7th tri and seeing patients!

I am currently in 7th trimester and seeing patients in the student clinic! It is so amazing to finally get to practice and apply everything that we’ve learned for the last two years. Seeing results in my patients structure, function and overall health is what chiropractic is all about, and it feels so great to start positively influencing lives!

I will be thrilled to open my own practice after graduation and reach as many people in my community as possible with chiropractic. With that being said, I have much to improve upon, and the next year will be crucial in my growth and development into the best chiropractor I can be. I am so excited for my future as a chiropractor!

– Lacey Pletchette, 7th tri, Davenport Campus

Celebration is in order!

“I passed National Boards!”

I am half way through my 7th quarter here at Palmer West, and I have just received the news that I passed part I National Boards!

It feels like the best news I have ever received, if I am going to be honest. Taking boards along with finals last quarter–along with a 100-hour Applied Kinesiology course–was very stressful, and I found it very difficult to manage my time efficiently and not completely pull out ALL my hair. After that experience, I feel like nothing could possibly be harder. So what do I go and do? Get more involved!

I ran for and won Associated Student Government (ASG) Vice President. I am so excited to be going forward knowing that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to. This next year is going to be full of surprises and difficulties, I am sure. But I welcome the challenges knowing that I will only be bettering myself by helping to prepare for my future.

– Courtenay Schroeder, 7th Quarter, West Campus

Which tri is the hardest?

They say if you can get through second trimester here at Palmer in Davenport that you will be just fine the rest of the way. Well, as much as I hope this is true, I find that a month into third trimester, I am presented with yet another challenging tri.

It is overwhelming to look ahead, but I try to remind myself to take it day by day and remember why I am here. Although I believe this tri will be just as challenging as the first two, I think the one thing I have really learned to do is manage my time and apply myself much more efficiently. I now have much better study skills and much better time management, which allows me to have time to get involved in the fun things that Palmer has to offer.

I am starting to get more involved in the clubs offered on campus as well as attending seminars on weekends. This has allowed me to get more experience in palpation, set ups and X-ray analysis. Surrounding myself around practicing doctors and D.C. students continues to motivate and excite me as I go through this journey here at Palmer.

So each day I try to remind myself that, yes, each tri is going to be challenging in its own sort of way. But if I go into it with the right attitude and always remember why I am here, I can accept the challenge and succeed to the best of my ability.

– Bethany VanKirk, third tri, Davenport Campus

Taking time to smell the roses … and eat a marshmallow

(Note: This was written at the end of March)

Spring break starts today. Really it’s just a few extra days off. Most colleges get an entire week, but we only get Friday and Monday off. I think it is good, though, because as I prepare to enter the professional world, it’s not like I get an entire week off several times throughout the year.

“Charcoal” or golden brown? What’s your preference?

Since the beginning of the Trimester, I have been going and going and going. I haven’t been able to do anything really fun with my kids. I play with them when I get home from school, of course, but with recently taking (National) Boards then trying to squeeze studying for the first rounds of tests this Trimester, it has been hard to take my brain off focus mode to really play with them.

We went to the park today and had a blast. Totally worth it. The ground was still a little wet but no big deal–that is why we have a bath/shower in the house! After we got home, we roasted marshmallows over our gas stove. My girls were hilarious. I faintly remember when I liked to eat a “charcoal” marshmallow instead of a warm, golden brown, heated up marshmallow. Maybe that is the true sign and gateway into adulthood, and the gateway into parenthood is obliging your children and eating charcoal again. It was a great day.

– Dylan M Clarke

What drives me

Now that I have one full trimester behind me in the Academic Health Center (which houses Palmer’s outpatient clinic), I wanted to share with you what really drives me.

Turn the power on!

Looking back over my academic career here at Palmer, I’d love to tell you that the purpose and drive that brought me here has always remained at the forefront of my focus. But the reality is that there were more than a few points along the path that I found myself derailed if you will. If you want more on those derailment details feel free to ask when you come to campus for your visit (I’m a Campus Guide). But let’s get back to the topic of this blog post.

