Almost done with clinic

Now that Boards are over most of my time is spent getting ready for precepting and moving across the country! We have two weeks left of classes for my trimester, and I still need to get two more physical exams to finish my graduation requirements. I have a bunch of paperwork to get turned in after I finish up those physicals.

I started packing up and cleaning out my apartment last night. I threw away a lot of things, gathered a lot of things for a garage sale and textbooks to donate, and started packing up the things that will come with me! My apartment looks too bare right now, but I have less than a month before moving day!

I am very excited to start this new journey. I’ve talked to the doctor I am precepting with, and we’ve set up a start date. We are both very excited to start working with each other. I am very excited to see the difference between how her office is run and how we run the clinic. I can’t wait to learn all aspects of how to run and operate an office, and I’m excited to start adjusting again! Having to take a month off from adjusting is going to be dreadful. I love adjusting, and when it’s been a long weekend or a break, I find myself missing it. I love that I’ve found a profession where I miss doing what I do when I’m unable to work for short periods of time.

I know I will be busy enough to keep my mind off it, though. Moving across the country is not an easy task. I’m glad I only had to do it once. I came to the Quad Cities from Burlington, Iowa, so it was a short trip to move here. Moving 18 hours away is a whole different story, but I couldn’t be more excited. I can’t wait to be a short drive from the beach and never having to freeze again. I will not miss Iowa winters, that’s for sure. I will miss several things about Iowa, but maybe that will be my first entry once 10th tri starts!

-Allisha

Part IV Boards are done … whew!

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!

-Allisha

Prepping to precept, graduate and move!

So much to do! Including packing and getting ready to move.

So much to do! Including packing and getting ready to move.

Over the last month I’ve been quite busy getting things ready for precepting, graduating and getting ready to move! School hasn’t been really busy this trimester; it’s all the other extra stuff I have to get ready in preparation.

We’ve had quite a few assignments and projects we’ve had to do as well. So most of April I was trying to get last-minute assignments done and trying to finish up my clinic requirements. My cousin also got married the beginning of May, so I spent a lot of time running to Ames to help with the wedding. So April was busy but not super exciting.

When you get into later trimesters, there’s a lot less demand of your time, which is actually very nice. We spent two years with no free time at all, and it’s been quite nice to have the last year with low levels of stress so I could gradually getting things done. We have fewer classes and more clinic time, which is great because we are actually seeing patients and doing what we’ve been working towards.

It’s actually been kind of funny because, after I caught up on lost sleep from the last three years, I found myself sitting around forgetting what to do with free time. Clearly I haven’t used that free time to write for this blog, but there really hasn’t been much to write about … except to let students and prospective students know that the madness does settle down. There are weeks when you don’t study at all and months where you only have one test and, believe it or not, a finals week where you only have three or four finals. So keep at it, you’ve come this far. Or if you’re just starting or considering starting the program, just go at it. It’s only crazy-busy for a short two years. Those two years fly by. Believe me, it doesn’t feel like I should be finishing my 9th trimester already. Thinking about having only one more trimester left just blows my mind.

Graduating in five months seems unreal. Fortunately, I now feel ready. It’s weird the transition you take. I remember going into 7th tri entering the CHC and feeling like I had no idea what I was doing and not feeling ready at all. I now officially feel ready to graduate. I am confident in my skills, I’m confident in my education and I’m confident that I have learned everything necessary here at Palmer. I couldn’t be happier with my choice to come here those short three years ago.

-Allisha

What I did on my winter vacation

This is the trimester with our holiday break, which always makes the trimester feel super long. This break was nice because we got about two weeks off, and, being in a higher trimester, we didn’t have anything to study for over break and didn’t have a lot of homework. So I just got to relax and enjoy my break.

I remember in lower trimesters hating this break because there was always so much to study for over break and not wanting to study–because I wanted to spend time with family and do holiday things.

