Clerkships are a course of clinical medical training usually lasting a minimum of several weeks that take place during the third or fourth year of medical school; they typically allow the participant a chance to learn a specialty. When you get to the clinical stages of your education at National, there are some opportunities for positions outside of the school clinic to pick-up clinical skills. Those in the chiropractic program can apply to work in a few different VA hospitals and at the Medical College of Wisconsin. To get to participate in one of these programs you need to apply and fulfill any of the additional requirements that the program has for admission.
Because of my involvement in the acupuncture and oriental medicine program, I was eligible for a clerkship at John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County. Now in my tenth week, I am about one-third of the way through my time working in the pain clinic at the hospital, and I have already learned so much!
John H. Stroger, Jr. Hospital of Cook County, Chicago, Illinois
Cook County hospital is a Level 1 Trauma Center that takes care of the city of Chicago’s underserved, many of whom I have had the privilege to treat who would not otherwise have access to alternative health care services. There is nothing quite like helping people get out of pain, so that they can live their lives. I gain so much more than just skills and treatment protocols by being there. I get to talk to people, and they trust me with their stories. I find myself humbled pretty much every time that I am there as my patients show me just how much I still have to learn.
The chiropractic program has a similar opportunity to work with patients in this community through the Salvation Army Clinic Internship. If you choose to go to “Salvi,” as it is affectionately called, to complete the clinical internship phase of your education, then you will be there for your eighth, ninth, and tenth trimesters. I have heard from other students that they enjoyed seeing the greater variety of patients to whom they were exposed while working there.
I still have one more term to go before I can select which clinic shift I am going to be completing the clinical phase of my schooling on — expect some discussion on the matter as I am making my choice this summer!