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My FINAL Finals

by Apr 19, 2024

With finals approaching as I write this, I am officially finishing up my last classes at National. This is a surreal feeling.  Over seven years of finals including undergrad, and these will be the last ones I ever take (if all goes well)! As my last blog post of the trimester, I wanted to reflect on my educational experience here at National.

My experience with National’s curriculum started off with a bang. No really — Dr. McRae was often quite literally banging on the table as he passionately lectured about biochemical pathways. No doubt the basic science courses were grueling at the time, but these classes really set the foundation for clinical sciences I will be learning for the rest of my life. I still go back and reference notes from phase I, whether it’s a subtle muscle action I may have forgotten, or a nutritional biochemistry pathway mentioned on a calmer McRae day. The foundational knowledge of anatomy, physiology, and biochemistry acquired during Phase One of the NUHS curriculum is unparalleled, and I’m deeply thankful to the professors who provided this solid groundwork.

During Phase II, it can be easy to become lost. You start to learn all this clinical information, which is a wonderful reprieve from much of the rote memorization involved in the first phase. But this phase, for me, marked the awkward, initial stages of constructing my clinical framework. How I conquered this growing pain was to engage with real world clinical experiences, specifically through shadowing and seminars. Shadowing exposes you to the practical application of Phase II concepts. Pairing clinical science classes in school with shadowing and seminars meant diving into the “when, whys, and hows” of what I was learning. During this time, I started to realize what aspect of others’ clinical framework did and didn’t resonate with me. Once I synthesized this information, I felt confident to begin sharpening my newly realized clinical framework through real practice in Phase III.

So what’s next in the educational journey for me? Is school out “forever” like the Alice Cooper song? In my view, entering this field means embracing the role of a perpetual student. We should always be learning more, whether that means staying up to date with the latest research in your specialty or adding more tools to the toolbelt altogether. For me, this means reading a lot of nutrition research, taking functional medicine and neurology seminars, and continuously practicing adjusting. I’ve already taken hundreds of hours of seminars and look forward to thousands more in my career. While I’m glad the stress of the formal part of school is over (besides Part II, III, and IV boards), I will always love being a student and learning new things. I now look forward to being in the NUHS clinic five days a week, focusing solely on patient care – and a little bit of studying for boards along the way.

Learn more about National University’s DC curriculum here.

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About the Author

Matt Beyer

Matt Beyer

My name is Matt Beyer, and I am currently a 9th trimester DC student intern at NUHS. As a 2nd generation chiropractic student, I have a strong passion and understanding for the crucial role alternative (chiropractic and naturopathic) medicine plays in today’s health care landscape. I plan to earn a post-doctorate neurology diplomate and functional medicine certification after I graduate. I am also very interested in how natural, lifestyle interventions (exercise, sleep/wake hygiene, mindfulness, nutrition and herbal supplements) can play a role in managing chronic conditions. Therefore, I spend a lot of time reading research or taking seminars in these areas. I’m looking forward to discussing many of these topics, as well as my experiences as an NUHS student in future blog posts!


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