When you come to the end of your time at the National University clinic, there are two options you can choose from to enhance your learning further. One being a preceptorship, where you go and work under the license of a chiropractor in their clinic. The other is a 2-week observation where you can visit a practicing doctor’s office and shadow them as they work. In the preceptorship, you can do any tasks that the supervising doctor is comfortable with you completing. Most preceptorships begin at the start of 10th trimester; however, there are some really cool, more competitive opportunities like clerkships in VA hospitals that will take students during their 9th trimester.
To become eligible for either of these options, you need first to finish all of your graduation requirements. That means being evaluated by your supervising clinician on your proficiency in certain areas, including medical interviewing, physical examination, therapeutic skills, clinical judgment, patient counseling, organization/efficiency, radiology, as well as ethics and professionalism. We each also submit a 30 item portfolio of meta-competencies and three co-curricular activities where we show how the outside volunteer work that we completed during our time in the clinic will affect us moving forward into practice.
I completed my last few tasks shortly after returning to the clinic and spend much of last week saying my goodbyes to the patients who have entrusted me with there care over the previous year. It was bittersweet, I am grateful for all that I learned and I will miss the interactions with these people, but I am excited to have the time to observe and figure out what needs to be done to ensure the best possible start to my own business.
The two-week observation is just that. The student goes to shadow in a clinic watching from the outside. We are not allowed to work in the clinic that we shadow in the same way that we would work during a preceptorship. I have written in the past about how good it is to shadow throughout your time as a student so that you can get a feel for the different ways that things are done and decide what fits. This is the last chance for me to do this under the umbrella of being a student, so I hope to make the best of it.
Well, there are three weeks until graduation and one last posting to go before we part ways. I am looking forward to sharing my final thoughts on my school experience with you as everything comes to a close.