My Clinic Abroad experience

Adjusting in the clinic

Adjusting in the clinic

I was able to talk briefly about our journey to Clinic Abroad. Well now I have time to actually talk about my Clinic Abroad experience. I had the privilege to go to Bequia, a small island in the Caribbean off of St. Vincent in the Grenadines. We were there for about 10 days providing care to the people of Bequia. I can honestly say I have never had an experience quite like this one. Everything was absolutely amazing.

We arrived on a Thursday around 5 p.m. We got to our hotel and had dinner then went down to the ocean front and got to see a steal drums performance. Every night a different restaurant had live music and dancing. Thursday night was the steel drums.

The kids!

The kids!

Friday morning was our first day of clinic. We started almost every morning going to the different schools on the island and seeing the kids. I can’t even accurately explain how excited the kids were to see us. We would have children from other schools cheering as we walked by, hoping we were coming to their school that day. At lunch we would get stopped by kids asked when we were coming to their schools.

We did a fundraiser before our trip and sold little stuffed bears to give to the preschoolers. They loved them and the stickers we gave them. It was really cool to see such young people get so excited about something we take for granted sometimes.

Playing with the kids at school

Playing with the kids at school

That afternoon we opened up our clinic on the veranda at our hotel. Our view was overlooking the ocean. We couldn’t have asked for a better set up. We ended up seeing so many people and you could tell these people were just so grateful we saw people do things they haven’t been able to do in years. We saw people get out of pain they’ve had for months. We had people come back and tell us that visiting us last year changed their lives and they haven’t been in pain since, but they just wanted to come see us and get checked just to be sure. Everyone was so happy to see us, and after we had been there a couple days, we would get stopped on the streets and thanked for being there or asked what our hours were because they wanted to come see us.

We got to be immersed in the culture. And the food was delicious. I tried things I would have never thought to have tried. I found a favorite vegetable I’ll never find again. I am terrified of sharks, so as a personal victory one day I ate shark! I tried conch, barracuda, various island fruits and had the most delicious burrito and burger I’ve ever eaten.

Hiking up the volcano

Hiking up the volcano

We spent every night at the ocean with the most beautiful views. We went on a sailboat cruise to the Tobega Keys and snorkeled at World’s End Reef, which was just absolutely amazing, even though I got slightly sea sick. The night before we left, six of us hiked the volcano on St. Vincent.

The travel back was a little rough. We had planes delayed and missed flights and more delays and sitting on runways for hours, but we made the best of it. After getting home 24 hours later than we were supposed to, we still had a great time with wonderful memories.

The beautiful beach

The beautiful beach

The first rule of Clinic Abroad is to be flexible. We learned that first-hand on the way back, but even with that, I have nothing to complain about.

I can’t express how grateful I am for this experience. I wouldn’t have changed anything. If you ever get an opportunity to do something like this, just do it. You will not be disappointed, and the people are so grateful. I can’t pick a favorite moment–I can’t pick out what I liked the most because it was all just so perfect. I went with a group of classmates and left with a group of friends. I watched my classmates transition from students to amazing doctors, and I am more than happy to call each and every one of them my colleagues and friends. We really changed lives while we were there, and I think our lives were changed as well.

An experience I will never forget

An experience I will never forget

We all learned to be a little more grateful, a little more appreciative and a little more humble.

-Allisha

Another tri done!

My new home on campus ... the Davenport Clinic in the Academic Health Center!

My new home on campus … the Davenport Clinic in the Academic Health Center!

The trimester has come and gone once again. These last couple of weeks have just been preparing for just that–the end of the trimester. We haven’t really been doing much except spending more time in clinic. The 9th and 10th trimester students are finishing up their adjusting credits, so my trimester is starting to take over more of their patients.

Other than seeing patients we’ve gotten through finals. This is the first trimester we haven’t had a full week of finals. Our last test was on Tuesday, then we flew out Wednesday for Clinic Abroad. I went to clinic in the morning, saw a few patients and had to be at the airport at 2 p.m. More on that to come!

