National University DC students have several exciting hospital rotations to choose from during their clinical internship. A great example is an eight-week clinical rotation at Bay Pines VA Healthcare System, located just north of the university’s site in St. Petersburg, Florida.
NUHS began a partnership with Bay Pines in 2014 to offer an integrative medical experience for clinical interns in its doctor of chiropractic program. In addition to providing outstanding clinical training for students, Bay Pines now delivers chiropractic care to more veterans while reducing previous waiting lists for DC appointments.
Under the partnership agreement, NUHS DC clinician, Dr. Ryan Diana, joins Bay Pines DC, Dr. Jason Napuli, in supervising chiropractic interns at Bay Pines. Dr. Jennifer Gantzer, a recent graduate of the NUHS DC program, was one of the first students to take advantage of the Bay Pines rotation.
“I had worked at both the university’s SPC clinic and the clinic in Pinellas Park,” says Dr. Gantzer. “During my Bay Pines rotation I gained experience with managing a heavier volume of patients. We also worked inside an integrative system at Bay Pines. We practiced alongside MDs with patients who often had multiple conditions and complex medical needs.”
“The experience at Bay Pines was tremendous,” says Dr. Gantzer who recently opened a practice in the Tampa Bay area. “I learned how to use different treatment modalities on chronic pain patients, and manage patients with mental health issues that often come with chronic pain in veterans, such as PTSD. The experience widened my scope of how I might handle my own private patients in the future, and helped define my model of care.
Dr. Gantzer says, “I would recommend the VA rotation to anyone. You don’t need a military background, and the experience will train you how to work alongside MDs while managing a large and varied patient base.”
Dr. Gantzer believes that rotations like the one at Bay Pines, help MDs understand and appreciate the chiropractic profession. “We need to show MDs that we are professionals that can offer valuable expertise, not just compete with them. Doing so helps us gain a more global view for our profession and integrate ourselves in mainstream health care as equals.”