I still can't believe it. I am closer to graduation and it's
getting very REAL.This upcoming week will be my last week
at the inner city clinic I spoke about before, and then I have
about 2 more weeks until my 2 weeks of observation off campus! Then
when I get back, I will have about 4 days left of clinic before
graduation week! It's so crazy!
I remember this similar feeling when I was graduating from the
chiropractic program, but the feeling was halted by the sense that
my graduation was only the mark of the beginning of the
naturopathic program. While all my colleagues were putting their
business plans into action, interviewing for associate positions,
or packing up and moving back home, I was studying and preparing
for my 11th trimester! It was still an exciting
time considering it is still a HUGE accomplishment. However, it was
bittersweet for me.
Now I sit here, writing one of my last blogs ever,
preparing for a new journey in my life, and feeling an amazing
amount of joy and peace! It's still very stressful realizing that I
am still at that place again--not completing a business plan or
interviewing for any associate positions, but preparing a nursery,
utilizing the summer to relax, and enjoying life without the
pressures of school. I feel much better about it all than I
You might hear over and over again about the "Numbers Game" in
clinic. There are high expectations and huge requirements that are
obligated for you to pass your clinic internship, and the
naturopathic program has definitely trumped the chiropractic
program in my opinion! I learned so much from both programs on many
different levels, but because the naturopathic program is still
relatively young at NUHS, there are different struggles that we
face. The numbers were driving me crazy but definitely did not
affect my ability to give my patients the best care possible. And
our clinicians were right, if you treat your patients right, the
numbers will take care of themselves.
As I am heading into my last couple weeks with patients on
campus, I am feeling more comfortable than ever about my competency
AND numbers. Although I won't be out in practice right away, I have
been able to soak up the experience the best way I could. I
struggled, I cried, I became frustrated on the verge of walking
away--but looking back now, I can appreciate the obstacles I've had
to overcome and above all else, I've had the best patients ever!
I only hope you will be able to soak up my experience no matter
what school or program you choose! Take care of people and they
will take care of you. :) Here's to my last weeks here at
"Healing--remembering who we were made to be despite all of our
life tragedies/trials, and allowing ourselves to feel unconditional
love, which consists of compassion, living without fear,
forgiveness, and a deep experience of peace that leaves you with
joy and stability." Dr. Anthony Godfrey.
NUHS and SCNM naturopathic students at "The
Opening night of "The Gathering" at the Canadian College of
Naturopathic Medicine in Toronto, Ontario, Canada, was amazing as
Dr. Godfrey eloquently discussed his interpretation of the "vis,"
the CORE of naturopathic medicine. It almost seemed as if Dr.
Godfrey was speaking directly to my heart as he made his address
during the opening of the conference.
Sidney and I with Dr. Godfrey.
"The Gathering" is an annual event hosted at different
naturopathic schools. It was originally created as an event FOR the
students. "Elders", experienced and successful NDs from across the
country/world, assemble to provide inspiration, wisdom, and hope.
The weekend was definitely packed with tons of sessions where the
elders had ample opportunity to penetrate into the hearts/minds of
everyone around them.
Dr. Paul Epstein and I.
Dr. Paul Epstein is a very well known ND who studies the
connection between the mind and body. He also happens to be the
classmate and very good friend of our amazing clinician, Dr. Julie
Martin! Dr. Epstein was able expand upon Dr. Godfrey's opening
message. It made me realize how powerful and strong our minds,
past, stresses, etc., have on our health--short- and long-term.
Throughout all the hustle and bustle of getting through classes
and studying for board exams, it is hard to focus on WHY we chose
this profession in the first place. Anyone and everyone who chose
the ND route but can only think with their mind and not their heart
will end up failing in practice. "The Gathering" was a place of
rejuvenation and revival for me, and I know that is exactly what it
was for my colleagues who are also in clinic. Through all the
botanicals, homeopathy, diet changes, etc. that we recommend to our
patients, we lose sight of the root and core of our medicine which
is the vis--the healing power of nature!
Dr. Louise Edwards and I.
On our campus, Dr. Louise Edwards is our Dr. Godfrey and Dr.
