Helen and Christine: Palmer staffers supreme

Helen Cruz and Christine Beaudry: Two names you probably haven’t heard – but you will know them well once you come to Palmer!

Helen Cruz is on the security team at Palmer, and she “holds down the fort” in the parking lot at the Academic Health Center (AHC). Helen is always here to brighten our days. Her spirit glows like a candle! I just walked by her today, and she gave me a hug! I commented on the humidity today, and she said her hair is getting frizzy because of it, and we laughed. Then she told me she loved me. This took me by surprise. I remember thinking that it is bold of her to say that. But you know what? It makes people feel good. I am not the only person Helen has reached out to in this way.

I said, “I love you, too, Helen, and we can let go of the fear of saying it more often!” She told me how she says “I love you” to strangers. Then she made a fist with her hand and patted her heart twice, then pointed with an extended second digit. I laughed and thought that she was so cute for making “gang signals” about love! But Helen wasn’t being silly. She was being utterly honest.

She said, “Spread love. Pay it forward. Do something nice for someone who is not expecting it, and watch them light up with joy.” What an amazing soul! Thank you, Helen!

Christine Beaudry is another Palmer employee I love to see. Christine works at the front desk inside the AHC. She is the first person many people see when they walk into Palmer.

Whenever I see Chris, she warms my heart because she is so willing to help anyone and everyone. It is her job to stay at the information desk and help guide visitors, but she does more than that. She is a connector. You are always greeted with a smile, and her willingness to go out of her way is so amazing!

Before we give campus tours, we Campus Guides check in at her desk. I love to see her when I have a tour to give. Thank you, Chris!

Talk about two women working at Palmer that are making a difference!

As for me, at the moment I am on a break from class. On Tuesdays and Fridays at 9:20 a.m, all students in all ten trimesters get a break. It’s campus-wide.

Whoops! I just remembered! I have to get to a room for thoracolumbar. We are meeting to do a work up involving motion and static palpation, visualization, instrumentation and findings so that we can get X-rays of our spines. Then we can practice adjusting each other in sixth trimester.

Love it! Gotta go, though! Later, gators!

Kaileigh Strath
6th trimester student, Davenport Campus

It’s a small, healthy world

Within the chiropractic profession, it doesn’t take long to figure out that a lot of us know each other in this network of health-oriented individuals. A lot of us are at school because our lives were personally impacted by a chiropractor we know from home or somewhere else. We all have our stories of how we were introduced to chiropractic, as well as how we discovered it would be the right job for us to pursue.

Along this journey, I quickly realized that a lot of us Palmer students and alumni are interconnected based on where we’re from, whom we’ve met in classes, who we’ve met at clubs, who we’ve met at seminars and in other learning experiences.

In my case, my dad is a 1982 Palmer graduate, so this web goes back a little further in time. Currently at Palmer, I know of at least six students who are children of my dad’s Palmer rugby teammates. It’s cool to see these students in the hall now that we are here and following in our fathers’ footsteps.  It’s neat to think that all of our dads enjoy their profession so much that their passion for chiropractic and the lifestyle that accompanies the paradigm has influenced all of us to choose the same path.

I have had conversations with these six students as well as other “chiro kids,” and it has been great to say, “Yes! I was never vaccinated, either,” and “Yes, I was adjusted since the day I was born. I’m so lucky and I love it!” And “Yes, I was one of the weirdos whose lunch box contained grapes and carrot sticks instead of Dunkaroos and Doritos.”

Coming here and becoming a part of the “chiropractic bubble” has been an amazing experience because instead of being the oddball for trying to eat well, work out often and get adjusted, we are all encouraged to do so since these are part of the “norm.”

A recent Friday also reminded me of how it is a small world within the chiropractic realm. My friend from New Jersey came to Palmer for a Friday visit with his father since he is positive he will attend chiropractic school and is highly considering Palmer. It was awesome to hear that the reason he is so interested in the profession is that my very own dad has been his chiropractor since he was three years old.

It was a great weekend for my friend and his dad to visit since it was the Bix weekend, and there was a lot going on. I explained that every weekend in Davenport doesn’t involve 14,000 people running a race here and live music in the streets, so they picked a great one to be here! It was a great opportunity for my friend to meet my fellow classmates and get a feel for some of the summertime activities in the Quad Cities. Now if he decides to come to Palmer in Davenport, this network of interconnected chiropractors and chiropractic students will grow a little more!

Kelly Serra
7th trimester student, Davenport Campus

‘Summer Camp’ for chiropractors

“Palmer is like a summer camp for people our age. We are a bunch of strangers from all over the country that picked up and moved to Davenport for one common goal,” said my friend from New Mexico. As we were sunning at a park that overlooks the Mississippi River, my friend from New Mexico, my friend from Montana and myself, a New Jersey native, were thinking about this concept.

We reminisced about going to summer camps when we were younger and how neat it was to meet people from other areas of the states or regions we were from. The three of us then related this to how we are essentially doing the same thing now, but on a greater scale.

We realized how cool it is that we are from all different areas of the country, but have a lot of similar experiences, goals and interests. How cool is it that we have the opportunity to converge with people from all over while working hard towards the same goal of becoming the best doctors we can be? Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to say they have done something like this in their lifetime.

It takes a lot to leave friends and family behind at home while embarking on the journey of chiropractic school, but ultimately it is worth the time spent here. Someday when we are out in the field, helping many patients, it will be well worth all of our time at Palmer. We are currently living right where chiropractic began and right where many of the best chiropractors went to school. When we graduate and say, “I went to Palmer in Davenport” everyone will think, “Wow, you picked up and moved to Iowa to learn from the best.”

