Archive for tag: classes

Journal Club, Halloween Preparation, and the Chicago Marathon

Journal Club

At the beginning of the clinic week, I presented my Journal Club article. The point of the Journal Club is to have the interns bring articles on treatment options for patients and discuss whether or not we would use them with our patients. 

My article was on the use of acupuncture for patients with migraine headaches. The conclusion of the article was that acupuncture does show a decrease in the number of days with a migraine, and a decrease in the patient's quality of life. After I finished with my presentation, we were all able to discuss our opinions. We also talked about what other treatment options we would use with a patient experiencing migraine headaches. My current treatment plan for patients with migraines, which can be changed per patient, includes acupuncture, chiropractic manipulative therapy, post-isometric relaxation of the sub-occipital muscles, and supplementation of magnesium, riboflavin, and CoQ10.


Throughout the rest of the week, I finished my decorating for Halloween, which is quite extensive. If you haven't noticed yet, it's my very favorite time of the year. This included any final touches, putting up the remainder of the decorations, more spider webbing, and hanging my newest decoration. Every year the day after Halloween, I check out the sales on decorations, and I buy one big decoration to add to my collection. The decoration I added last year was a five-foot tall hanging ghoul that I placed on my balcony. It looks great out there, and I can't wait for people to see it next weekend!

My newest Halloween decoration

Chicago Marathon

On Sunday, Dr. Miller, several ninth and tenth trimester interns, and I volunteered at the Bank of America Chicago Marathon. It was the perfect fall day for the race with temperatures in the mid-60s, which was ideal for the runners. Marathon Day in Chicago is always a fun day because so many people come out to watch, support, and cheer on the runners. Talking with some of the experienced marathoners after the race, they said it's almost impossible to get tired during the Chicago Marathon due to the amazing crowds that come out to cheer them along.

Jeff Jones, Candace Gesicki, and me at the Chicago Marathon on Sunday

We were in the Chicago Diabetes Project tent where we were available for post-race care for the runners. The majority of the runners were in a lot of pain and had very tight muscles, so we helped by stretching and massaging as needed. I have volunteered at the marathon before, but I haven't had as much one-on-one post-race care. It was crazy to see how much pain some people were in, while others looked like they could run the marathon again. I'm sure that has a lot to do with training and experience with running. Overall, it was a great experience, and as always it is so inspiring watching people finish something as impressive as a marathon!

Journal Club

Every other week on Tuesday mornings during ninth trimester, I have a class called Journal Club. The objectives of the course are to sharpen the student's research knowledge and evidence-based practice skills. The final project for the class consists of performing a literature search and finding a paper on a topic of interest to us. We then need to put together a presentation on the research article and share the information with the other interns in the Journal Club.

I performed my literature search on the topic of acupuncture and migraine prophylaxis. The article I found was a randomized-controlled trial in which almost 500 patients were randomly assigned to one of four groups. The first three groups were three different acupuncture protocols, and the fourth group was sham (control) acupuncture. Sham acupuncture means that traditional acupuncture meridian points were not used in the treatment. All four groups received the same amount of treatment, electrical stimulation, and follow-up care. The primary outcomes included the migraine frequency, migraine intensity, and migraine specific quality of life surveys. 

The results of the clinical trial showed that the patients in the acupuncture groups reported fewer days with a migraine compared to the control group. There was no difference in number of days between the three acupuncture groups. The conclusion of the paper was that acupuncture has a prophylactic effect for migraine headaches. It also suggested that further research into the topic is needed. The study was limited by short follow-up periods, the physicians were not blinded, and a small number of acupuncture points were used.

NUHS Whole Health Center - Chicago

Clinic has been getting progressively busier week by week. The Saturday morning shifts are especially busy. It's a great day for a clinic to be open since some patients can't make certain hours during the week. This last Saturday in particular, I saw seven patients during my six-hour shift. That isn't too large of a patient load for a regular practice, but it is in a teaching facility. In a teaching facility, you need to check in with your clinician throughout the patient visit, and there is a large amount of paper work to do. The reason there is a lot of paperwork is that the clinicians want us to be comfortable with multiple types of forms and paperwork so that when we are out on our own we are comfortable with charting.

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.

