On chiropractic philosophy…

When I sat down to write my new blog I had all intent to write about technique, more specifically what technique I wanted to learn. But this past weekend during Homecoming something was brought to my attention. It all started when I was hanging out in the lobby of Vickie Anne Palmer Hall with some fellow Campus guides. I walked into a conversation that was already in progress when one of my fellow guides (who shall remain nameless 😉 ) asked me what should be a simple question. “What is the chiropractic philosophy, and more importantly what is the teaching philosophy of the school?” Now I think he asked me this question partly because that was the discussion that I walked in on, and partly because I think he likes to be a little obnoxious. Whether he knows it or not he really got me thinking. It’s something that has been in the back of my mind for a while and gets brought up every once in a while when people ask me about philosophy. What is philosophy? And more importantly what is my philosophy?

As I explained in my last blog I did not grow up going to the chiropractor. I really didn’t know what a chiropractor was until my junior year in college. I did not grow up like many of my peers hearing the chiropractic philosophy. I got my first taste of it when I was accepted to Palmer and asked to write what my philosophy was for a scholarship opportunity. Now I was no philosophy major in undergrad at the time I had no idea why they were asking me what my philosophy was. So I did what any tech savvy person of my generation would do. I went to the internet and looked up Palmer’s philosophy and wrote about that. Now I have to ask myself what is Palmer’s philosophy? And is it really mine, or is mine different? To me it’s like the lyrics of a song. I can hear the words. I can know what these words mean, but do I truly understand what the artist is trying to say?

As I started class at Palmer this philosophy thing kept coming up. It came up in my classes and in my Campus Guide application. What is your philosophy? I started to learn how important philosophy really is to Palmer and my education while I am here.  As Dr. Bohgal will ask you in your Toggle class. “Can you really explain chiropractic to your patients? What if you are in the grocery store and someone comes and asks you what chiropractic is, could you answer them?” Something that Palmer is starting to teach me is that it is so much more than just knowing the anatomy and physiology of the body, as well as having good technique. You have to know what chiropractic is and be able to communicate it to anybody that might ask.  It’s about having purpose, intent, passion, and love for what you’re doing. You can’t have one without the other. The hardest part about being a student is finding a balance for all 3: science (anatomy/physiology), art (technique), and philosophy.

Devan Lysen, 4th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

Get Involved!

Chiropractic school is tough, and many students choose not to get involved with extracurricular activities for a variety of reasons. My experience has been that if you just commit to doing some additional activities, you can do well and in school and get the added personal development sticking your nose in a book just doesn’t get you.

Even for those with families, you can still get involved. I am married and we had our first child just after a year at Palmer. Even with these additional responsibilities, I have found time to be involved in technique clubs, attend campus events, and serve as a campus guide. The personal growth achieved through these activities has been priceless and I still spend plenty of time with my family. I know of other students who have bigger families than I do and are just as involved as I am.

Of course, exercise wisdom and don’t over-do it. You need balance while you’re a student. Just make sure that balance includes some extra-curricular personal development.

Brandon Wilson, 6th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

My road to Palmer

Hi!  My name is Alicia Ruiz and I am a 9th trimester student at Palmer – Davenport. I am 28 years old and from the “Big Sky State” more commonly known as Montana.

I do not have a chiropractic miracle story. I made the decision to attend chiropractic school with no previous experience of chiropractic. I was initially on track to become a surgeon.  After high school and through undergrad, I worked as a Certified Nurse Assistant in a nursing home and on a post-operative medical/surgical floor of a hospital as part of my preparation for the field I wanted to enter. I loved patient care and interacting with patients (even the grumpy ones) but I felt that the quality of life of the staff at the hospital was terrible. Most of the staff from doctors to nurses to care managers to nurse assistants, and even the cleaning crews seemed highly stressed and miserable which in turn impacted the experiences the patients were receiving on the floor. After a few years, I decided I needed to get out of that environment but still wanted to work in healthcare so I started searching for other avenues.

My boyfriend mentioned that in high school a Palmer representative had visited his school and that he thought chiropractic would be something he might like to pursue. I started researching this thing called chiropractic and Palmer with the intent of finding out what he needed to start the program but as I learned the basic premise behind chiropractic, I felt something resonate deep within me and knew that it fit. I talked to my boyfriend about it and he encouraged me to apply to Palmer. While waiting for an answer from Palmer, I shadowed two chiropractors in my city that were Palmer graduates and grilled them for information about chiropractic and about the school and I also received my very first chiropractic adjustment!

They told me about how the body has an amazing ability to heal itself, that it is always working to maintain balance both internally and externally, and how chiropractic seeks to assist the body in keeping this equilibrium for the optimal health of the individual. One side note about me is that I practice taekwondo and have for many years. While this may seem unrelated, it truly was one of the biggest factors in my decision to pursue chiropractic. In martial arts, practitioners strive to achieve balance in mind, body, and spirit. Martial arts Masters and instructors strive to help their students realize this balance and maintain it for the good of the student and the good of society. Doctors of chiropractic strive to help their patients achieve physiologic balance within their bodies, which in turn impacts their mental and spiritual balance. So to me, the philosophies of chiropractic and martial arts are one in the same and reaching for the same goal which is to build a better individual and ultimately a better world.

