Archive for tag: midterms

Party Like It's the 1980s

Hey National,

Hope everyone is having a great week! This week is my worst academic week so far this trimester: Chest radiology quiz on Monday, clinical nutrition quiz on Tuesday, psychopath midterm on Thursday, and Rehab and Botanicals 2 midterms on Friday. Yay (sarcasm lol). Overall, this 7th trimester hasn't been that bad yet, but this week will define the rest of the trimester so I'm going to ramp up the studying. I've been slacking on school studying lately as I've been putting all my time into old seminar notes studying! I CANNOT STRESS IT ENOUGH people, if you've been reading this blog you understand how important it is to go to seminars.

If you were to ask me, "Hey Christian, what are the best things to learn at NUHS?"

My reply would be, "Learn how to 1) palpate any bone on anyone at anytime; 2) adjust any bone on anyone at anytime; and 3) muscle test any muscle on anyone at anytime."

Those are the highest value traits to have as a chiropractor. Think about it. You might be the smartest person in the world and be able diagnose every disease National teaches us. But if you can't adjust and treat--who would pay for a diagnosis if you can't treat? MDs can diagnose and they can at least give a drug (even if it doesn't work). DCs need to be able to diagnose AND TREAT. DCs need a unique combination of academic smarts and kinesthetic skills.

Chiropractic is a beautiful combination of science and art that treats the person in a holistic way few other doctors out there can boast. Learn the academics and build your clinic with your hands. The public doesn't know how smart we are coming out of National. They know chiropractors adjust "low backs." So, fix the stuff they "expect" you to, and BLOW THEIR MINDS with the education you get from National. Seriously, I've yet to come across someone who's been like, "Wow, you guys don't get enough education." Haha.


This past weekend featured the Frat/Sorority combined 80's Party! Each trimester, the frat and sorority muster up something creative and put on an event that is a refreshing change from the same ole' same ole'! This trimester featured a themed party in the NUHS gym decked out in 1980's décor. They had colorful balloons, 80's Pandora mix, spiked punch, Twister, 80's themed picture place, and some classic adult games. I want to congratulate my friends for putting together the hilarious decorations and plenty of balloon spin kicks (ask Kendall).

Be Awesome,

Life and NUHS Balance

Hey Everyone, 

Balancing seminars and midterms--our equivalent of "work/life" balance commonly depicted in sitcoms and mulled over at family gatherings. It's quite a personal topic, but as always, I'll attempt to answer it the best I can.

"Hey Christian, why do you do these seminars? And how much do they cost? And do you think they're really worth it?" -- signed, Prospective Student

A question best answered by giving you a window into my life...

Last week we had 2 midterms, 2 projects, and a paper due. We are in the heart of midterms--cortisol is through the roof, Starbucks' profits have had a weekly bump in sales, and I'm in need of a relaxing weekend to recharge. Nope. This past weekend we had our 5th of the 7-seminar series AK 100-hour certification course. The seminar was 9am-8pm Saturday AND Sunday. So much for recharging. This week we have 3 midterms (MSK, Botanical Med 1, and Pharm) as well as daily neuro quizzes (today's didn't go so hot lol). I had to wake up at 6am to get through the rest of botanical material before the test today. So much for work/life balance...

Captain Obvious Alert! For perspective students: NUHS is difficult. BUT it is doable. Plenty of people get through. As Batman says, "The night is darkest before dawn." Can you tell I'm working through a lot of stress as I write this post, ha ha?

Let me drop some knowledge on you, be ready for this: week 5, week 10 and weeks 13-15 are going to be miserable! No doubt about it, ha ha, to the point where most students (90% of the school) choose to never go to seminars and just focus on classes. This could be viewed as smart by academia. Get a good GPA, know all your information in and out, etc. That is the majority opinion. My philosophy is similar to Mark Twain's: "When the majority is in agreeance, it's time to pause and reflect."  So, let's take a closer look.

Past Graduates Dropping Some Knowledge!

