Archive for tag: classes

The End is Near

I hope everyone enjoyed learning about Johnny and Shehab in the Salvy Series the past two weeks! In the chiropractic profession, it's important to appreciate all of the different backgrounds students come from and focuses we have while going through school. I look forward to sharing my own Salvy Series blog closer to December!

View from the Salvation Army clinic on a beautiful October morning

The past few weeks of clinic, I have been passing off my patients to 8th and 9th trimester interns who are eager to get more hands-on with patient care! I've been keeping myself busy studying for Part 4 board exams in mid-November, working on my Illinois state license application, and studying material for my Nutrition and Functional Medicine courses that I'm currently enrolled in. With the University of Western States program, I am learning about gastrointestinal and immune system imbalances, classes that I find both incredibly fascinating and invaluable. We have always been taught in school that food itself is NOT medicine, yet eating a properly-balanced diet and incorporating a wide variety of nutritious foods can have a life-changing impact on your health! Making these lifestyle changes can be a challenge, so I'm enjoying using myself and my friends and family as guinea pigs before I'm in clinical practice!

View from the rooftop of my new apartment in Lakeview overlooking the city

For the month of November, I will be interning with Dr. Donald Owens (a 1992 National University grad) at the Illiana VA hospital in Danville, Illinois. I'll be moving down Sunday afternoon and preparing for my 4-week experience working with veterans. Fortunately, there is housing provided for me while I am participating in the internship, and I plan on returning on the weekends to Chicago for seminars, Part 4 boards, and the Thanksgiving holiday. November is already booked up, and before I know it, December will be here. Woah, time has flown! I think it's safe to say our entire class is eager for Week 15 to arrive! #DecemberDocs

I look forward to sharing my experiences with you from Danville, Illinois! :)

Radiology May Be the Death of Me

It's a pretty fulfilling experience to get to 8th Trimester, be an intern in clinic (finally!), and know you've made it through the majority of the curriculum in the chiropractic program. What they forget to tell you is how much time you'll be spending outside of the classroom studying radiology!

Now that I have passed courses evaluating imaging of arthritides, trauma, congenital deformities, tumors, and chest and abdominal pathology, they roll it all up into a big ball and say, "Here! Apply everything you've ever learned and read this black and white picture to tell me exactly what is wrong with this person." Here I am thinking, "Wait, you expect me to actually remember 2 years of radiology courses?" The answer is definitely "Yes," and I am conquering this challenge every day in 8thtrimester!


I am currently enrolled in two very important radiology classes: Positioning and Report Writing, as we like to call them. In one course, we spend hours in the X-ray lab, setting up the machines, calculating the numbers, and developing the films in the dark room. In the other course, we also spend hours in the X-ray lab, but instead reading the images in front of us, identifying the pathologies present, and writing reports that summarize our findings and possible diagnoses. It's quite a lot of responsibility, developing the skills to take the X-rays accurately so that we may see all the pertinent anatomy, and then to identify the patient's underlying pathologies so that we can take the proper measurements to resolve or manage their condition.

I will admit, I spend a lot of time with my nose buried in Yochum [Terry R., a 1972 NUHS grad] and Rowe, the bible of skeletal radiology textbooks. I'm excited to use my laterality markers (with my initials on them!) when shooting X-rays, and the Supertech is the coolest sliding, calculating toy for goofs like me. All of this studying will pay off soon, especially for Parts 2, 3, and 4 of National Chiropractic Boards that I will be taking over the course of 2015! Wish me luck! :)

Midterm Number ???

What week are we in? You mean we only have ONE MONTH until finals? Ah yes, it's that time of the trimester again, the time when students begin to realize that the end is nearing and the studying is only beginning!

It's funny that I say that though. Not only has 7th trimester been the fastest trimester I can recall (I feel like it's still September!), but it has also been one of the most hectic trimesters yet. Fall is always a lively time of year, when the leaves are changing, football is on TV four of the seven weekdays, and school is back in full swing for students of all ages. Maybe time has flown because I've been having so much fun?! In my last blog, I wrote about all my terrific experiences at Chiro Games in Florida, and I'm worried I left part of my brain on the beach. :)

Tri 7 has been jam packed with assignments, quizzes, papers, and best of all, midterms. We just finished Week 10, and I STILL have exams this upcoming week! I will admit that this program is quite challenging at times, and it really assesses your ability to manage time efficiently. It's also our last trimester of full classes, so the end is near! In 8th trimester, we split our week by spending three days each week in the clinic working as an intern, and the remaining two days wrapping up the curriculum aspect of our degrees.