Eighth trimester flew by. Everyone says it’s the most laid back trimester, and finally something I was told so long ago in first trimester has been right! I really enjoyed this trimester finally getting into the outpatient clinic seeing patients with more complex cases and not being in class all day! At first I was having a hard time dealing with all my free time. I wasn’t sure what to do with all of it, I got over that quite quickly with a lot of netflix and naps. I had 7 trimesters of naps to catch up on and 8th trimester was a great time for that.

That being said, I’ve had a great time in my first trimester in the outpatient clinic. I have seen a wide variety of patients all making improvements and some already fully recovered. I’ve used skills I didn’t think I would use much. Most surprisingly I went into clinic thinking I would be using mostly one technique, and I have actually used a wide variety of adjusting techniques. The one I thought I wanted to use the most, I probably used the least. It is all about finding what fits best for you and your patients, and that might not be the same thing for every case. I’m excited to see what 9th trimester brings.

Now, I’m off to Bequia!

Flip! I’m going to be in clinic more than classrooms

We went on a clinic tour of the Academic Health Center (better known as the AHC) with our new staff doctors. This gave us an opportunity to meet our staff doctor and ask them a few questions. It’s a little weird already going into Level One clinic. Most days I forget I’m not in first trimester anymore. It’s weird saying I’m going into eight tri when people ask.

The great news is my schedule for next trimester is beautiful. Most days I’m done by noon except on Tuesdays and Thursdays when I have class until 2:45, which is still way better than 3:40 like the last seven trimesters! On Mondays, I only have one class and it’s a lab! It’s going to be sooo nice not having to be in class all day then go to clinic for four hours after eight hours of sitting in a classroom. This is the trimester where it flips. We’re in clinic more than we’re in class, which is definitely preferred.

So anyway we got a tour of the outpatient clinic and saw where we were going to be spending most of our time. It was really helpful, even though I’m sure when it comes time, I’m still going to have no idea where to find anything. So if you see me running around frantically, I’m probably lost. I usually am.

It was really cool getting a glimpse of what is to come. There is a lot to be excited about within the next year!

-Allisha

I’m going on Clinic Abroad!

We had our first meeting for Clinic Abroad last week. This was just a welcome meeting that gave us the basic information of our trip and generally what we needed to know before we leave. I got accepted to go to Bequia in February! We got to see who else was going to be going on the trips with us and sign up for roommates.

Bequia is a small island in the Grenadines, where we will be providing care to a lot of school-aged children. I can’t wait for this opportunity. I remember first hearing about Clinic Abroad and saying to myself, “No matter what, I’m doing that!” It’s a little unreal that it’s actually happening. Only one more trimester before we leave. I should probably start thinking about what to pack!

I’m just kidding. It’s a little early for that, but I did put a countdown on my phone until we go! 128 days 37 minutes and 9 seconds from right now.

I think what I’m most excited about is to see the excitement from the people of Bequia about chiropractic. Here in the States there is still negativity towards our profession, and it seems like on any given day you can get into an argument with someone on the topic. On Clinic Abroad they’re so accepting and excited that you’re there to help them and they embrace it fully. Or so I’m told. I can’t wait to be able to give them the care they have been waiting for. I know it’s going to be life-changing.

-Allisha

Precepting, Clinic Abroad and a wedding

These last couple of weeks have been quite busy. Although there hasn’t been anything too out of the ordinary going on, just lots of beginning of the trimester things.

We had a meeting about precepting last week. In tenth trimester you are able to leave campus and go work in a doctor’s office in almost all of the states. Even though that isn’t for another three trimesters, we are supposed to be thinking now about where we want to go and try to contact a couple of doctors in that area and meet with them before we fill out the paperwork and make sure we are eligible.

I’m looking at trying to stay around my hometown or possibly going to Ames or Ankeny (Iowa), which is about three hours from where I am from. I’m going to try and start getting stuff together to contact them this week and get dates set up to meet up with potential doctors so I can have that aspect figured out. I only have about a year left to get everything done, and it’s seeming like I won’t have enough time to do it all. The sooner I get a start the better.

We also have to start thinking about Clinic Abroad, which I would really like to do. I already have a passport and the necessary things for that, but I am only able to go  after next trimester because I am getting married during our ninth trimester break.