Having been in the Academic Health Center now for a trimester and starting to feel more comfortable with seeing patients from the community, I can tell you that I have been reinvigorated with a passion to help those around me understand the power of chiropractic. I want everyone to know how it can help them to have a nervous system that is functioning at its peek and thus filling their entire bodies with life enhancing energy and wellness. When I see that light come on, even a little, I know that I am fulfilling my mission in life. I am so thankful to Dr. Scott Frogley of Integrated Wellness for helping to open up my eyes to the power of chiropractic.

So when you get here to Davenport (or to San Jose or Port Orange) and start your Palmer journey, don’t lose site of what drives you. Stay true to your passion, hang in there and go out to change the world one adjustment at a time.

-Matt Sharples, 8th trimester, Davenport Campus

Yeah, it’s break time …

As a Palmer student, I love to learn and I love what I am doing, but I also love my breaks. I think they are so critical to my survival and to the survival of my fellow students. Before I started at Palmer, if I was asked what my favorite holiday was I would have told you Christmas. And while I still love that magic time of year, if you were to ask me today that same question I would now tell you that it is the break we get between spring and fall trimesters. It’s a little over three weeks of complete and utter relaxation. I love it and it is a great time to give my mind a much needed rest. It’s also a great time to visit with friends and family and reenergize my student batteries for the next trimester. I really want to emphasize the need to maximize those breaks so that you can be sure to be the best student you can as you proceed through your Palmer education. So in following my own advice, I am going to wrap this up and go become one with my sofa and watch a good movie. Any suggestions?

-Matt Sharples, 8th trimester, Davenport Campus

The iPad – the key to my success

It’s July 5th, 2010, and I am sitting in W216 (West Hall) with about 142 other first trimester students at Palmer College of Chiropractic as we enjoy the activities of orientation. I look around and wonder how on earth I am going to make it through this program. Luckily, I have first generation iPad with me and think that it will be a big key to my success here. Looking back, that thought was very, very prophetic. Since that day, I have upgraded my iPad a couple times and still use it on a daily basis in every class.

Now I am not presuming that an iPad is essential to everyone’s success at Palmer, but for those like me who love technology, I highly recommend one. I believe that not only will it serve you well while in school, I believe that it will have great use in my future practice with electronic health records and tracking patient care. But let’s get back to classes at Palmer and how an iPad can help you each and every day.

I want to tell you about three specific apps and how I feel they have made my life at Palmer a whole lot easier.

The first app that I use on my iPad to take notes every day with is called iAnnotate PDF. This app allows me to take notes just as if they were on paper but instead of having to print out notes from on the student portal and carry around multiple binders with note sets in them, I carry all my notes around in my iPad. I can highlight, jot down notes in the margin, bookmark important pages and create stamps for my notes. Believe me, it’s a lot lighter and more convenient. The other great thing about taking notes on an iPad like I do is that through iAnnotate PDF, I can search for specific subjects within the app as opposed to flipping through pages of printed notes.

The second app that I use is Flashcards. My first year at Palmer, I made well over a thousand flashcards. Thanks to this app, I didn’t need to carry around stacks of flashcards, but I kept them all in my iPad and even synced them to my iPhone so I always had them to study no matter where I was. And if I made a mistake on one of my flashcards, I didn’t have to throw that card away, I just edited it and kept on studying.

The third and final app that I have used through every trimester at Palmer is called iHomework. This app allows me to set up my schedule for all my classes with classroom assignments, teacher contact info and the ability to track all my grades. I always liked to know where I was as each trimester progressed, and it was especially helpful when finals rolled around.

Now the last thing that I wanted to mention is that recently Palmer invested in upgrading the wifi all over campus, and that makes using an iPad even better because now I can look up info while a teacher is lecturing on a subject if I feel I need more info rather than make a note to look it up later.

