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This week was the craziest and busiest week for me. I had classes from 8am to 3pm with meetings at noon every day and then board reviews from about 4pm to 10pm depending on the day. It was so intense, and really made me nervous about taking the NPLEX Boards on Tuesday (February 3rd).

I've reflected quite a bit about my progress through the past month while I've prepared for the boards. I don't want to appear as a "Debbie Downer," but I am prepared for the worst and the best. I can say that I did not prepare as much as I could have and let distractions take the best of me. I am relying on knowledge I've sustained throughout the past four trimesters with a small amount of reviewing.

So far, I've gotten mixed reviews about the boards from past-takers, but overall the consensus was that it was difficult, and some people that have taken the DC boards claim it's even more difficult than those. The NPLEX boards need a 75% on each subject to pass, whereas the DC boards require about a 50% on each subject. This is also the last time to take the NPLEX as separate exams, because in August the entire exam will be one integrated exam. GREAT!  Anyhow, wish me luck! 

So in the blog this week, I wanted to address two common questions that I've received from some readers:

"How long does it take to do the ND and DC program together at the same time?" and "I've been told that you cannot combine the two programs."

In my situation, I took a trimester off school and when I came back in, I did not want to do a full DC 2nd trimester load, so I did everything but like 2 classes. However, that gave me more time and some breaks in my schedule so I decided to take ND Foundations I, which doubled as an elective (at that time) in the DC program but also was a class in the ND program. After falling in love with the naturopathic medicine as well as being a "mixed trimester" student for the next three trimesters, I was able to take any ND class that fit into my schedule. So I took a couple here and there. Since I am primarily a DC student, I really can only fit in whatever ND class doesn't conflict with my DC classes. 

In other situations, most people do not start to take ND classes (if you're a DC first) until about 7th or 8th trimester when you have more breaks in your schedule and really have more time. A couple people at school didn't start until 8th trimester and picked the later clinic shift so they could have all morning to take ND classes. Overall, no matter when you start to incorporate two programs, you will have to consider adding close to 4 or even 5 extra trimesters on top of the primary program you are part of, which is about 1-1/3 or 1-1/2 years extra.

Before I considered taking any ND classes at all, I went and talked with Dr. Fraser Smith, ND assistant dean, about the major differences in the foundations of the ND and DC program. I asked about everything I really was concerned with, and he was very helpful. He will also have to manually register you into the ND program. If you are an ND student, and you want to get into the DC program, you will need to speak to the DC assistant dean. 

I hope I was able to answer the questions that have been brought up. Please email me if you have any further questions! 

Oh, and some non-school related news, I bought my dress on Saturday!! After searching and trying on about 35-40 dresses, I found the "one." I can't wait! I'm also currently working on a wedding website during study breaks, so I'll post that when it's done! Thanks for reading! 

Tip Of The Week: Do not wait until the last minute to study for boards. (Like me!)

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