The end of April and most of May was dedicated to studying for Part IV Boards. Part IV is the last of the National Board exams we are expected to take. I took them on May 15 and 16. I was lucky to test on Friday and Saturday. Some of my classmates had to test Friday and Sunday, meaning they got an extra day to study for Sunday’s exam but they also didn’t get that extra day after to relax and unwind. So I was very happy to test and have it over with and have Saturday night and Sunday to just relax and try and declutter my brain.
Part IV is the practical portion of the Board exams, so it’s formatted differently than all the other Board exams. We’re tested over orthopedic and neurologic exams, physical exams and technique. There are 25 rooms where we are given real cases with actors who portray real life conditions that will present in our offices. We’re graded on how well we perform the exams, if we can diagnose the condition, if we know the follow up care, if we are professional and on how we interact with our patient.
The practical portion took about three hours for us to get through, but you’re not allowed to leave the test site until everyone in the country has finished testing (there are testing sites across the U.S.). Lucky for me I only had to stick around for an extra hour and a half. The first group that tested had to stay on campus for, like, five hours after their exam. They watched quite a few movies, from what I understand.
Anyway, the exam was tough, but I feel like I was prepared enough in my education and what I studied to do well. Unfortunately I won’t know for six weeks until the results come back to us. That’s Boards for ya! Take some of the worst exams of your life, study for weeks and don’t know how you did for a month and a half after you’ve taken it.
The good news is, the Palmer Davenport testing site has a very good pass rate, and I’m taking that as we are taught well and we know what we are talking about. Another great reason to choose Palmer!
So I mentioned that I took the clinical OSCE, and after you’re graded on it you have to go through and review your tapes and watch yourself perform the exams. This happens a few weeks after you take the exam, and so I had my OSCE review a couple weeks ago and it just seems so weird watching myself. Those awkward silences were just as awkward in the video as they were in the room that day.
Overall, though, I was pleased with how I did and I think I did quite well. I noticed a couple of things that I forgot to do. I was sort of dreading having to watch myself because I was thinking, “I know this is just going to go terribly.” I didn’t want to see myself being all frazzled trying to get through this test. At the time, you’re not sure if you’re acting awkward or not because you’re nervous about taking the test, and I just really felt like I would get in there, watch myself on the tape and see that I was just doing terribly.
Luckily, that was not the case. It turns out I actually know what I am doing! And I have learned quite a bit while I’ve been here.
I had the first part of my OSCE exams this week. In our 8th trimester, we have to take two exams that allow us to go onto Level II clinics and eventually graduate. One portion is a clinical aspect where you go in and perform a full evaluation on a mock patient. The second portion is a radiology portion. I had to take my radiology portion this week. It’s done on a computer, and we’re given 10 different cases with films then asked questions over the cases. Then we have to identify what the most significant diagnosis is and how we would manage that patient’s care.
It wasn’t so bad. I wish I had studied more, but life calls sometimes and you just run out of time. I don’t have to take the clinical portion until Dec. 4, so I’m going to start studying for that soon so I am more prepared for that one than I was for the radiology portion. Really, though, these two exams have been all I’ve really had to study for this trimester so far, so I’d say that’s not bad at all.
It’s weird going from having to study every night for multiple exams to only having to study occasionally for a couple exams weeks apart. So it actually does happen! You won’t always be swarming with exams. Don’t get me wrong, we are still very busy but it’s a different kind of busy, a better busy. I would rather be taking care of patients in clinic than studying constantly and sitting in class all day.
So it does get better, I wouldn’t say easier, I would say better with a different kind of busy. It will all be worth it in the end, just keep at it!
(written during finals week) Yesterday was the second day of finals, and Student Council gave us a free breakfast for dinner! I remember writing about this last trimester, and I was almost to the end of the line and my friends pulled me out of the line to go get food somewhere else.
