Archive for tag: chicago

The Zoo - Time for Fun

After completion of last week's NUHS exit exams, it was time for some fun! This weekend my family and I went to the Brookfield Zoo. Since I was a child, I have enjoyed going to the zoo. In addition to seeing the animals, this weekend many companies, families, and volunteers were decorating their sponsored Christmas trees.

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Lining the walkway of the zoo were hundreds of Christmas trees. While we were walking around, we had the opportunity to see Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts hanging handmade ornaments on the trees. The kids smiled with excitement as they hung their carefully crafted ornament. 


I have included pictures of some of my favorite handmade ornaments. Many of the decorations had a theme of recycling and environmental awareness. Two of the pictured ornaments are a decorated container and a decorated soda bottle. What creative ideas! I'm excited for my family to make these, too!



We didn't stay until dark, but saw thousands of holiday lights ready to be lit once the sun set. This is the season for Brookfield Zoo lights. The zoo is normally a wonderful family environment, but with the holiday spirit in the air, patrons were even more friendly and happy.


I felt fortunate to have this opportunity to relax and laugh. I have learned through my scholastic journey that it is crucial to stay focused on studying and schoolwork, but it is equally important to take time to have fun and enjoy the journey.



My mom is a retired college professor. Growing up, I remember her telling me at the start of each semester, she would tell her students that they needed to study and keep up with the class work. She would follow that with sharing they also needed to do at least one fun thing a week to help them balance out all the hard work. I have integrated that as one of my personal philosophies!

Stroger Hospital

One of the unique opportunities that NUHS offers its AOM students is a rotating residency at Cook County's Stroger Hospital in Chicago. 

AOM students in their final trimester have the ability to be on the cutting edge of research and hospital treatment by being a rotating resident at Stroger. The residency brings AOM students into the hospital's pain clinic. Currently, residents work under clinician, Frank Yurasek, PhD, MSOM, and along with Jackie, a nurse in the pain clinic.

Dr. Frank Yurasek and Pain Clinic Nurse Jackie

By performing this residency, seniors have the opportunity to learn many avenues for treating pain through AOM, generally not taught in textbooks. Patients typically experience a profound effect after receiving AOM treatments at Stroger's pain clinic. Many times, pain initially rated as 10/10 on the VAS pain scale drops down to 4 or less after receiving an AOM treatment. Additionally, most patients' pain continues to stay reduced from its original level between appointments. 

During a typical day at the pain clinic, a resident will see 6-10 patients during 4 hours. Since that is a significant amount of patients for an AOM resident in a short amount of time, the resident often treats patients using one of the microsystems of the body. In AOM, there are various regions on the body, such as the ear, that are able to treat the entire body. By understanding the mapping and function of these systems, residents are able to treat conditions such as low back pain, sciatica and knee pain by using needles or ear seeds in the patient's ear. Ear seeds are little beads that stick onto the ear and work as pressure points. The scalp is another region of the body that is a microsystem with the ability to treat the whole body.

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Me, Dr. Yurasek, and Mary Thuermer

Since I feel this program at Stroger is an incredible learning opportunity, I will be blogging about it more often. I think it teaches many things, such as sometimes the quickest and easiest treatments can make the most profound impact when treating pain conditions.