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Diabetic Retinopathy and Guest Speaker in SACA

by Jun 17, 2016

Home » Chiropractic Student Blog - Florida » Diabetic Retinopathy and Guest Speaker in SACA

First week of exams are done and more are on the way. We have an exam in Evaluation and Management of the Eyes, Ears, Nose, and Throat (EENT) this coming week, as well as another quiz in Botanical Medicine. I did well on the first Botanical Medicine quiz so I am not too worried about that. The topics we will be tested on during the midterm for E&M of EENT are reminiscent of the topics from E&M of the Head and Neck, but in greater detail.

In E&M of the Head and Neck, we learned how to use our ophthalmoscope to observe the eye. We are going to be tested on pathologies of the eye such as diabetic retinopathy. In diabetic patients, glycosylation of peripheral vasculature is extremely detrimental to their health. It can cause blindness, kidney failure, and loss of sensation in the distal regions of the extremities. We can detect potential vascular damage from diabetes early by checking blood pressure and examining the eye. We look for what we call “flame hemorrhages” and “cotton wool spots” in the eye. The flame hemorrhage is a region of bleeding in the tiny blood vessels of the eye. The cotton wool spots are areas of ischemia or damage due to lack of blood flow. We may see both at once since they are both related to blood supply. Below is an animation depicting what we look for when examining the microvasculature of the eyes.

(Image Source:

We had our second SACA meeting of the trimester this past week. My fellow board members and I invited many of the students to attend because we had a guest speaker come to give a presentation. Jack Hebert from the Florida Chiropractic Association came to speak to us about the FCA’s role in chiropractic legislation. He spoke to us about politics and government. Many people don’t want to talk about politics and they don’t care too much about government. However, Mr. Hebert stressed the fact that government is our business partner whether we like it or not. Government decides how we practice, how much money we give it, and how much money we can take home.


We had a discussion about how we felt about the current medical system and how some states are using a new model to handle health care. Mr. Hebert and the rest of the FCA are trying to get Florida on board with this new model. It basically requires patients take a bottom-up approach meaning conservative care first (chiropractic or physical therapy) followed by more invasive therapies. This model for healthcare would not only help the chiropractic profession see a larger patient population, but it decreases the need for opioid medications, as well as other habit forming pharmaceuticals that many times lead to addiction and abuse.


It was a good week; I spent the weekend at my part time job as a retail associate. I worked Thursday through Sunday for a total of 23 hours. I managed to go out with a couple friends from school to watch the NBA finals Saturday night after I finished my shift. I find there is enough time to balance school, work, and leisure. It is difficult at times, but nobody said becoming a doctor would be easy.

Thanks for reading my blog, if you have any questions please email me at [email protected]

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About the Author

Christopher Kotwicki

Christopher Kotwicki

My name is Christopher Kotwicki and I am a future Doctor of Chiropractic! I am also a self-proclaimed beach bum, animal lover, fitness junkie, and sports fanatic.


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