Epstein. She has been a beaming light and continues to carry the
torch for what defines us and green allopaths. She is such an
amazing person that has done so much for our new program; and after
"The Gathering," I have learned to really appreciate her more! When
you start the program, make sure to soak in as much goodness from
her as you can just like I have. She will be a constant reminder
for you of the physician you SHOULD be when you become a
Overall, I had the most unforgettable, inspiring, and
life-changing experience and it was worth the 9-1/2 hour drive,
getting through Toronto traffic, and the lack of sleep! :)
Blissor: "The Gathering." Thank you for changing my life!
What a whirlwind of emotions this past week at National.
Out of all the years I've been here (which is a lot!), I don't
think our community here has ever had to experience such a hard
As you know, we lost Zandi suddenly and now recently lost a very
loved faculty member, Dr. Shellee Handley, as a result of injuries
following a motorcycle accident. She was such a positive person and
always had a smile on her face...just like Zandi. It was a shock to
our community here, especially after enduring such a hard time the
previous week. It was touching to attend Dr. Handley's memorial
service at NUHS and to see all the love that poured out from
faculty, staff, and students. She will be sorely missed and her
positive energy will forever resonate through campus.
Dr. Shellee Handley
One of the biggest benefits of attending National is my instant
support system. I get to be near my friends and family, which
reminds me of how amazing my life is through all the rough patches
I've experienced. On Saturday, my girlfriends got together to
celebrate one of my childhood friend's birthday. We surprised her
with a pottery day! We went to this place called "Glazed
Expressions" in Lincoln Park (Chicago) and painted pottery. We
brought tons of healthy and yummy food and had time to spend
together. We laughed and reminisced about everything! Martha
recently accepted a job offer to work for University of Akron in
Ohio and will be moving in two weeks! So it was really nice to
spend time with her before she moves on to her "grown up" job.
Making pottery with friends at Glazed Expressions in
My brother, Toby, who lives in California is actually in town
visiting for two weeks and we celebrated his birthday on Sunday!
All my colleagues at school always say, "Miravone...you are ALWAYS
busy with your family every weekend!" There are always
"get-togethers" with people from school but I have been turning
them down lately because of all my busy family events! But I love
The recent campus deaths have really kicked my butt into gear. I
stopped complaining about everything I complained about (well, I am
trying) and am trying to focus on the great and amazing things in
life. The sermon at my church on Sunday was about "Life after
Death," which is so crazy how appropriate it was for me during this
time. The pastor emphasized this question, "What legacy are you
going to leave?" And that has truly resonated through my life the
past two weeks. It's unfortunate that death has to happen for me to
realize the life I am living and how amazing it is...but at least
death is not in vain.
So all in all, my rough week ended with more memories made with
my loving family and friends. I am on a journey to make sure I
leave a legacy! Have a blessed week everyone and tell someone you
love them today! :)
Blissor: Well if you can't tell by the blog, my FAMILY and
Can you believe it? Time has been flying and I'm just trying to
keep up! The fact that we've been packed with event after event
including school and work has made this year fly by so quickly
already. This past weekend we were supposed to visit friends all
the way in Columbus, Ohio, but some plans didn't work out so we had
the weekend at home. It was a blessing!
We were able to enjoy the amazing weather (rain and shine), run
errands, and completely clean OUT our house! My husband and I have
forgotten what it is like to have a normal weekend at home. We
completely took apart our house to clean as much as we could and I
ended up clearing out NINE paper grocery bags of clothes including
things I've never worn!
My current journey to the "WHOLE better me" has been very
emotional. It hasn't only been about saying NO to food temptations
or working out 1-2 hours six days out of the week, but it has
involved my own personal "spring cleaning"! I've been working on
the emotional aspect of becoming healthier, which has been the
hardest part. It is strange but my "spring cleaning" this weekend
was therapeutic. As I was going through all my clothes, it was an
amazing feeling to get rid of all the clothes that are too big and
that I don't ever want to fit again.
I had the opportunity to spend time with two of my closest friends
at Woodfield Mall in Schaumburg. We walked around the mall for
almost four hours and had the opportunity to catch up. I have lost
the desire to buy anything for myself until I've reached my
"health" goal status. It was an awesome time to spend time with my
friends and I even had the opportunity to talk to them about how
they can improve their health too!