This break I did a bit of traveling around spending time with family. The first part of the break, I went to visit a friend in Minneapolis for a few days, just to get away and relax. On my way back from there, I stopped in Ames to visit my cousin then headed back home to spend a few days with the family. Then I went back to Ames so I could get a bridesmaid dress for my cousin’s wedding. Then I went back to Minneapolis for the New Year.

I ended the break by going to see Trans-Siberian Orchestra in concert at the iWireless center in Moline (right across the river in Illinois) the Sunday before classes started up again. It was a great show this year. This was the 11th time I’ve seen them in concert, but this year was the first year I had floor seats. We were in the 8th row, and it was an amazing way to end my break!

I spent a couple days in Davenport somewhere in there to get my homework done. I seem to work better in my own element, so I knew I would have to spend a couple days at my apartment or I would never get my work done. It was really nice to have a relaxing break with a bit of traveling and getting away before things pick up. Then when I got back to school in the New Year, I was able to start seeing outpatients, which was a great way to start the new year!

AHC, here I come!

Academic Health Center, aka the AHC

Academic Health Center, aka the AHC

This trimester we have to complete a few rotations and do observations in the AHC (Academic Health Center) before we clear for Level II clinic. We have to go observe in the rehab department, the front desk and the outreach clinic. I have all of those scheduled for the first week of December.

I went in an observed patient care under my staff doctor this week for a couple hours. It was really cool getting in there and seeing the differences between how the clinics work. It’s weird to think in less than a month I’ll be over in that clinic working with outpatients. I think that was one of the most interesting things I observed. We get so use to being in our close-knit community here at Palmer surrounded by people that are on the same page as us and understand what we say and the things we’re doing. When you work with outpatients, they haven’t had the exposure to chiropractic that the patients in the CHC (Campus Health Center) have–because the patients there are mainly students. So they don’t always understand what’s going on, and it takes a little extra explanation that we’re not use to giving.

I am excited to start over there and get that whole new experience. It’s amazing how quickly things are going, and I can’t believe that I graduate in less than a year. It’s hard to think of this point when you first start, but now that I am here, it seems like the last two plus years didn’t even happen. Just enjoy the experience and take in as much as you can, because before you know it, it will gone.

-Allisha

Clinic Abroad is getting closer!

Getting ready to fly

Getting ready to fly

We had our first Clinic Abroad meeting of the trimester. We got information on where we’re going financial aid information and our itinerary. In total, to get to Bequia and back, we will be taking nine different flights and possibly a boat ride! A lot of people are a litttle uneasy about it. I’m excited. I love everything about traveling, even the airports.

We got to see pictures of the places we will be adjusting … and the place in which we’ll spend the most time overlooks the ocean! We will also be visiting a lot of schools during the day and taking care of a lot of preschool children. I am excited and nervous at the same time. We haven’t gotten a lot of hands-on experience with small children, so it will be a complete learning experience.

Whales

Whales

We get a couple free days to go and do as we please, and one day we’re going to go on a boat cruise! Bequia is also one of the last countries where whaling is legal, and we will be there during whaling season. I’m still trying to figure out how I feel about this. I thoroughly enjoy whales, but this is part of their culture and they aren’t doing it for sport. We were told the island is full of whale bones and there are even restaraunts that have them on display. That I’m looking forward to quite a bit because, even though the fate of the whale was unfortunate, who wouldn’t want to see whale bones? I can’t believe we leave in 3 months! It came up so quickly. I really just can’t wait to be adjusting all day and changing some lives!

Finals and break

(written during finals week) Ah, finals are finally upon us. Which means two things: Goody bag Friday and endless studying. Goody bag Friday was a success. Although I showed up kind of late because I had a later final, and I didn’t get a yellow Laffy Taffy or Snickers like I had hoped. The pink Laffy Taffy and Milky Way did just as fine, though.