Well, this trimester I got free breakfast, and it was delicious. I had eggs with peppers and onions, bacon, a pancake, fruit and a cinnamon roll. The line wasn’t nearly as long this trimester, and not as many people showed up. I think because they remembered the long line last tri and weren’t sure they were up to waiting. Those people missed out. They had a better system this trim and it seemed to work out pretty good.
I am appreciative of the free meals we get. It beats eating quesadillas all week, which is where I am at right now. We got goody bags on Friday. (I made sure mine had a banana Laffy Taffy in it.) Those treats were mostly gone by Friday afternoon … except the Milky Way. I saved that for breakfast yesterday.
The end of the tri gets rough. You don’t want to grocery shop because you’re most likely not sticking around the Quad Cities over break, so you kinda just eat anything that’s in your apartment, even if its been hanging around for longer than it should.
Finals are half-way done! I have three more to go and couldn’t be more ready.
So much to look forward to this break and the coming up trimester.
Allisha’s blog posts will return in July after the break ends.
Last week was an extremely busy one, but it came to an end and I survived it. I got my picture for my clinic badge taken this week. I’m one step closer to taking care of patients!
We had five exams last week, which was slightly stressful but now that they are all over, it doesn’t seem like it was that bad. I went to zumba again on Tuesday but didn’t make it to step aerobics because I needed to study.
Wednesday was adjusting day in our pelvic class. I was the patient this first time, and it was my adjusting partner’s birthday, so I let her adjust me as a birthday present. 🙂 I will hopefully get my oppportunity on Monday.
Friday we got to do a physical exam on some kids in my OB/peds lab. Which posed to be a lot more difficult than I had originally expected. Kids like to talk and move around a lot, and it’s hard to say (chiropractic) things in a way they can understand. The little girl we were working with was a trooper. It was good practice for realizing how you’re going to deal with these real life situations where people aren’t necessarily going to understand what you’re saying to them. We get so accustomed to talking to our peers that understand our chiropratic language that when we go out and talk to people outside of the Palmer community, we forget we have to change our word choices. Same goes for interactions with children, and I thought it was be easier than it ended up being.
Friday night I went to Board Game Club to wind down from the busy week. And we actually enjoyed some nice (though windy) weather this weekend!
It’s been another busy week in fifth trimester. We’ve exactly one week of classes left before we jump into finals. I believe most of the lower trimesters are finished with most of their testing then. Our class has practicals and quizzes almost every day until finals. It probably wouldn’t be this packed had we not missed four days of classes. I had the majority of my practicals Monday and Tuesday, so the rest of the week is pretty steady.
It snowed a good chunk yesterday and last night, and it seemed like the main concensus from most of the people I talked to was they were not going to be happy if classes were cancelled again. Although there are still people that are on board with snow days. To their disappointment, we were in classes Thursday even though the surrounding schools were cancelled.
Another cervical X-ray!
This Monday was supposed to be my first adjusting day in my cervicals class. I got through the full work-up in a timely manner, made sure my patient was in good condition and was even able to isolate an atlas subluxation. A full work-up includes having a detailed case history on your patient, finding out everything about them to make sure there are no contraindications. Visualization–looking at your patients posture. Leg checks–range of motion of the cervical spine and reflex testing cervical nerve roots. Then I had to perform a few orthopedic tests that were related to the cervical spine to make sure she didn’t have any significant injuries or pathologies. We did our first check for subluxations using the nervoscope then confirmed our findings with static and motion palpation.
Unfortunately, my patient’s X-rays were not marked properly so we weren’t able to adjust. She is going to get the proper markings on them this week, and we are going to give it another try the last day of classes. I will let you know how it goes.
I have only had one experience adjusting in toggle, but it’s exhilarating so I am really looking forward to hopefully getting that opportunity next Wednesday in cervicals. My partner gets her opportunity to adjust me during our next class!
As for now, there isn’t much else really happening this week. Everyone is just trying to prepare for finals!