And so it was done, I received my acceptance to Palmer 6 months before I was to attend.  I notified work, family, and friends of my choice and in October of 2008 my boyfriend and I packed all that we had in a U-Haul and took off for some place we called “Couch” (Davenport) Iowa through the worst snow storm Montana had seen in years! That was only the beginning of my adventure…

Alicia Ruiz, 9th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

Starting year two

As I start into my second year of chiropractic school here at Palmer, I cannot believe I have completed one whole year already. I feel like it was yesterday when I moved to Davenport to start school. I remember being so nervous and worried about if I could actually do this. I knew that I had it in my heart, but I was still so unsure about my ability.

I would be lying if I said the first year was easy.  It was very challenging.  But with all the support from staff and friends at Palmer and the PASS tutorial program I made it!

I knew the moment I stepped onto Palmer’s Davenport campus it was the perfect choice for me.  During those super-hard classes and crazy test schedules, I was still thankful to be a Palmer student. Out of all the schools that I toured, Palmer was the only one that seemed to fit my needs. I want to thank all everyone who has supported me along the way and continued to encourage and motivate me, I appreciate it!

Stacia Kampschnieder, 4th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

Is it a bird, a plane? No it’s a Palmer student!

As a current 4th trimester student, I have finished my first year at Palmer and feel I can breath a little easier. But in addition to being a Palmer student, I am also a single dad to a 14 year old daughter, a 13 year old son, & a 7 year old son. So you may think that I am probably Superman as well but while I would never admit it to anyone, let’s assume for the sake of this blog that I am not. 😉

The reason I share this with you is to let you know that no matter what is going on in your life, you can succeed at Palmer as long as you are willing to work and maintain balance in your life. How you may ask? Here are a couple tips that I would recommend.

1. Know what is most important to you. Is it family, is it getting a 4.0 GPA, is it making sure you are ready for boards? Whatever it is, make sure that you allocate the appropriate amount of time to keep this priority at the for front.

2. Take time to relax. As much as I wanted to believe I would be studying from sun up till way past sun down, that just isn’t a reality for me. I tried it for the 1st trimester and almost died. Now, I take time to work out, get involved with clubs and organizations on campus, and I even watch a little tv.

3. Eat a healthy diet. This is critical to your success here at Palmer. If you doubt me, answer this question. How good would your unleaded car run if you filled it up with diesel gas?

4. Get a good amount of sleep. Now maybe you are younger than I am and still able to pull the all nighters but I did it once for a huge exam and I paid the price severely. I recommend a minimum of 6 hours a night, but 8 is great.

Well, there you have it. Superman’s, I mean Matt’s 4 step outline for success at Palmer no matter who you are. If you have questions about anything at all, please follow or message me on twitter @KingCampusGuide or send me an e-mail (put attn: Matt in the subject line). Have a great day and I hope to see you on campus sometime in the future.

Matt Sharples, 4th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

My life married to a celebrity

As a kid, I always wondered what it would be like being a celebrity. Growing up, I quickly realized that my dreams would be crushed because my genetics left me with the athletic ability of a walrus and the voice of a hippo. I had a brilliant idea to live in China for a while, where they assume most Americans are celebrities. It didn’t take me long to burst their bubble of meeting a celebrity and my last chance of being a celebrity. One thing I never thought about as a kid is what it feels like to be married to a celebrity. Well, now I know.

Shortly after starting school at Palmer, I started to think that I had caught my lucky break; I was accepted into the Campus Guides organization. I thought this would help me become a celebrity of sorts; if not to the masses, then at least to a few eager prospective students. Alas, this also was to be short lived, not just because people saw through my plan.

The one thing that would foil my plans was that my amazing wife became the new Campus Visit Coordinator. Many of you probably know Angie. She is one of the most helpful and caring individuals. It really didn’t take her long in her position to become loved and respected by all that met her. In fact, I soon became known to a lot of the staff, faculty, and prospective students at Palmer as “Angie’s husband.” If you ever get the chance to visit Palmer and she plans your visit, I think you will quickly agree with everybody else’s opinion of her.

While I never saw this turn of events, or dreamed about being the husband of a celebrity as a kid, I realized it’s not all that bad. I think this is the closest I will ever be to being a celebrity, and I am enjoying my time in the spotlight, even if only part of me is in the light because it is really on the true celebrity.

Joe O’Tool, 6th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

Homecoming is here!

Hello! Wow homecoming is here! This will be the first homecoming that I will be attending and I am so excited. With so many amazing chiropractors that will be speaking I don’t know how I will decide which ones to go listen to. But, as a campus guide, the event I am most excited about is the prospective student interactive classroom event! Where I hear there will be 100 plus excited future students and their families. The reason I became a campus guide is because I love talking with new students about why they want to be a chiropractor and see the excitement on their faces.  And there seems to be no better time to bring prospective chiropractors to campus than during homecoming when so many students and alumni will be bustling around campus!

