Archive for tag: weather

The Countdown Begins

Well, here we 10th Trimester Interns sit working on our final 'check-offs', competency skill evaluations, and patient numbers.

Between the patient visits, acting as mentors for our rising classmates, completing outreach hours for the clinic, sitting and discussing conditions with our clinicians, preparing our grand rounds presentations, and double checking charting and paperwork, we don't have much time for anything else.


For some reason, I thought this part of the internship experience would be a time to sit back, relax and enjoy the clinical experience. I suppose I was pretty far off target on this notion. I am thoroughly enjoying myself however. The clinicians have given the 10th Trimester Interns a bit more autonomy with the diagnoses, treatment plans and conversations with our patients. We are now expected to train our underclassmen in clinic protocol, procedures and patient interaction. This is an exciting time!

The clinic is hopping today and is chock full of naturopathic patients! What a great problem to have in our little clinic! The word seems to be getting out about the services, therapies and treatments available at the NUHS Whole Health Center.

As the weather changes, the temps rise and spring arrives here in Chicagoland, the NUHS Whole Health Center, the naturopathic medical school and our students are rising to the occasion, growing and sharing our knowledge, skills and healing therapies with our neighbors in greater numbers!

Winter, Winter, and More Winter

Winter continues here at NUHS in the Chicago suburbs. While not a normal winter for the Chicagoland area, the snow has been beautiful in its ubiquitous falling, blanketing and build-up!


Clinic has chugged along through the weather, low temps and snow squalls. Our interns and clinicians have battled through the snarled traffic, snowdrifts and partially successful attempts to start their vehicles to maintain the excellent level of care that the NUHS naturopathic clinic provides!

On days that are not as busy because of the weather, those of us who are in tenth trimester clinic are going through our portfolios and check-off sheets to ensure that we have met our requirements for graduation. When possible, we sit with a clinician and speak of various ailments, maladies and injuries followed by the appropriate triage, treatment and healing strategies for a patient with that illness.

The portfolio includes everything from prenatal care to geriatrics and all stages of life, health and illness in between. Combined with our patient variety, over 450 or more total unique visits and rotations with the Salvation Army clinic in Chicago, the Naperville clinic and homeopathic rotations, we are well prepared as we sit down to discuss these patient conditions and how we would treat them.

So, even though winter is keeping most of us indoors for the next few days, we are quite busy with our clinic duties and fulfilling clinic requirements...well, except for the occasional midnight stroll through a nice little snowstorm! 

Until next week, keep warm and talk to you then!

Winter's Grip

This has been a long two weeks here at NUHS. Old Man Winter has taken hold and doesn't seem to want to let any warm air at all in Chicagoland. This is not the normal state of things here -- the 'Minnesota Chill' invading from the North. Even the lifelong Illinois residents are shocked at the low temps plus the extended time that they have been a visitor to the shores of Northern Illinois.

After a few trips to jumpstart friends' vehicles, make a couple of runs to the auto parts store to help them purchase and install new batteries for their cars, then a quick stop at the grocery store (just to be sure I have the necessities, as any good Southerner in the face of winter would do), I settled down by my window to write this week's blog.

I intended to write on a different subject this week; that topic will be saved for later. This week is all about beauty. I write about this because the cold weather, dark clouds, winds and sequestration required in the house due to subzero temperatures can make one a bit stir crazy. Sure, I have my studies, books, exercises, and some cooking to keep me busy, but that doesn't compare to the feeling a drawing in a long deep breath, even if it freezes and solidifies my epiglottis!


So, as I started writing this entry, I glanced out of my window and saw the sun...and crystal clear blue skies that reminded me of the community swimming pool and the first day it opens!  So crisp, no jet contrails, the sun with an aura of warmth that doesn't quite reach yet feels wonderful through a protective pane of glass.

That sun was beautiful, the sky was gorgeous and with those two prompts these past few days have seen an explosion of beauty all around me. From a realization that only a few more weeks of winter are left to counting down the days to graduation and seeing beauty grow in my colleagues around me, with me and beyond all of us.

If you want my advice, (and I understand if you don't) take in the beauty around you. Even if that beauty is the tiniest thing, it can jumpstart a progression, a cascade, or avalanche might be more appropriate at this time of year, of beauty extending from you, to you and within you.

Back to clinic, Lyme disease and musculoskeletal rehabilitation today. All beautiful in their healing design and effectiveness!

Back Down to Business

The "whole foods" diet is going well. I had one hiccup this past week while making a gluten-free pizza recipe. The pizza crust mix that I purchased, while gluten free, had 11 ingredients rather than my specified five. While all of the mix's ingredients were types of flour or simply salt, I did surpass the allowable number of ingredients. The cost to purchase all the flours involved would have been enormous compared to the mix. The cost difference was roughly $40 for the ingredients separately and $5 for the pre-packaged mix.

I may have to submit a request to my "local panel of judges" to determine cost vs. "letter of the law" with regard to the five-ingredient rule. I'm beginning to feel that as long as the ingredients are something I would put together myself, without having to purchase them in bulk on a student's budget, the point should be to eat healthier foods. My intent is to become healthier, not develop into a zealot in any undertaking, especially when working toward a healthier life and lifestyle for the long term.

Mortor and pestle
© National University of Health Sciences

Classes have become more exciting as the trimester has started rolling. In our Advanced Botanical Prescribing class, we have been working on developing synergistic botanical formulas whose chemical constituents can function together and increase the efficacy of both botanicals (or more) depending upon the condition being treated. I'm certainly happy I opted to take the Special Topics in Botanical Medicine class offered last summer as the formulations, interactions, contraindications and application of the botanicals is starting to come together and make perfect sense in application.

We have started building a website for our future practices in our Practice Management/Jurisprudence class. We spend a portion of each class on preparing and building a future marketing strategy for our practices. The strategies include electronic media, outreach programs to the community, affiliation with other practices and modalities, as well as the costs involved with each method. On the jurisprudence side, we are learning about how to document a visit, secure the information and maintain each patient's file in a secure location, whether electronic- or paper-based. The guidelines for safeguarding patient information under the auspices of HIPAA, or Health Information Privacy and Accountability Act, are taken seriously and taught with close attention to detail at NUHS. I'm happy to have that education provided here rather than learn a hard lesson later as a doctor. The real world application of the business side of medical practice is one of many clinical assets provided here at NUHS.

Well, I'll get back to work on this botanical formula and finish up a quick case before taking a nice walk this (Monday) afternoon. We are being "blessed?" with 50º weather after a nice ice storm last night. The Chicago winters for the last two years have been much more "squeak" than "roar."  I'm not complaining though, my first two winters here were "typical Chicago"...including the blizzard in 2011!

I'll close this week with grateful thanks for the mild winter and a motivating workout partner! A great workout partner makes arriving that much easier!