I've had the opportunity to interview a few graduates and gain some unique perspectives I'd like to share with my readers.

I asked, "Now that you're in clinical practice, what is the most important thing you did in school?"

The paraphrased answers can all be summed up into 7 words: I went to a lot of seminars.

Note: The interviewees happen to be the most successful graduates over the last 4 trimesters based on how many patients they are seeing per week and how many are being discharged, a very important and often overlooked statistic.

A recipe I made for dinner: Thai chicken and pineapple. Yum!

Next question, "Of the most successful doctors in practice you know, based on the above criteria, what are your feelings on GPA?"

One past graduate doc (who will remain anonymous per his request), "When I was in clinic, our class valedictorian used to ask me all the time how to treat patients. I had a GPA of a whopping 3.0. By academic standards, I was average. By clinic skills, I had a 4.0. Make sure you take the boatload of material at NUHS and APPLY it to how you would treat patients. Often times it won't help you to get the highest grades on tests, but in the clinic atmosphere you've been training your brain to that type of different thinking for a few trimesters so it comes easier."

Another past grad, "I had a 2.6. I think adjusting competence is more important than GPA. National should have an adjusting GPA. I know that can't happen, but what do your patients see you as? An adjuster of bones. Yes, we bring a lot more to the table that we get to use, but still the heart of what we do (and how we gain the confidence of patients to let us do more) is being a competent adjustor."

For my longer term readers (and new readers), are you starting to see the patterns? I write this blog to pass on my experiences (both wins and losses at life) to hopefully help you guys out in your careers as chiros. The common themes have surely been:

  1. Understand the information in terms of treating patients, not in terms of GPA; it's just a number.
  2. Become a fantastic adjuster.
  3. Go to a lot of diverse seminars.
  4. Challenge assumptions, and live well.

All the best,

Healthy Cookie Dough Protein Recipe

Hey Everyone, 

Midterm season is upon us--as Cardio with Dr. Bill Hogan was this morning featuring a 60-question variety of heart, EKG and interpretation problems. If you've ever watched a medical drama (and chances are good you have), you will probably find yourself staring at the monitor trying to pick out abnormal P waves, a spiked T wave, or a depressed ST interval. I know I was excited when we learned about atrial fibrillation and later that night I was watching a show where a patient was crashing and the doctor yelled some combination of A Fib and STAT! (sick life bro..)  

For those of you who don't know Dr. Hogan--well, he is an interesting man. He comes across quite 'militant' and 'in your face'. My tip is: DO NOT BE LATE TO HIS CLASS, or he will yell at you and call you out right in the middle of lecture. He yelled at my buddy going to restroom and told him to sit back down. What I do appreciate about Dr. Hogan is that he is a very passionate lecturer; he practically yells out during the lecture and provides quality analogies, which maintains my attention throughout lecture. On top of that, the cardiovascular system in general fascinates me so I enjoy the material.

Me teaching how to palpate a sacrum in club.

The following is a recipe I'm passing on after RJ Burr recommended I try it.

Paleo Cookie Dough (no wheat, added sugars)

  • 1 jar of garbanzo beans
  • 3-4 tablespoons of almond butter
  • 1 scoop of chocolate whey protein powder
  • Stevia
  • 85% dark chocolate crumbled up
  • ¼ cup coconut milk

Ideally, blend all ingredients in a food processor and let sit in the fridge. I don't have one so I added coconut milk and garbanzo beans in a blend until smooth and then took it out and added in the almond butter, chocolate whey protein powder, stevia, and folded in the pieces of dark chocolate. Throw it in the fridge and chill and eat it as is. No baking. Test it out. I thought it was delicious.

What my friends and I noticed was the longer you've been eating healthy and paleo, the better it tasted. My friend who eats McDonald's a couple times a week hated it. My friend who ate decently healthy thought it was 'pretty good'. RJ and I who are strict paleo eaters absolutely LOVED IT. Funny, eh? Just an observation...