Unfortunately, the endless studying hasn’t been going as well. I seem to be very easily distracted this trimester when it comes to studying. Like right now I should probably be studying, but writing this seemed more appealing.

We are over halfway through finals, and I have two more to go before the break starts. Both finals are for my Technique classes. The last one is tomorrow at 8:55 a.m. Then I have to see a patient in the rehab department, and then I am free to relax and not think about school for the next ten days. Then boards scores come in, and I will either be celebrating a lot or crying a lot. Either way the break should be a great one. I’m going to Des Moines to shadow a doctor in the area, and I’m going to think about doing some things for my wedding. We will see, though. I might just do a lot of sleeping.

Halloween is at the beginning of the tri like usual, but this time it’s on a Friday which means costumes. I am going to finish up my costume over break, and my friend and I are going to pass out candy to the neighborhood children and find costume contests to enter! Halloween is my favorite holiday, so I’m happy I finally get to partake in the festivities!

For now I must get back to studying! Happy finals week!

-Allisha

The trimester winds down

We are getting down to the last few weeks of the trimester. Things are winding down and getting wrapped up within the next three weeks. We are getting all our final practicals, quizzes and tests out of the way before finals approach. Gladly, it actually hasn’t been very busy and won’t be for my trimester until finals. We only have a few things a week, which is a nice change. I’ve been seeing one or two patients a day in the clinic, which has been a lot of fun. I get to do my first physical/re-evaluation on one of my patients at the end of this week. It’s just been kind of a steady month this month. Boards studying and exams took up most of the month, and it’s kind of been smooth sailing since.

Alligator

Gator!

Last weekend I went to Ames/Des Moines (Iowa) to visit my cousin and go bridesmaid dress shopping. We had a lot of fun just hanging out. It was a nice break from the craziness of school. On Saturday night we went to the World Food and Music festival in downtown Des Moines. I tried a gyro, tacos, crab ragoons and a couple different dishes from Ecuador. It was all very delicious and a lot of fun. There were food vendors for all sorts of countries. I just wasn’t brave enough to try the crazy things! They also had salsa dance lessons and various bands playing throughout the night. It was a really cool festival, and there were a lot of people there trying a lot of different things. My cousin tried to get alligator bites, but luckily they were out when went to buy them because she was going to make me try them!

Now it’s just trying to stay focused and not check out too early before finals. There is still quite a bit to do!

-Allisha

BaconPalooza … and studying for boards

Burlington BaconPalooza

News clipping featuring my bacon-eating friend, Dave.

Last weekend was the first weekend I was able to get away from school for a little bit in about a month, so I went back home to spend some time with family.

We had a very belated birthday party for me and my soon-to-be sister-in-law. It was nice to be able to have a a family get-together after such a busy month of school and clinic preparations.

Saturday a couple friends from school drove down to Burlington to join me at the first ever Burlington BaconPalooza for all things bacon-related. We had bacon mac and cheese, bacon poppers, bacon cookies, bacon tater tots, flavored bacon, bacon popcorn and bacon-wrapped meat. The best part was when my friend, Dave Connick (6th trimester), entered the bacon-eating contest. He was challenged to eat pounds of bacon in five minutes. Without any doubt he, of course, won. He took home the trophy and a bag of bacon-flavored popcorn that was the size of me.

Is this bacon heaven? No, it's Iowa.

Is this bacon heaven? No, it’s Iowa.

It was a lot of fun and nice for me because it took place in my hometown, but it was also not too far away so my friends from Davenport could come down and enjoy the festivities.

Saturday night was just as exciting. I had a family get-together will all of my family members that I don’t get to see very often, plus a cousin I had never met before. I left after the get-together to get back to Davenport so I could get in some quality boards studying on Sunday.

That’s exactly what I did all day. Granted, I didn’t wake up until after 1 p.m., but from then on, I studied most of the day. Unfortunately, that’s all I’ve been doing with my free time this week. Can’t study too much for boards, that’s for sure.

-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