
finished Sunday morning and afternoon. Part II consists of six
separate exams that cover the following topics: general diagnosis,
neuromusculoskeletal diagnosis, diagnostic imaging, principles of
chiropractic, chiropractic practice, and associated clinical
sciences. Overall, I found Part II to be the most challenging exam
of the weekend. That fact might be due to Part II being the last
exam I took, and by Sunday afternoon I was completely physically,
mentally, and emotionally burned out. It was a very long weekend,
but it is such a great feeling have the exams behind me.
Now that board exams are finished, I finally have a chance to
start to get into a normal schedule for this trimester. In clinic,
things have been moving along very well, and I have been helping
out with patients plus seeing some patients as the primary intern.
Besides my clinical internship, on Thursday nights I am taking a
100-hour acupuncture certification course.
A meridian chart that I will be learning in my acupuncture
course. The chart
includes many of the traditional Chinese acupuncture meridians
that are taught.
As physicians, most states only require the 100-hour training to
practice acupuncture. Some states require 300 hours or a master's
degree in acupuncture, and you can find that information out on
your state association's website. For the state of Illinois, which
is where I plan on practicing, the website is www.ilchiro.org. The 100-hour course
consists of 20 weeks of five-hour classes and labs every Thursday
evening. The course covers everything from history to traditional
Chinese meridians to musculoskeletal acupuncture. It is a very
comprehensive course, and by the end of it, you leave with a large
set of protocols and procedures that you will be able to use on a
daily basis in your chiropractic practice.
It was a short school/clinic week, which was greatly needed.
Every trimester has a point where everything seems to pile up
whether its school, patients, work, or summer travel. This week
that point was reached, so having Thursday and Friday off for the
Homecoming celebration in Lombard was great.
On Wednesday, Student Clinic interns took a field trip to Standard
Process in Palmyra, Wisconsin; I'm pretty sure it was my first
field trip since high school. Standard Process is a supplement
company that prides itself on high quality products that are sold
through health care professionals. The trip includ0ed a tour of the
manufacturing facility, the certified organic farm, and several
lectures from employees and doctors on staff there.
Standard Process' mission statement includes a dedication to
My week concluded with a trip to Cincinnati, Ohio, to visit my
partner's family. We arrived Thursday evening and had a late dinner
of homemade lasagna and chocolate cake. My partner's mother
recently redid her kitchen, living room, and added a deck onto her
house. So, Friday consisted of lots of shopping for furniture,
décor, and paint colors to finish the project.
On Saturday, we went to downtown Cincinnati for dinner and
drinks, and I have to tell you, I was really impressed. The
downtown is really beautiful and consists of many different
"areas," each with their separate vibe. We spent most of the
evening in the "Banks" area, which is new development right along
the Ohio River. For the most part, it was a really relaxing weekend
with the majority of it being spent lounging on his mother's
beautiful new deck.
• First Patients and Jurisprudence Class
• Ideas for the Future
• Part IV Board Exams
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