Since partnering with Missouri Orthopaedic Institute (MOI) in November 2022, National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) student Alexandria Pete was among the first to participate in the exclusive new chiropractic internship program.
“I have always been curious about what practicing in a hospital setting may be like, so this seemed like the perfect opportunity,” said Pete, who is currently completing her doctor of chiropractic and acupuncture degrees at NUHS. “I also think integrative care is the best form of healthcare for patients and was eager to see what that looks like in practice.”
MOI is considered the most comprehensive orthopaedic center in the region and attracts students, residents, and fellows from around the world. With 400 staff members and state-of-the-art technologies, MOI offers patients total neuromusculoskeletal care in a single location.
Unlike most other chiropractic internship environments, MOI allowed Pete to gain exposure to a wide array of disciplines. Since starting the 15-week program in January, Pete has worked under K. Jeffrey Miller, DC, MBA, developer and director of the program. As various healthcare providers send patients for chiropractic care or vice versa, she’s been able to gain a more in-depth understanding of their disciplines. Some of these specialties include podiatry, bracing, sports orthopedics, radiology, osteoporosis clinic, electromyography study, physical therapy and pediatric spine orthopedics.
“Through observing unique specialties, I have a better understanding of their roles and how they can help patients,” she said. “Many of the disciplines I have become familiar with are things that I have not had detailed exposure to before.”
Having gained this insight, Pete, who hopes to one day work in an integrative setting, will be better able to answer patient questions regarding those practices and more accurately refer them to the right practitioners.
Pete also has a better understanding of what chiropractic physicians roles are in these kinds of settings.
“It has been eye opening to see how a chiropractic office works in a hospital setting,” she said. “Everyone that I have spent time with has been so welcoming.”
Some of the most common patient cases that Pete has encountered so far involves musculoskeletal complaints including disc herniations, migraines, scoliosis, radiculopathies, leg length discrepancies, extremity complaints, etc. Many of the patients have other health conditions as well, such as myasthenia gravis, syringomyelia, rheumatoid arthritis, and diabetes. As a result, Pete has been able to learn more about patient management.
“I have had the chance to improve my physical exam and chiropractic technique skills,” she said. “Dr. Miller enjoys teaching and is always available and ready to answer my questions. Which I think makes for a great experience overall.”