While we spend our time here at Palmer, it is important to learn not only from our professors but also from our peers. As we have these few years together, we spend a lot of time with each other in classes, while studying, and while enjoying time off. During all of these moments, we must soak it all in and teach each other about our experiences as well as learn from what others have experienced. Palmer is a great “extended summer camp,” and I’m so glad that I am fortunate enough to be here.

Kelly Serra, 6th trimester student
Davenport Campus

Ready. Set. Go!!!

My blog will chronicle my adventures in Mississippi as I intern with a Doctor of Chiropractic in a Veteran’s Affairs Hospital.  I do this so that friends and family may keep a pulse on what I am up to in the south and also so that future recipients of this internship can have an idea of what to expect and become aware of special issues that may present themselves.  I plan to post once a week, most likely each Sunday.  So hold on….here we go!

I applied for the VA/DOD internship program in 7th trimester for many reasons:

  1. I felt the experience would be invaluable for my growth as a healthcare provider by allowing me to see a broader spectrum of issues that patients may present with and giving me a taste of what real life practice could be.
  2. I have worked in the hospital setting before and am familiar/comfortable with that type of setting.
  3. I feel that providing chiropractic care in a hospital setting is an amazing service to patients and hope to see this trend spread throughout the nation.
  4. I have a pipe dream of practicing chiropractic on the military base in Seoul Korea so that my boyfriend Kyle and I can broaden our knowledge of Tae Kwon Do.

The application process involves an initial interview with the program director at Palmer, Dr. Schrad, and then you wait until a spot opens up at one of the various sites around the country.  If a spot opens, you then interview with the DC at that site and are possibly chosen after that.  I passed the initial screening interview and my name was put in the applicant pool for all of the DCs to choose from when a spot opens.  After that, I didn’t hear from any of the DCs for 9 months!  Just as I was accepting the fact that I probably was not chosen to go to any of the sites, I was notified that I had two interviews (one for Texas and one for Mississippi) during the week of homecoming at Palmer.  So amidst the whirlwind of homecoming, I met with Dr. Pavalock of the Mississippi site for an interview and a day or two later was officially notified of my acceptance!

Since finding out that I was accepted, I have been on a mad scramble to get ready to leave.  The first obstacle was finding a place to live in the area, as housing is not provided through the program but helpful suggestions are provided by Dr. Schrad.  After a solid week of leaving countless messages and receiving many calls reporting lack of vacancies, I hit the jack pot and was able to find a lady renting a room and attached bathroom in her condo near the VA.  The place is fully furnished so I only have to pack clothes, school stuff, and toiletries…thank goodness.

The next obstacle was making sure I had all of my clinic requirements finished up to pass this trimester as well as finish up any pending paperwork I may have had.  This trimester is scheduled to end October 20th with finals scheduled for the 14th -20th BUT I was scheduled to start in Mississippi on October 12th…so I scrambled to finish up all of my assignments for each class and I re-arranged my finals so that I took them all the 1st week of October.  I also had to track down my vaccination records and have a tuberculosis PPD test performed and read to take with me to the VA for their records.

As if all of that was not enough, a year ago in November I started a Tae Kwon Do club at Palmer which has grown rapidly and turned into more than I ever envisioned it being.  Since finding out in August that I was leaving for my 10th trimester I have been preparing the club to be passed to the next leaders.  This process has included writing a constitution; electing an executive committee; organizing all of the club documents; outlining procedures for intake of new members, testing, and ordering supplies; making sure the next head instructor knows the material members need to learn to be able to test; and sharing my vision of the club with the new executive committee and the club advisor.

Whew!  I think that pretty much sums up my journey towards this amazing experience so far.  Thank you for reading.  My next post will likely be towards the end of October after I have made it to Mississippi and gotten a few days under my belt in the VA.

Alicia Ruiz, 9th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

My Homecoming

Homecoming was such a blast! I went to my first Palmer homecoming last August as a prospective student and it was tons of fun getting to attend this year as an actual Palmer student. Even more so because I was able to interact with the new prospective students – to hang out and share my experience with them, answer their questions, and pass on my enthusiasm as campus guides did for me last summer.

Homecoming festivities started for me on Wednesday with the opportunity to have lunch at Front Street Brewery with a Palmer alumnus from my home state, Washington! Sometimes I feel far from home out here in Iowa so it was exciting and refreshing to be able to spend that time with Dr. Houk, hear about his time as a student in Davenport and the great success he has had since graduating. Something so great about Palmer is the opportunities you have to meet with alumni and learn from their experience and there is no greater place than homecoming to take advantage of that!

I left from lunch at Front Street (which I totally recommend if you are looking for a great place to go out to eat!) to meet up with some friends from my class at the barbeque and talent show in the campus courtyard put on by student council. That was one of mine and my family’s favorite memories from last summer and again, it was fun to be there as a current student, recognize people participating in the talent show, and be able to hang out with all my friends. There was food and snow cones and cotton candy and tons and tons of fun!

The eventful weekend continued into the next morning for the official opening ceremonies of Homecoming 2011. I feel like opening ceremonies are a wonderful time for prospective, current and past students to come together, hear about what is going on in the world of chiropractic and to get re-fired or fired up about our incredible profession. I don’t feel like my excitement for chiropractic fades much, especially getting to be around it every day here at school, but I just LOVE hearing about the research being done to support my passion and the way that chiropractic is reaching the world today.

There is no place I would rather be than a student here at Palmer! I worked for years to get here and homecoming this year was just an affirmation of what I am doing here as a student and hope to be as a future doctor of chiropractic.

Also, if you don’t want to wait to visit Palmer until next Homecoming in August 2012, come to one of our prospective student events. We’re having a big Saturday Campus Visit on November 5. Hope to see you soon!

Devanni Partridge, 3rd Trimester
Davenport Campus