Archive for tag: certification

The Calm After the Storm

The start of 2014 has been a very trying one. As I mentioned in earlier blogs, stress has been high due to my master bath remodel, car troubles, the worst winter I can ever remember, and finalizing everything for graduation. I can finally say that I think most of the stress is behind me! The weather has been slightly (ever so slightly) getting better. As of last Thursday, the finishing touches were put on our master bathroom. As of last Friday, I sold my car (huge relief). And as the weeks have been going by, more and more of my numbers and paperwork have been completed for graduation. I spent a large portion of the day on Monday cleaning, organizing, and knocking things off my to-do list. With so much stress taken off of me, I am feeling revitalized, ready for spring, and more importantly ready for graduation.

Now that school is coming to a close, I have been working on the paperwork for my license. There is lengthy application that needs to be filled out and sent into the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. Along with the application, a fee, undergraduate transcripts, and graduate transcripts also need to be sent in as they approve the paperwork. It was a fairly confusing application and process to put all together, but it was a great feeling to put that envelope in the mail. Also, the sooner the state gets the application and all supplemental materials, the sooner it is processed, and the sooner I can start practicing after graduation. 


The acupuncture course I was enrolled in ended back in the beginning of February. I have been really enjoying practicing and experimenting with acupuncture on my current patients. From carpal tunnel syndrome, to headaches, to low back pain, to muscular strains, to facial rejuvenation (an all natural form of Botox), I have been getting really good results. Most patients love having it done and some even come in requesting it. One big reason I enjoy practicing acupuncture is the fact that if certain points are not working for a patient, there's a large variety of additional points and protocols to use with them. On top of that, if a patient doesn't want to be needled, there is acupressure, auricular therapy, and cupping that can all be used to achieve similar results. 

Fall Is in the Air

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 year.


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 Sports Physicians. 

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.

Boards and Acupuncture

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 rehabilitation).  

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.

Image of acupuncture meridian chart
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 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.