One of the exciting hospital clerkships available for DC interns at National University is at Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center inIndianapolis, Indiana. Nate McKee is the first DC student to go through the clerkship and reports on his experiences below.
Working at a Veterans Administration hospital has been an interest of mine ever since lobbying for veterans’ access to chiropractic at National Chiropractic Legislative Conference in Washington D. C. I have been passionate about the need for quality care for veterans, and feel like chiropractic care can be very beneficial for them.
In my clerkship at Roudebush VA, I work with two DCs: Dr. Jason Gibson, my primary supervising clinician and an NUHS graduate, and Dr. Chris Sherman. Here, we typically treat patients in conjunction with other medical professionals. Patients are referred to us, or referred by us to other physicians, physical therapists, occupational therapists or surgeons.
Dr. Chris Sherman, Intern Nate McKee, and Dr. Jason Gibson
We treat veterans ranging in age from their early twenties to their early nineties (Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom to WWII). The bulk of our cases include low pain back, disc degeneration and/or disc herniations. However, there have been many other interesting cases such as cervical myelopathy, Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease, Charcot joints, traumatic brain injuries, cauda equine syndrome, and more.
We typically see anywhere from 12-15 patients a day with 2-4 of them being new evaluations. A workday is roughly 8 hours, which can vary depending on the complexity of the patient cases we’ve scheduled. Also, some of that time is set aside for administrative work such as charting, consults, or meetings and conferences.
Richard L. Roudebush VA Medical Center
As a career move, working here at the VA will benefit me tremendously in the future. I feel more confident now diagnosing and treating patients with simple and complex presentations. Also I feel more comfortable talking with patients and educating them about their condition and explaining the details of their treatment.
My time here at Roudebush VA has also increased my passion and desire to work at a VA facility in the future. I cannot stress enough how great and valuable this opportunity has been for me urge any DC student interested in working with veterans to explore VA based clerkships during their time at National University.