What Day Is It?

For about five weeks now, every waking moment seems to have been devoted to studying. Study for midterms, study for quizzes, study those people as they walk by my window in the coffee shop (okay, maybe more like people-watch than study). Last but not least, I have been studying for the anticipated NBCE board exams.

Okay, as if I haven't said that enough over my last few blogs. You knew the boards were coming up. I KNEW the boards were coming up. So here I am on a Sunday evening, staring at my computer screen, and asking myself, "What day is it again?" I knew that would sound redundant the moment I typed it. Honestly though, I'm beginning to question the date displayed on my computer, on my phone screen, even in my meticulous planner. It's March 22 and I'm still alive? This is too good to be true!

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Boards Celebrations!

Lately, I've felt as if I'm in a trance. When my alarm went off at 5:15 every morning this weekend, I was tempted to hit snooze and roll over. Who wants to be awake that early on a Saturday morning? It turns out that by 6:30, I wasn't even the earliest student there studying for our boards. I thought I was an over-achiever!

Boards are just these dreaded rites of passage that we must all endure when pursuing a professional degree. The ND students were fortunate enough to have their board exams earlier this trimester, and this weekend was finally our turn.

It's such an accomplishment to have gathered all this information throughout our studies, and then to be diligent and reiterate it all in the form of standardized tests. By Sunday afternoon, my hands were cramped from filling in so many Scantron bubbles!

Fortunately, Parts 2 and 3 are the final written examinations for our license, and Part 4 will be hands-on, practical style. Now all I can do is sit and anxiously wait for May 4th when the exam scores are released to us. Until then, I guess the best option is to celebrate the completion of the tests and just keep learning something new every day! :)

I hope everyone has a wonderful week, and thanks for all your support throughout my educational journey!

Happy National Boards Week!

Another week has come and gone through the halls of National. The sun is shining, the birds are chirping, and the snow is melting. The tourists are pouring into Chicago to celebrate St. Patrick's Day for this beautiful weekend. Where am I? Indoors at my isolated little cubby, at my favorite study spot in Lincoln Park.


(Image source: www.memecenter.com)

DC national board exams are administered twice a year, and this weekend I am taking parts 2, 3, and physiotherapy. With the looming 740 questions in 7 sessions of 90 minutes in 3 days, I think my brain might be fried by Sunday afternoon. We're down to less than a week until the fun begins!


(Image source: www.memecenter.com)

This previous week at school, we had the opportunity to listen to a guest lecture by MK Czerwiec, aka "Comic Nurse." She spoke to us about the importance of drawing in health care, and the incredible opportunity it offers our patients to express their experience of living with sickness and disease.


(Image source: www.memecenter.com)

In the spirit of drawing comics and expressing ourselves through art, I've decided to provide everyone with a few fun study-related memes for the week!


(Image source: www.memecenter.com)

Next week this time, I'll be free from Scantrons, metal-detectors, and No. 2 pencils!

Another Busy Week

It's been another busy week at National!

Midterms in Tri 8 are all crammed onto Tuesdays and Thursdays when we're in class, so although we have a lot of exams in a few days, at least we get them all done in a short period of time. Now that the middle of the term has come and gone, we're anticipating warm weather and dreading national board exams. March is always such a bittersweet month!

Outside of the classroom, our interns have been getting busier with new patients in clinic. I completed my first full "new-man" exam on a patient at Salvation Army. It's quite rewarding to see all of the hard work and studying I've done over the past two years finally come together. From learning to take a thorough medical history, to the extensive neurological and body system exams we are taught to do, all the way down to confidently treating the patient, we have all progressed so far! I scheduled my first follow-up visit with a patient, and I look forward to seeing him again next week!

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In the meantime, our 8th tri interns are spending their hours practicing adjusting each other. After all, practice makes perfect, right?!

The next couple weeks will be entirely devoted to studying for national board exams. I am taking Parts II, III, and Physiotherapy, all of which are held at separate times throughout the weekend. Although each exam builds off the others and they cover similar topics, this will be twice the amount of exams I took last March for Part I, so I have my work cut out for me the next couple weeks!

To those of you in Illinois, I hope you enjoy this warm week of weather! I'll be dreaming of spring from inside the library walls... :)

Greetings from Washington, DC

Ask not what your profession can do for you. Ask what YOU can do for your profession!

All right, so I'm no JFK, but walking through the halls of our nation's capitol sure made me feel like it! :)

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Last week, chiropractic physicians and students gathered together in Washington, DC, for the annual NCLC (National Chiropractic Leadership Conference). During our first day there, I spent eight hours wandering around the different House Office Buildings, attending various appointments with five of the 14 Ohio representatives in Congress. I was in the good company of executives from the Ohio State Chiropractic Association, learning their tricks of the trade.

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NCLC 2015 focused on lobbying for three different bills, two in the House and one in the Senate, all focused on increasing chiropractic care in VA hospitals and for retired veterans after their service. I soon realized how complex our government is, and I have a new appreciation for the many different steps that are required for a bill to become a law. Wow!

It was terrific to get to meet so many different students from other chiropractic schools, in addition to well-known leaders in our profession. We were able to spend quality time with Dr. Anthony Hamm, current president of the ACA, as well as very influential past presidents. We discussed the future of chiropractic and our integration into the new health care system, and I realize now more than ever how important it is to become involved in our professional organization!

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In our down time, we had the opportunity to attend educational classes hosted by various experts in our profession, spend time exploring the capitol, and I even had the opportunity to sit in while the House of Representatives was in session. The representatives were bustling about, casting their votes, and ended up declining the bill that had been placed on the floor. I got to witness U.S. history!

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NCLC was a tremendous experience, and I wish I had started attending the conferences earlier in my education. I strongly encourage all students to attend as early as possible, because the connections you make and the memories you bring back with you will last a lifetime. :)

Standard Process Tour

It is a both a privilege and a requirement that all students in the chiropractic and naturopathic programs take a one-day field-trip to the Standard Process factory and farm in Palmyra, Wisconsin. What is Standard Process, you may ask? It is a whole-food-based supplement company that is committed to providing quality products for distribution through health care professionals. Standard Process has one of the largest organic farms in the state of Wisconsin, and they are continually improving their agriculture methods to ensure the highest quality organic crops to utilize in their hundreds of different whole-food dietary supplements.

On Wednesday, we embarked for our trip to Palmyra and were greeted with such kindness from the executives and employees at the factory. We were walked through the various different processes of production: from the biochemistry labs that test for quality of the crops, to the state-of-the-art tablet-cutting and capsule-filling machines, to the assembly line where the products are all packaged and shipped at 2,000 orders per day. It was truly an incredible display of innovative technology meeting the core fundamentals of whole foods and quality nutrition.

Our afternoon consisted of a series of breakout sessions with various different speakers and educators from the Standard Process company. We learned about a handful of clinical findings that correlate with nutritional deficiencies. For example, did you know that those little white marks that can occur on your fingernails may be indicative of a zinc deficiency in your diet?! We were also educated about some of the core supplements that Standard Process has to offer and when to prescribe them to certain patients. It was a very informative and exciting day for our interns!

In other news, I actually am one of the finalists for a scholarship being awarded by Standard Process! The four top-rated videos on YouTube will be awarded scholarships this week at the NCLC (National Chiropractic Leadership Conference) in Washington, DC. The video topic is: "The most important thing I want to teach my patients," and I hope you enjoy my thoughts on the importance of living a healthy lifestyle! :) Voting is open until Wednesday by clicking the "thumbs up" under my video.

I look forward to writing all about NCLC next week! DC, here I come!