4th of July

It's a holiday week, which means shortened class and clinic week. A short week apparently does not mean that it will be an easy week. Monday consisted of a full patient load and a surprise add-on patient right at the end of the day. On Tuesday, I had my final midterm in my Jurisprudence class. Wednesday was also a heavy patient load, and then the race home to pack up the car and get on the road before the heavy holiday traffic hit.


For the holiday weekend, I rented a house in Saugatuck, Michigan, with six friends. We arrived Wednesday evening and checked out the house, which we all pretty much decided is haunted. Scattered throughout the house are creepy things like an old antique organ, dolls with the eyes that seem to follow you around the room, books of ghost stories (most likely involving our house), an ornate lady's make-up mirror that was shattered, stained glass windows, vintage pill box hats in a couple of the rooms, and strange noises all the time.

The best part was that we ran into friends of the owners of the house who informed us that the house is haunted, and that we should avoid the basement. The good news is we all survived and I am here blogging about it now.


The goal of my holiday weekend was relaxation and fun with my fellow housemates. On Wednesday evening we went to dinner in downtown Douglas at an amazing restaurant called "Everyday People", followed by meet-and-greet drinks at The Dunes Resort. Thursday, which was Independence Day, was a marathon of a day. We had a big breakfast at the house and then started our prep for the "Tea" Dance. For those of you who do not know what a "Tea" Dance is, it's a mid-day happy hour with fun music and dancing as the focus of the day. When the dancing concluded, we grabbed some food and watched the fireworks above the patio. The marathon of a day concluded back at The Dunes with Kelly Carey an amazing Jazz/Cabaret performer.

With Thursday being a very long day, Friday called for some much needed relaxing at the beach. Let me tell you, the eastern side of Lake Michigan is so beautiful. The lakefront is a series of beaches, bluffs and sand dunes, each more picturesque than the next. On Saturday morning, we decided we would check out more of the sights with a dune buggy tour. The tour was really interesting and had some really amazing views of the landscape and Lake Michigan. The tour guide informed us that at the base of any of the dunes can be any stationary object that would stop the sand and over hundreds of years form these giant sand dunes. Another interesting fact was that at the top of some of the dunes we saw these trees coming out, and he informed us that it's actually one giant tree that sprouts roots higher and higher up the dune to stay alive. 


The remainder of the weekend consisted of consisted of some bike rides, checking out some local restaurants, movies, and bonding with our housemates. Sadly, I was the first to leave Sunday morning due to a busy Monday, but the holiday weekend was so much fun. Counting down the days until the next holiday.

Midterms and Pride

Here I am in week eight, and I have no idea where the time has gone. This week marked the start of midterms with Clinical Natural Medicine and Dermatology exams.

Clinical Natural Medicine is comprised of weekly case studies in which I need to come up with differential diagnoses, treatment plans, and any other health concerns the patient may be facing. The exam was a similar format with a series of case studies that I needed to figure out lab tests, diagnoses, medical imaging, and possible treatments that would work for that patient. The Dermatology midterm consisted of mostly images of different skin conditions followed by treatments for those conditions.

I only have one more midterm next week in my Jurisprudence class, and after that I'm finished with midterms. That is such a large change from midterms in past trimesters, where it seemed to be a never-ending month long marathon of exams.


I was duty intern in Student Clinic this week. Duty intern is a rotation that each intern needs to do twice each trimester. During this rotation, you are in charge of checking patients into their treatment rooms and keeping the clinician informed on when patients arrive, if they don't show, and when they are finished with treatment. You also have duties around the rest of clinic including doing laundry, stocking rooms, and prepping for the next shift.


This week was also very historic with Prop 8 and the Defense of Marriage Act both being struck down by the United States Supreme Court. The statement "Equal Justice Under the Law" that sits above the entrance of the Supreme Court was finally upheld for lesbian and gay couples in the U.S. As a gay man and a man lucky enough to have a loving partner of many years, these decisions were very moving.


As a very exciting end to the week, we joined in the Chicago Pride celebration and parade on Sunday with good friends. The city of Chicago had record numbers; over one million people graced the streets of the Uptown and Lakeview neighborhoods for the parade. It was very neat to see the mixing pot of people there to show support for the LGBT community, celebrate, and show their true colors.