I definitely recommend that you invest in an iPad before you start. It has made my life a lot easier while I’ve been here, and I know that it will make yours easier as well.

No student is an island

No one is an island, but this one wouldn’t be bad for a day.

You may have heard it said that no man (woman) is an island, and I thought that for me. That was never more true than the day I walked through the doors on orientation day at Palmer College back in July of 2010.

I didn’t come from a chiropractic family and had just a sliver of understanding as to what chiropractic truly was and a passion for helping those around me. I felt really alone in a lot of ways, but luckily I had an amazing girlfriend who had made the move with me from Utah. So even though I felt alone, I wasn’t really.

But as 1st trimester began, I quickly found a couple fellow students who lived in the same building with me, and we formed a group that studied together, went to open labs together and stressed out together when exams and practicals came up. We rejoiced with each others successes and shared a shoulder to cry on when things weren’t going our way. Looking back, I really don’t know what I would of done had I not had those close friends.

And as we quickly approach graduation this year, I honestly can tell you that the friendships that I have made will last long beyond graduation on October 18, 2013 (not that I’m counting or anything).

Once you start your chiropractic education, whether it is at Palmer or one of the other schools, I encourage you to find some fellow students and bond together. Forge a friendship to help lighten the load. Becoming a chiropractor is a great journey and will be one of the greatest things you ever do. Best of luck to you in your chiropractic journey and should you have any questions, big or small, please leave a comment.

Take care and have a great day.

-Matt Sharples, 8th trimester, Davenport Campus

Let me offer you some advice …

Wow, how time flies. I just finished 8th trimester, and as I write this, I only have two trimesters left as a Palmer student before I venture out into the real world once again.

So you are reading this and probably think that I just want to brag about where I am and that the road ahead looks so very daunting for you, but honestly that is not the case. It really doesn’t seem that long ago when I was in your very shoes thinking to myself that I will never graduate from Palmer. Well, rest assured, many have done it before you and many will do it after you are sitting right where I am.

I think the best advice that I can give to you is to follow your heart and your passion. Palmer is a great chiropractic college, and I love it with all my heart. But it is not for every single individual desiring to become a chiropractor. I would advise you to trust your gut. I didn’t need to visit every school before I knew where I was to go for my education. I visited Palmer in March of 2010 and knew before I left that it was the perfect fit for me. I would recommend that you start with a visit to Palmer, since we are the Fountainhead of chiropractic and where it all began. We are rich in history and tradition, but we are also preparing for the future of our profession. The college is actively making changes to ensure that they offer the best education for the student body and producing the best chiropractors out there.

If you come to Palmer and don’t feel the immediate click that I did, then look at other colleges. The road to becoming a chiropractor is a long and challenging one, but it is very rewarding. My time here at Palmer has flown by, and I say that with all seriousness.

If you have any specific questions that you would like to ask me, feel free to contact me. And if you find yourself in the Quad Cities anytime soon, drop by the college and lets get you adjusted in the Academic Health Center.

Have a great day and best of luck in your future chiropractic endeavors.

-Matt Sharples, 9th Tri, Davenport Campus

Campus Guides fundraiser at Applebee’s

This past Saturday, we had a great event to raise money for our West Campus Guides. We had spent the previous two weeks selling breakfast vouchers for pancakes and bacon at Applebee’s. Those folks were nice enough to open their doors three hours before they normally open to accommodate breakfast to all of the people we sold vouchers to!

It became a great inter-club competition. Guides brought out their best salesmanship skills, and it was fun selling against my fellow peers. Once at Applebee’s, we set up the entire restaurant and then served everyone who bought a voucher. We had a great turn-out of almost a hundred people!

Folks were well satisfied, and although we didn’t get enough contestants for the all-you-can eat pancake challenge, we are hoping next year that will come to fruition. All in all it was a successful event in that we raised money for our club, provided an affordable and delicious breakfast to our customers, and we got to have fun talking to people on a beautiful Saturday morning. I’m excited for next year’s event and hopefully I can sell the most tickets!