How to Catch a Cold, DJ, and Travel Hack

Hello, Cygnets (baby swans...who voted on a wimpy mascot? lol). 

We have a few things on the plate this week--midterms, immunity, travel hacking, March madness, and DJ Bifero!


Midterm Season continues to drag on. This week features Pathology 2 and Microbiology 2. Hypertension, thyroid, adrenal, pituitary, Ischemic heart disease, and all the crazy micro bugs will be on tap all week. I do enjoy studying these subjects but the shear volume of bizarre bugs to memorize in micro drives me bananas, considering we won't be treating a vast majority of them, or even see them in our offices for that matter. Well, you have to cooperate to graduate (ha ha).

How to Catch a Cold

Many people assume that they simply 'catch' a cold by being around virus/bacteria. While the germ theory has much proof for it, I came across this fact in the "Science of Diet and Nutrition class.

With just 2 cans of SODA you DECREASE your immune system function by 40% for 5 hours after!!!!! Holy shitake mushrooms! This is true of all sugars, added Dr. Kristina Conner! This includes excess fruits, grains, and obviously junk foods. No wonder the paleo diet has such good clinical success. It's low sugar, which allows optimal immune function. Anyways, I thought I'd drop some knowledge since I thought it was a fun fact of the day.

Travel Hacking

Recently, I stumbled upon a concept or dare I say, cult, called 'travel hacking.' There are legions of people who sign up for all sorts of bonus credit card deals for tens of thousands of frequent flyer miles. They have tactics for saving hundreds on flights, hotels, etc. It's sort of an underground following but if you're interested in long term world traveling (I am trying to do this for a few months after I graduate from NUHS to recharge my batteries), I recommend checking out the Frugal Travel Guy, Chris Gulliebeau, and this cool article I read: How to Travel Around the World for $418.

Teacher DJ

This past weekend our microbiology teacher, Dr. Antonio Bifero, DJed at a club and a bunch of us went to support his musical talents and hobby. It was really fun since we brought a bunch of NUHS people and the shenanigans were in full swing. Picture below.



So who's your pick to win March madness? I have Syracuse winning it all! Go orange!

Till next time,

Burnt Out!

Top -burntout

Hello Everyone!

This past week finally was the last week I had to study for midterms. It's been a long 2.5 weeks and I'm about as burnt out as you can be, which definitely cost me a few productive hours of studying for neurophysiology. Nonetheless I'm uber excited for the upcoming St. Patty's Day weekend. A bunch of us are going into the city to do something called the 'bar crawl'? I believe it's because they expect people to have to crawl from bar to bar at the end because all the green frothy beverages caught up with them. I'm really just excited to share some laughs and see the Chicago River colored GREEEN! 

This week was the first time I've ever been to the naturopathic clinic on campus; it's always good to expand your borders. They bring another view to the world of medicine and one that DCs should be trying to understand more because I believe in the future they will cross paths even more than in the past with integrated care catching on rapidly in the States. My purpose for going in was to have my diet analyzed from a ND's perspective to see if they caught any obvious things that could have dropped my hormone production. They didn't notice anything super dramatic, but the intern wanted me to retest my testosterone levels this Thursday before we do anything else to make sure that it wasn't a bad lab test or something erroneous.  

I've also come to the conclusion that I'm going to rehaul my time management skills. I want to start recording how long I study for certain tests, how much free time I allot myself during the weekends, etc., etc. It sounds rather OCD and will therefore be really hard for me because I have a problem with data entry and minute tasks, but if I'm able to optimize my time I could get even better grades and have even more fun. Let's face it who wouldn't want that? 

In addition, I would have less stress knowing that for a "B" I need on average (X) hours of studying and for an "A" I need (Y). Then I can plan my finals appropriately without feeling stressed and always asking myself, "Did I study enough?" Of course this might take a trimester to figure out but it will be a personal growth experiment that could pay dividends for years to come. I'll have more on this in the coming weeks.  

That's it for me this week. I'll recharge and hopefully have some good stories and pictures from Green Chi Town next week.