Welcome to 7th Trimester

Hi, everyone! I'm happy to be back at school and getting into the swing of things! The break was welcome as I was able to do some manual work with my hands rather than sit in a desk all day and at a table studying all evening. Well, let me share how the break went and a bit about our first week back in classes.

During the summer break, I completed a lot of work for the Naturopathic Student Gathering at NUHS in November of this year. The Naturopathic Student Gathering is an annual national conference for the students of the seven naturopathic medical schools of North America. At the Gathering, the Elder Docs of our profession come to speak to the students about the philosophy and history of naturopathic medicine and how to keep that vision alive for succeeding generations. 

I built some structures for the Gathering from branches of trees that were felled during storms as well as driftwood from streams and ponds. These structures (which I will share photos of in future posts) are built without any nails, or other man-made materials. While I had never attempted anything like this before, the process of creating an object that is useful, structurally sound and symbolic of the Student Gathering turned into a bit of a journey of self-discovery in patience, perseverance and flexibility...or much like the process of getting through medical school, he he! Once the Gathering is closer and we have everything set up for the conference, I'll share a little bit more about the structures as our team is keeping some things under wraps for the Opening and Closing Ceremonies of the conference.

2012-09-13_7thtri(L-R) Dr. Kelly Baltazar (Naturopathic Chief Clinician), Dr. Jenna Boazzo (Naturopathic Clinician)
Intern Michelle Ennsman, Intern Christine Schoenek, Intern Joseph Vazquez, Intern Tim Ammons

When I returned to school last week, I entered clinic as an Observer for the first time! As Observers, the 7th trimester Interns shadow the more senior Interns during patient visits, morning preview, and evening review. We help with the day-to-day tasks, as well. Primarily, our job is to observe, listen, practice charting in the proper manner, and help when and where asked. 

On our first day, my lab section, which also consists of Christine Schoenek, Michelle Ennsman and Joseph Vazquez, had our orientation session with Dr. Kelly Baltazar, Naturopathic Chief of Clinics and Dr. Jenna Boazzo, Naturopathic Clinician. I could the see joy and excitement from our clinicians who were truly happy to see new Interns, wet behind the ears, join the ranks of the Interns already under their tutelage. I didn't think I would ever be as excited about something as I was upon entering clinic adorned with my white lab coat and taking the first step to help others heal. This was the reason for being here at this stage of my life in the first place! So, why so excited?

I'll tell you why! Sitting with our Chief Naturopathic Clinician on our first day in clinic going over the mundane details of dress code, paperwork, responsibilities of confidentiality with our patients, and the order of paperwork, drove the point home that we "are here." We have made it after two years of grueling science courses, hours upon hours of study, research and practice. As I sat in the orientation, I had to keep reminding myself that this was simply a milestone on the path that I had chosen. The true challenge lies ahead through working other human beings who have come to us for a solution to their illnesses. We have the safety net of working in a teaching clinic with experienced clinicians to guide us through proper case taking, information gathering, diagnosing and helping those who visit the clinic have the best outcome possible from each visit. Now is the time to take advantage of the experience that surrounds us, the knowledge and wisdom from our clinicians, and each moment that grants us the opportunity to grow as future doctors.