The more I want to learn.


This is a tough program that stretches a person. I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone while at Palmer by just being here. I recently heard a quote that said something along the lines of, “once the mind gains new information and is stretched it can never again regain its original dimension.” The new dimension that I have been stretched to is this idea of what I am capable of. I have learned how to organize, focus, and prioritize better than I ever had to before. What I have enjoyed about this is that it has been a refining process. I am able to learn faster and comprehend more. My investigative skills of knowledge have expanded and the more I learn the more I want to learn. Seeing the personal development has been a very rewarding thing for me.

Dylan Clark – Iowa Campus

Remember: always take time to step back and enjoy the ride

Where has the time gone?

As I sit down to write this, I think about where the time has gone since I started at Palmer. I am almost done with my 6th quarter, just completed national boards, and gearing up for finals. I rarely take time to step back and look at all the time that has passed, all the exams I’ve crammed for, and all the memories I’ve made with my new friends. School has a way of doing that to you; it makes you focus on the moment, on cramming for the five tests you have that week, and not giving you much of a chance to look ahead. Before you know it, another set of midterms have passed and another quarter has come to an end. There are definitely times when I appreciate how fast the time flies by, but then there are others where I would like to just slam on the brakes and take this experience for what it is; a time where my friends will soon be my colleagues, where reading for pleasure happens only about twice a quarter, and making it to Friday without pulling an “all nighter” means it was a good week. Chiropractic school has a way of sucking you in; sometimes taking your focus off the big picture so you can make it just one more day. But, taking the time to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to see that you will be a health professional who will be positively changing lives on a daily basis without drugs and with just the use of your hands is an important thing to always remember. I constantly remind myself that this is just school, the real reward comes when I graduate and get the opportunity to better the lives of those who come to see me.

Ajay Iselin – West 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

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

I am SO stressed! But that’s okay

Hello! My name is Courtenay, and I am almost halfway through my sixth quarter here at Palmer’s West Campus. Man, am I stressed! Midterms are hitting full force, and so is the realization that Part I boards are right around the corner (end of the quarter with finals). Trying to balance school, friends and health can be challenging, especially in times like these. However, the great thing about my class is that we are all in this together, and everyone is so supportive! It makes the endless hours of studying seem not THAT bad.

The deeper I get into the curriculum, the more I get to learn adjustments and the better I get at them–so that is honestly what is getting me through right now. Regardless of how much studying I have to do, exams I have coming up, or the fact I need a nap SO bad doesn’t deter me from practicing my adjusting skills every chance I get. Seven more quarters to go, but who’s counting right?

Stress, organization, procrastination, diligence (aka The Life of a Student)

We are getting to that point in the tri again … it is Tuesday with three weeks to go in a 14-week trimester. In seventh trimester, since it is so busy, it is really nice that my Radiology IV class ends early this week. My 12:05 class is now a free period and added onto my 11:10 lunch to make for a longer study break during the day. Or I will use it to catch up on clinic paperwork or eat lunch with a friend! I think visceral disorders class is also done next week! Only two and a half to go, then finals! Though I have learned not to wish my time away and say ‘I can’t wait until this trimester is over,’ because the next one just may not be as peachy as that sweet upper tri-man said last year, and I know I can learn to be happy in the moment. (Right?! Eventually?!)

Last night I felt frazzled as I left the gym, even though I thought it would help calm me down and burn off some steam. I have been thinking way too much about my schedule lately and letting it get to me and not acting upon it. How about instead of staring at the pages and organizing it, or procrastinating and cleaning your house, Kaileigh, you open your book and READ what you need to learn this week? It is funny how I have to keep learning the same lessons … take care of the small things, and life becomes easy and I love and enjoy every second. Palmer is fantastic if you can be diligent enough to study and get the small things you need to get done each and every day. It makes life so much easier, and then you are more prepared for tests when they come your way, you don’t have to catch up so much because you aren’t stressed so it is easy to listen in class. Also, you feel like you deserve a beautiful Friday night off with friends and maybe even a fun Saturday if you have worked hard during the week to do well.

Landslide, Iowa snowstorm, Cali earthquake, let’s shake things up a bit, though, because it isn’t always as easy to ‘stay on top of things’ for me as I make it sound. Especially by week 12 in January, when I feel like staying in bed allllll day when I wake up to an alarm, on a wee bit o’ sleep, and can feel the cold air pouring in my not-so-sealed-up window. Not so easy to make sure you keep school a priority each and every day for two years. I think this has happened to me almost every trimester, but I start to get a little down around week 12 and talk to my friends about what is going on, and we figure out that I am trying to do waaaaaaay too much yet again. So I clear my schedule, cancel a few plans, get to work on what needs to be done, do some reorganizing, and I’m back in the game!

