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The Black Ties for White Coats

by Mar 25, 2016

Home » Chiropractic Medicine Student Blog - Illinois » The Black Ties for White Coats

I’ve been following this quite possibly historic election closely, as I hope all of you have been. There is a great potential for change seen with a couple of candidates — profound change that could pull the American people in one direction or the opposite. Change is a cheap word that gets bandied about in any election, so I suppose what I’m eluding to here is the quintessential “fork in the road.” This election has the possibility to rewrite the National paradigm for the American people — not the superfluous policy tweaking most politicians subscribe to and package as earth shattering change. I suppose I can’t blame them. Policy tweaking is safe. It leaves a mark on legislation that won’t damn or destroy legacy. It’s the curse of the career politician. Their job depends on them not making waves. But, doldrums can only last so long and the waves are coming. Whether you “feel the Bern” as I do or not, it’s crucial that we, as physicians, are proactive in championing our cause amidst the constant shift in the healthcare and political landscapes.

Our gala crew: Jawad, Michela, Chelsea, Tina, Sarah, Me, Mariah, Ryan

This week, about 50 people from National University gathered to further that exact cause. Saturday night, Sarah and I had the pleasure of attending the Black Ties for White Coats gala. This gala is a fund raiser to help send students to Washington, D.C. to lobby for alternative medicine’s future. Whichever route this election takes us, our presence in healthcare and insurance plans depends on physicians’ and students’ involvement in the law-making process. As we ate dinner and listened to the motivational speaker, I was struck by something spoken. He said, “There is no such thing as unrealistic dreams and unrealistic goals. There’s only unrealistic timelines. With time, everything is possible.”

Those are powerful words with a whole slew of applications. It’s an elegant way of saying that we mustn’t limit our vision; only approach it with an achievable incremental plan. Rome wasn’t built in a day and no one achieves their dreams by firing from the hip. Dream chasing requires deliberation, planning, and willpower. Set your increments and fight to achieve them every day. Of course, life is a tempestuous mistress that will swindle you of your time six ways from Sunday, which was my particular battle this week.


The early part of the week was consumed by preparing for the looming cardio physiology exam. The second part of the week was filled with excellent company — for Sarah’s mom (Tina) and brother’s girlfriend (Chelsea) were visiting us from Port Huron, Michigan. I had the pleasure of showing them around town and seeing a few new sights from the signature lounge atop the John Hancock tower in Chicago. I didn’t get the chance to study for my upcoming pathology exam as much as I would have liked. But, forging connections is a form of education that is equally important.

To break the sightseeing up, we stopped by Howell & Hood for some brews (this weekend marked the end of my cleanse and warranted celebration). I may have taken my returned culinary freedoms a bit too far when the gang and I found ourselves in the famous Billy Goat Tavern, which turned out to be a greasy-spoon restaurant in the dim, nether regions of the city below the subway. The place was packed with character and history and the food paralleled my expectations. It was a delicious re-inoculation of all things I normally swear off. I paid the price, but I must admit, it was worth the experience.

Cheezborger, Cheezborger, Cheezborger. No Pepsi. Coke.
(SNL skit for this restaurant.)

All-in-all, it was a great week filled with great people and memories. We helped raise a good amount of money to help ensure a bright future for our profession, and learned a bit about achieving goals. So, it’s time for me to buckle down and focus on achieving my goals. I’m coming for you, Pathology exam!!

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Gregory Swets

Gregory Swets


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