So I have three major things to have sorted out within the next year and get to top it all off with board exams. So it’s shaping up to be one busy trimester! Although busy, it will be a lot of fun. A lot of exciting things are happening!

Activator, a hog roast and Redband coffee

Redband Coffee Company (photo from https://www.facebook.com/RedbandCoffee)

Redband Coffee Company (photo from https://www.facebook.com/RedbandCoffee)

This weekend was quite busy. I had a lot of things to attend, but being the beginning of the trimester, it usually is busier with events.

The elective I am taking this trimester started last weekend, so I was in class from 8 a.m. until 6 p.m. learning all I could about the Activator technique. I have no real experience with Activator Methods, so it was all new to me and very interesting. We had a lot of hands-on in the course since Activator does a lot of pressure checking and stress checking. This is just the basic course. There are two other courses that get more in-depth, but those aren’t offered on campus.

Even though it was a short week, it seemed really long having just gotten back from break and trying to get into the swing of things (then having class all day on Saturday and Sunday). I made it through class, and I learned a lot, so we celebrated Saturday night at the Delta Delta Pi annual hog roast.

Every year DDPi puts on a hog roast for all students during the summer trimester to welcome everyone back to classes. I’ve been to two now, and both have been a lot of fun. This one was special in particular because we had a lot to celebrate that night. It was my friend’s birthday, another friend had just competed in Talk the Tic, we were starting another trimester, and another friend was back in town.

They had a lot of really great food and later in the night there was a special performance by Axis and Atlas. Axis and Atlas are a band that a couple 6th trimester students put together not that long ago, and they make special appearances at various events on campus. This is the second time I have seen them play. They have also performed at Homecoming. That was a lot of fun. They did a great job. Everyone was really into the music, dancing and having a good time.

Redband breakfast sandwich (photo from https://www.facebook.com/RedbandCoffee)

Redband breakfast sandwich (photo from https://www.facebook.com/RedbandCoffee)

Sunday it was back to the classroom at 8 a.m. to jump right back into Activator Methods. My friend and I had to take a short break and get some breakfast, so we grabbed a breakfast sandwich from the Redband Coffee Company downtown. Let me tell you, that sandwich was delicious. If you haven’t had one of those yet, you better get down there ASAP and try their breakfast sandwiches.

After we had breakfast, we were full force ready to jump back in and start learning again, at least for a short while. We finished up learning the rest of the basic protocal and practiced the rest of the afternoon. We forfeited our lunch break to get out of class at about 1 p.m., and I went home and napped for a real long time. Once I was able to get out of bed, I went to hot yoga, got my butt kicked, came home and had to start studying.

Although it was busy, it was a great weekend! The next couple of months are going to be just as busy with a lot of fun things going on. It’s a great time to be in Davenport, Iowa!

Allisha

Who’s Spizzed up?

Spine prize

Spine prize

PSAF put on their trimesterly event last Friday, Spizz Night. Spizz stands for Spizzerinctum, a word B.J. Palmer made popular to mean enthusiasm or excitement about chiropractic. Usually the event includes two speakers from out in the field to tell the students about their philosophy and things they have come across in practice and get us all fired up as the trimester starts.

This Spizz Night had the same idea, but the first round of speakers were part of our own student body who are competing in the Talk the Tic competition. We had three finalists in this round and all did an amazing job. The winner gets sent to Life College in Atlanta to compete for the Talk the Tic title. This year we sent our very own Jenny Lane. I wish her great luck in Atlanta. I know she will represent Palmer well. We also had a doctor from out in the field come and talk with us. He is the father of another student here at Palmer. It was also a very great talk.

Earlier in the event there was a vendor fair. There were several groups on campus talking to students about their clubs. There were also booths set up for the undergraduate studies, Advocare and Standard Process. PSAF also provided everyone with dinner … a delicious taco bar.

There was a pretty good turn out this trimester for the event, and I had a very good time, despite not winning anything (prize give-aways). I don’t think I’ve won anything anytime I’ve gone to Spizz Night. That doesn’t stop me, though, because I always enjoy being there and always seem to get something out of the great speakers they bring in. I did have two friends that won prizes. One won $50 cash and the other won a goodie bag from Standard Process, equipped with a back massager, a cold/hot pack and some vitamins. They also had prizes of gift cards and various other items, and every year they raffle off a spine for one of the first trimester students.