The good news is, by seventh trimester I am starting to recognize this habit of mine, to try and do too much, a little earlier, before I call my mom sobbing and emailing her that I am having a total meltdown, hahaha! She said that two early trimesters in a row (maybe second and third) I emailed her with the same subject line of ‘breakdown’ about three weeks before the end of the tri. Sooooo Palmer isn’t an easy walk in the park. But if it were easy, everyone would do it. We as graduates of chiropractic college will get to reap the rewards of helping people move toward functioning at their optimum potential everyday.

In clinical psych class, Dr. Littrell tells us we will have patients genuinely thanking us every single day. We will get to contribute to improving the quality of their lives! That to me is worth a few weeks of feeling down and being sick of studying a couple times a year. Stay on top of your game, manage your time well, be disciplined, but have fun on weekends, listen in class, laugh with friends when you are delirious from studying, eat food that is nutritious for you, don’t feel guilty when you want something sickeningly sweet or heavenly salty, move your body, go to sleep, have a drink, and love yourself!  Maybe not in that order. Haha. Palmer is amazing place to learn a lot about yourself and go through fantastically fun times with wonderful people and gain really close relationships. We are in this together, my Palmer peeps! As my soon to be sister-in-law would say … love y’all!

~Kaileigh

2nd tri: Attitude is everything

I’ve noticed these days that when someone asks me what trimester I’m in and I reply with, “Second,” his or her typical response is, “Second tri is rough.”  Yes, the dreaded second trimester is upon me. I’ve been warned that this is the hardest trimester at Palmer, and so far it has lived up to its name. However, in the midst of the negativity that surrounds second trimester, I choose to be positive. I choose to attack it head-on. I choose to look at it as a rite of passage. Yes, this trimester demands a lot, but I won’t back down. No one said becoming a doctor was going to be easy. I’m going to earn every bit of that title, and I choose to be positive while doing it.

– Brooke Peters

7th tri, check! Reflections on my first two years

Looking back on the last two years of Chiropractic school, I can see how far my classmates and I have come. At the beginning of 7th trimester when I was entering clinic, I could see how much further I still had to go. However, with 7th trimester now almost behind, I can wipe my brow and say, “I did it.”

Of all of the trimesters 1st and 7th are perhaps the most daunting. In first trimester you are wondering not only if you can do it, but if you can put forth the effort for three years. Then in 7th trimester, as you are asked to go from student to clinician, you ask yourself again, “Can I do this?” It’s a big leap from student to intern, from regurgitating information to critical thinking. At the beginning of 6th trimester if you had asked me if I was ready for clinic I would have said, “No way! I don’t know anything yet.” However, in those short four months I feel like I went through a metamorphosis and changed from just a student to a student doctor.

The same thing happened again during 7th trimester. I entered into it with doubt and excitement. Now that its almost over, I realize that it really wasn’t that big of a deal. I was prepared. I just needed to learn to trust in what I had learned in my classes, apply it and have confidence in myself. After all, the root word of education is educere, which means “to draw forth from within.” For success in the clinic, let go of some of that learned knowledge and let your intuition guide you.

It’s amazing to reflect back on the last two years of school. I came to Palmer without a science background. First trimester was like traveling to a different country. I didn’t speak the language, I didn’t know the people, and finding my way around was somewhat difficult. However, now that I am two years into the program with graduation on the horizon, I can’t believe the progress that I have made towards being a doctor of Chiropractic. So what do I know now that I wish I would’ve known then?

I can still remember 1st tri. It was overwhelming, and it took all I had just to keep up with my class load. Every week I would say, “I’ll go to club this week” or “that seminar sounds like fun.” However, I chose to stay focused on school. Now I wish I would have gone to more clubs and invested more time into trying out different techniques. I shyed away from technique clubs because I wanted to wait to learn a technique in the technique classes within our curriculum. I didn’t want to learn them wrong and then have to unlearn them. However, now that I am an upper tri student, I find it hard to make it to clubs due to other obligations. So now I feel as if I’ve missed a great opportunity to take advantage of the some of the extra things that Palmer offers.

On the other hand, I have taken three of the technique electives. Now I run into the challenge of choosing between techniques in the clinic. I also have the challenge of not only practicing and becoming proficient with Palmer Package, but also with the three other techniques that I have taken. Sometimes I wonder if I have spread myself too thin, but then I remember that education is a lifelong process. Once I leave Palmer I’ll be glad that I took these electives because I’ll have the rest of my life to become proficient at them. Learning does not stop the day you walk across the stage and receive your diploma. It really just begins. As inhabitants of the earth, we are life-long students. There is always something new to learn.

Even though I’m not completely through the program yet (only a year to go!), it’s been fun to reflect back on the last two years. I encourage you to do the same because no matter where you are at in the curriculum, it will surprise you how far you have come along.

– Annie Bernstein (Editor, The Beacon student newspaper)