My whole point of this blog about MY health is to encourage you to
take a look at the clothes in your closet. It's not about HOW you
look or WHAT clothes you wear. I'm not trying to sound
materialistic about clothing either. It's about how you FEEL when
you wear the clothes. Do you feel healthy? Do you feel at your
optimal health status? Take a deep look into what your "optimal"
is. Clothes can hide more than what you look like but can end up
masking what you feel about yourself. Are you at the best that you
can be? For yourself? For your family? And lastly for your
I am not only doing this for my family and myself… but I am doing
this to be an example to my future patients. To be an inspiration.
To be a motivation. What are you going to be to YOUR patients? Food
for thought! Have a great week!
Blissor: Our pets! We have two cats (Sampson & Delilah) and
one dog (Oliver). They are our little children and we love them! It
is always nice to come home from a stressful day to their happy
CAM Day was a huge success!! CAM stands for Complementary and
Alternative Medicine, which represents all the degree programs
offered at National. I am an executive board member with the
Student American Chiropractic Association (SACA), and in past
years, we've had SACA Day with vendors, raffles and speakers to
honor chiropractic and give students a chance to take a break from
classes. Well, since our school is more well-rounded in terms of
offering so many different degrees that actually help with viewing
health more holistically, we changed the name so that we can honor
alternative medicine in general.
The team that I worked with also consisted of members from the
AAAOM Club and the SUN, the naturopathic club. We worked on getting
vendors such as biofreeze, chirotouch, Douglas Laboratories,
Metagenics, etc. The administration also supported our efforts and
gave excused absences to all the attendees after noon. We had
Cynthia Vaughn come in to speak about National Health Reform and
our profession in general. Cynthia Vaughn is a chiropractor from
Texas, which was one of the moving components involved in getting
chiropractic care in the VA hospitals!
It was an all day event that all the students responded
extremely well to. We expected maybe 100 to 150 students, but we
had over 300 students come to learn about multiple products, eat
lunch with us, and listen to the speaker! We also had raffles that
took place for the people that visited all the vendors. I was so
proud of the team I worked with, and although the process was hard
to juggle alongside school and life, it was well worth
This week, I want to discuss the topic of getting involved with
school beyond playing the student role. There are many clubs to
join that help with studying, adjusting techniques, community
service, and help you join in a bigger cause for the profession
like SUN, SACA, and the AAAOM club. SACA (Student American
Chiropractic Association) helps with relaying the information that
comes from the government into the school.
Viewing your place in your profession simply as just getting
through school is very ignorant. Unfortunately, it's not that
easy...even though getting through school is extremely difficult.
You have to prepare yourself for the REAL world. All the simulated
patients, practicing, having clinicians help you with diagnosing
and treatments in clinic, etc. are only the beginning. But
alternative medicine is something beyond the techniques that we use
to treat our future patients. All the professions at our university
suffer from scrutiny from the public and unfortunately from the
government. Getting involved in clubs like SUN, SACA, and the AAAOM
club brings those issues to light and you can take part in pushing
your profession further. That is why I have been involved with SACA
for more than two years now.
The difference between getting involved in graduate school
versus undergrad or even high school is that QUALITY trumps
QUANTITY. Always be sure that the club you are joining is for a
GREATER purpose! Do not join a specific club just to add it to your
resume if you truly are not interested in it. It will waste your
time and other people's time, and trust me, time is something you
NEED. You know yourself more than anyone else so DO NOT compare
your involvement with fellow students. What you can handle may be
too much for someone or not that much for another person. The first
mistake people make here at school is that they become overly
ambitious and forget that they are a student! Your education should
always take precedence over the clubs you choose to be a part of,
so that's why you should only join the clubs that mean the most to
you and in the end, will benefit you as a future doctor.
I hope this helps you decide how to manage and balance your life
here at NUHS. It's really important to not spread yourself thin!
It's even more important to know when to say NO. Have a great week
and unpack those sweaters...the warm weather is gone! :(
• ND Clinic Format
• Love Your Profession
• MD vs. ND
• CAM Day
• Working During School
• Q&A with Readers
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