PT Modalities

As chiropractic students, we are taught about various physiotherapeutic (PT) modalities that can be used when treating patients. Things are always changing with the insurance companies, especially with the new health care reform that will be implemented over the next few years, and modalities are being reimbursed less often on many plans. Modalities represent passive care, which is starting to trail behind the active care and rehabilitation aspects of our profession. However, the various modalities still have very therapeutic and beneficial effects for both acute and chronic conditions, and just because insurance companies are changing their ways doesn't mean they aren't still valuable for patients!

This week in our PT lab, we practiced treating different electrical stimulation cases, primarily interferential current. We applied the treatment for conditions of lateral epicondylitis (pictured below), acute intervertebral disc pain, and chronic shoulder arthritis. Interferential current (IFC) is most commonly used for conditions with pain, edema, muscle spasms, or in order to re-educate and strengthen muscles. The best part is when we crank up the intensity on each other, to the point where the patient is feeling the sensory stimulation but ALSO starts to have involuntary muscle twitches! (Yes, I promise we are supervised when we do this!) Practice makes perfect!

Look out for my next blog, since all 7th tri students will be selecting clinic positions here in the next week! Have a great one!

Physician in Training

One of the most exciting courses in 7th trimester is Advanced Diagnosis and Problem Solving, and I am definitely doing a lot of problem solving, that's for sure!

Two days a week, we are in the clinic with simulated patients, or "sim patients" as we have grown to say. We encounter a brand new patient, gain practice taking a thorough history, performing the appropriate physical exams, establishing a diagnosis or diagnoses, and reporting our findings with the patient. Nobody said becoming a doctor was easy, and this class is a representation of the challenges many students face when learning to interact with patients.


Sometimes, the patient's clinical presentation is simple, and you know exactly what steps need to be performed to establish the diagnosis. Other times, the pieces don't fit together and you find yourself researching a condition you studied a year ago, trying to ask the appropriate questions to ensure you are on the right track. This is the challenge of becoming a doctor: having the responsibility of someone's health and wellbeing, but also being able to think critically on your toes and establish a comforting relationship with that patient, all in a 30-minute period. I have a long way to go until I feel more confident during my patient encounters, but I accept the challenge!


On Friday night, Student Council hosted its Fall Tri-Mixer at a local venue that we all know fondly as Rita's. Between the dancing, the photos, and all the laughter, I hope everyone had a great night out! It's important to spend time with your peers outsidethe classroom, getting to know people for who they are and as friends. To all of the new 1st trimester students who attended, we hope you got to know some of your other classmates and enjoyed a night off from studying all that anatomy! :)

Hobby and Hard Work

2014-09-17_garth2If there's anything I've realized about myself over the past year of my life, it's that I love live music! To those of you who keep up with my blog, you may have noticed a trend of country concert followed by country concert. To me, the combination of soothing guitar solos, compassionate lyrics, and a positive atmosphere of fans is a recipe for the perfect evening.

I packed my first couple weeks back with shows by Carrie Underwood, Craig Campbell, and the highly anticipated Garth Brooks 2014 world tour. Whew! Nothing could have prepared me for the energy and emotion that accompanied Garth's show up in Rosemont, Illinois, this past weekend, and the memories I made were absolutely irreplaceable.

2014-09-17_erinI'm thankful that I have found such a rewarding hobby for all of the hard work I spend involved in the DC program. With any luck, I'll find time for an opera or philharmonic concert this fall concert season, and I can then continue to expand my appreciation for music of all genres.

This trimester is looking to be an exciting, yet intimidating, series of classes and assignments! Last week, we encountered our first "simulation patient" in Tri 7's Advanced Diagnosis class. These actors and actresses are such a tremendous experience for us to interact with patients of various disease states, both physically and mentally, and react appropriately to the challenging cases we will encounter in practice. 

I look forward to perfecting my technique when it comes to history taking, the physical exam, diagnostic skills, and most importantly, building a relationship with the patient. No amount of knowledge can replace the necessity for a kind, understanding, and compassionate doctor, especially in today's age of "Doctor Google," when the most crucial component of a doctor-patient relationship is trust. Gaining these skills is my top priority both in this class, as well as over the next year before I am practicing on my own. I can't wait to take advantage of every opportunity to learn this tri!


Until next week, take care!