More soon,

Allisha

Back to school!

The first day back to school. It’s usually the most laid back day but can also be pretty stressful because everything is put into perspective on what you will have to get done in the next four months. And it looks like I will be having a lot to get done.

This trimester is full of a lot of fun and not so fun things. We have the regular trimesterly Spizz Night, where my friend will be giving her Talk the Tic speech again. The elective I’m taking starts this weekend. We have Homecoming in about a month, which is always a lot of fun. And then there’s board review, our clinic induction ceremony, then, of course, National Boards.

It’s a lot to come back to after the summer break. I had a wonderful time, and I got a lot done for my wedding, I went on a couple of vacations and got to see the new addition to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter in Orlando, Fla. Which means I’m still tired from my vacation, and, looking back, I probably should have done a little more resting.

So I have already been through half a day of classes, and I’m already ready for a nap. Only four more classes to go! Which means I get to hear variations of the same syllabus four more times! Thats just fine,though I’m not sure I could handle jumping into actual school work right now. Trying to ease into the trimester over here. In our 7:30 a.m. class, Differential Diagnosis, we did an in-class activity worksheet recalling all the things we learned last trimester. It was exhausting, and I’m not sure I was fully awake. I forgot what 7:30 felt like.

– Allisha

First side posture adjustment!

Yesterday was another exciting day! I got to adjust in pelvic again! We had just learned side posture, so I figured I would give that a go after my initial work up and determining that my patient was in fact subluxated.

Side posture is challenging, but I had the assisting doctor in our class walking me through it. On the first attempt, I had a good thrust but poor control over my patients thigh. On the second attempt, I had fixed my control but had a lousy thrust. On the third attempt, I was able to equal both out and my patient said she felt it move! I am hoping that’s the case and she isn’t just trying to be nice!

Nonetheless, it was really exciting and I’m happy I was able to have the opportunity to try out side posture in the classroom in a controlled situation with feed back before I got into clinic and had to try it on one of my patients–and literally have no idea what I’m suppose to be doing or what the adjustment even feels like when I am doing it.

As this week comes to and end and with next week being a short week before finals (and I know I’ve said it a million times), things are really coming into perspective for me. I have finished more trimesters than I have left. That’s crazy to think about. My time here has gone so fast and has been so incredible. I’ve learned so much and have done so much and there’s still so much to learn and so much to do.

This trimester seriously has been the quickest one yet, and it’s a terrifying thought if the next four are going to go that fast because I can’t help but think, “What do I do when I am done?” But I have confidence that I will be prepared when I walk out of those doors as a doctor for whatever comes my way.

-Allisha

Exams, TIC and Faculty Appreciation Day

(written 5/28/14) We had a long weekend last weekend it having been Memorial Day weekend. I spent the weekend doing a lot of napping and very little studying. I had all intentions of using our extra day for extra studying, but it ended up being incredibly hot in my apartment, so I decided sleeping most of the day was more appealing.

The majority of our testing is done, just a few more practicals and quizzes left, and then we set into finals. I will start studying for those sometime this week. Although with this week being a short week, I’m losing track of time more quickly and less studying gets done. Either way, it was nice to have a little bit of a break before I need to jump into the hectic week that we call finals.

Today was Faculty Appreciation Day, which means not only do we get to recognize the important people on this campus that make this program possible, we also got free food! It was awesome, and I ate way too much. On today’s menu we had chicken and burgers. Three different types of burgers turkey, beef and black bean. The turkey burger and chicken were delicious. We also got salad and a bag of chips, which were also just as equally as good.

Tonight is the “Talk the TIC” competition where students get up in front of the student body and give a 10-minute talk about chiropractic and health. The students that attend get to vote on a winner, then the finalists get to present at Spizz Night, and the winner at Spizz gets to go on to compete against other schools in Atlanta, Ga. I will not be competing, but I have a friend that is, so I will be there to cheer everyone on and come back to tell all of you about it. I believe there are nine students competing, and I know a few of them personally and think they will all do very well.

Only 2 weeks and one day until SUMMER!!!

-Allisha