From my personal experience as a past prospective student these events really give people a chance to immerse themselves in what life is like at Palmer as well as providing the opportunity to meet some of their future professors. I remember when I came on the interactive classroom event, it was about a year prior to starting here at Palmer and I had a blast. It really got me pumped up about my chiropractic education and helped me realize that moving across the country was the right thing to do.

My favorite part was the anatomy lab, which was my first experience holding a brain and spinal cord in my hands. However, my dad who accompanied me on the trip was not as excited about this as I was.  He was definitely a trooper – he didn’t say anything about the smell or being grossed out by all the brains spread about the room.  I can’t wait to see what parents are like my dad standing in the background while the excited future chiropractors go to work examining the brains and spinal cords. After all the central nervous system is what we as chiropractors devote our lives to in order to help our patients live healthy lives.

Kaitlin Bowen, 4th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

Summer in Davenport

Well, we are now 4 weeks into our summer trimester and I must say it is quite different than what I’m used to for summer. I’m used to the nice long summer breaks that we got in undergrad and I’m used to being outside all summer enjoying the sun and being outdoors. Now I must admit it has been taking some getting used to but I’m finally starting to understand that this is what the real world is like.

With that said I’m really amazed at all the really cool things there are to do in Davenport. I love how they have a ton of parks and trails to walk, run or bike on. Not to mention they have the river that I can walk along with my wife or if I’m lucky go fishing on. Just last weekend Davenport held it’s world-renowned 7 mile race the Bix followed by a festival in downtown Davenport. Davenport also has the Mississippi Valley Fair which brings in cool attractions such as alligator wrestling and artists like Blake Shelton, Miranda Lambert and Joe Nichols. Plus if there is nothing big going on during the week, you can always go to River Bandits baseball game or go camping at one of the nearby parks or lakes.

I went camping with some friends a couple weekends ago at Scott County Park and it was an absolute blast even though it did storm on us, which might have made it more fun (but that’s another story). So although you might be busy with some schooling during the summer you can always find something fun to do around here when you need a break from school. Oh, by the way, I almost forgot to mention of the more exciting things going on at Palmer during the summer……….HOMECOMING. I haven’t got to experience homecoming yet so I guess the verdict is still out on that one. I hear it’s a blast though.  Until next time, thanks and God bless.

Ryan Etherton, 3rd Trimester
Davenport Campus

Plan B: How I ended up at Palmer

Hello, my name is Elliot and I am currently a 7th trimester student at Palmer.  I’ve never written a blog before, but I’ve read plenty, so hopefully the info I share will be helpful!

A little history about myself… before coming to Palmer I was a high school science teacher for 5 years.  Teaching was kind of my backup plan in college.  Having been a chiropractic patient for over 20 years, I had considered chiropractic while in undergrad and even visited a school.  I thankfully realized though that my reasons for wanting to enter the profession were superficial.  So, I went with my “plan b” and pursued teaching.  After about 2-3 years I began to lose the enjoyment I had teaching.  I started researching new careers and naturally came back to chiropractic.  I needed some better reasons for chiropractic though.  My main motivation for becoming a chiropractor, now, is to be able to help all those people I’ve tried to talk to about chiropractic over the years but couldn’t actually help myself.  As a chiropractor, instead of just talking to people I can actually use my hands to help them!

I’ve been at Palmer for over two years now and the time sure does fly by!  I’ll be starting to see patients this month and am super excited to continue to learn the clinical aspect of chiropractic!

Elliot Hirshorn, 7th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

An October surprise

I just started my 6th trimester (out of 10) and I am more excited than ever about life here at Palmer.  Last trimester, my wife and I found out we were going to have a baby this coming October… surprise!

If you would have asked me if I was ready to be a father 2 years ago when I started at Palmer, I would have dropped my jaw to the floor and asked if you were crazy.  I have come a long way since then.  I remember my first day at Palmer with all of the nervousness and insecurity of starting school without knowing a single person in the room.  It took all but two days make some friends, and fast-forward to today, I know those friends are ones that I will keep in touch with them for the rest of my life.

My wife is just entered her 3rd trimester of her pregnancy at 26 weeks and she is a frequent patient at the clinics here at Palmer.  The student interns and the doctors do a great job at explaining the causes of her low back pain, and give her great care that keeps her healthy and happy.  As I look at her care from the perspective of her husband, I am thrilled that she is getting drug-free relief from her pain (also good for baby), and she is being educated on how to help prevent some of the pain in the future.  I also look at these clinic appointments with the perspective that I will be treating patients in that same clinic next trimester.  It is great for me to see that the student interns have received an education they can be confident with, and it encourages me that I will be able to make a difference in peoples lives, like the current staff is making in mine.

Joshua Pattengale, 6th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus