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The End of Phase 1 and the Start of Phase 2

by May 20, 2016

Home » Chiropractic Student Blog - Florida » The End of Phase 1 and the Start of Phase 2

After another two weeks of finals, my colleagues and I finished Trimester 4. With the end of Trimester 4, we have concluded the basic sciences phase. After the last final exam we all went out together for some well-deserved fun. We shared some laughs, good food, and great times. At the end of the night we said “see you later” and all went our separate ways for break. 


I spent the weekend in Florida before going home. It was fun to soak up the sun, throw the disc, and swim in the gulf before going home to New Jersey. It also gave me a chance to hang out with my friends from school who are not in my classes. Specifically, it was my friend Chris’s birthday and we celebrated with a day at St. Pete beach, one of the hottest vacation spots in the area.


I know some of my friends stayed in Florida for break, others went home to Pennsylvania and North Carolina, and I home to New Jersey. As much as I love the warm weather of Florida, I wanted to see my friends and family over break, as well as take advantage of a couple shadowing opportunities.

Once I arrived in New Jersey I spent the first few days with my family. We went to Atlantic City to see Steely Dan live in concert. It was spectacular; the band played hits as well as some lesser-known fan favorites. I was very excited to see them since they are my father and my favorite band.

The following week I decided to be productive and shadow a few chiropractors. I spent Monday following around the chiropractor that has treated me my whole life — Dr. Christopher Bott at Causeway Chiropractic. I had shadowed him once before, but now that I am further in the program I was able to understand a lot more of what he was doing and why he was doing it. He saw a variety of cases that day and no two treatments were the same.

After the day was over he asked me if I had any questions. I asked him to describe the craziest patient diagnosis he ever came to and how he came to it. His answer made my jaw drop. He suspected a brain tumor in a patient who came in with shoulder pain. During the history he noticed a few things about the patient’s story that didn’t seem right — the patient had wet the bed, and he was having episodes of dizziness. He referred him to the emergency room where they took a CT scan, and sure enough, there was a brain tumor and it was life threatening. They operated on the same day and that patient credited Dr. Bott with saving his life.

The story resonated with me because it was literally a life or death scenario, also because it echoed what we are taught here at NUHS. Diagnosis is everything and most of the diagnosis comes from the history. Without an understanding of neuroanatomy, one wouldn’t make the connection of bed wetting to brain tumor. That is why even though it is extremely difficult at times; the information we learn at NUHS is vital to be a great diagnostician and therefore a great physician.

The following two days I shadowed Dr. Gregory Doerr in Hackensack and Cliffside Park, New Jersey. Dr. David Seaman, a professor at NUHS Florida, recommended I go shadow him while I was home, so I did just that. Dr. Doerr practices in northern New Jersey, so I had to drive a couple hours north to shadow him. The drive was worth it. I witnessed a completely different type of practice. The main clientele were athletes — high school, college, club, semi-pro, and professional. Each patient received a variety of treatments such as flexion-distraction, instrument assisted soft tissue manipulation, hands on muscle release, stretching, chiropractic manipulation, taping, laser therapy, and exercise regimens. He also offered nutritional and supplement recommendations. One of my favorite parts of his practice is that he used Dr. Seaman’s notes for his nutritional and supplemental counseling. All the modalities he uses are the ones that we are exposed to here at NUHS; it was great to see them all in practice since many chiropractors practice differently.


Thursday I connected with my friend Aiden who I met at NCLC; he also was home for break from NYCC and lives nearby in NJ. We decided to go see Dr. Karishma Patel in action. She goes by Dr. K and we met her at NCLC as well. The funniest thing about the whole thing is that she practices in my hometown! She is excellent at what she does. She also treats all her patients with a variety of treatments including some I had never seen before. It was a great experience and they even took a picture of us and put it up on their page!

I am back in Florida for the beginning of clinical sciences. There is still a long road ahead but I am happy that the road is slowly but surely getting shorter!

If you have any questions feel free to email me at mailto:[email protected]

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About the Author

Christopher Kotwicki

Christopher Kotwicki

My name is Christopher Kotwicki and I am a future Doctor of Chiropractic! I am also a self-proclaimed beach bum, animal lover, fitness junkie, and sports fanatic.


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