Chiropractic for Quadrupeds

Finally…finally….finally! Almost exactly 3 years after having a revelation to completely change my life and go to chiropractic college, I am learning what I came here to learn: how to adjust animals. But wait, you say. Palmer doesn’t have an animal chiropractic program, does it?

Unfortunately, no. This past weekend I flew to Dallas, TX for a four day module on animal chiropractic through Parker University. The program takes six months to complete, with one module a month covering a different area of the body. This module was the sacropelvic unit, and we learned anatomy, physiology, neurology, pathology, and adjusting techniques for the sacropelvic region in addition to covering chiropractic history and philosophy, veterinary basics, and animal safety and handling. To become certified in animal chiropractic, you must be either a Doctor of Chiropractic, a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, or a “senior student” of either (within a year of graduating).

My class this year consists of about 30 people, with about a dozen chiropractors, a dozen veterinarians, and half a dozen chiropractic students from varying colleges. Parker is one of only three schools for animal chiropractic in the country (the others are Options for Animals in Kansas City and Healing Oasis in Wisconsin) and is the only one that is taught at an accredited chiropractic college, and that’s why I chose it. The teachers are all AVCA certified (American Veterinary Chiropractic Association) and are very good at what they do.

It was an amazing weekend, getting to work with other chiros, vets, and students to learn about something we all have a passion for. On Thursday and Friday we had lecture, which was tedious but very interesting. It was so much fun when they brought in the dogs on Saturday for us to practice palpation, set-ups, handling, and other skills. On Sunday we went to a hunter-jumper equestrian farm and practiced on horses. The weekend left me exhausted but fired up to learn more about how to adjust “quadrupeds!”

 I arrived at Parker a few hours before the seminar started, so I decided to give myself a little self-guided tour around campus. School was in session so I got to see a little what life was like for the students as they went about their day.

Parker has a very nice campus, the grounds are well-taken care of and the buildings are new and nice. I had the chance to talk to some of the Parker students, and also some students from other chiropractic colleges as well, and throughout the weekend I kept telling myself, “Wow, I am really grateful for my Palmer education.” Not to put down any of the other schools, but I did feel that I had a better handle on a lot of the material and in comparing our stories that Palmer definitely has a good program compared to the rest. Now, if only they would offer an animal chiropractic program here!

Alissa Grover, 8th trimester student
Davenport Campus

Do yourself a favor: Get organized!

As another trimester of classes starts, it is time to get organized! My biggest advice to current and prospective students is to get organized early and keep it that way! Starting each trimester with all your class and exam schedules makes staying on top of assignments super easy.

I also feel that being organized helps me manage my time so that I can complete all my tasks and be prepared for all exams without stressing out too much. It even helps me be able to fit in some “me” time! 🙂

Organization is almost therapeutic for me, so it has made my first five trimesters at Palmer much easier!

Stephanie Tronnes, 6th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

There’s so much to love about fifth tri

Wow! A new trimester is upon us and I can feel the buzz of excitement in the halls at Palmer. It is always a refreshing place after everyone has had a break, and students are diving into new clubs and speakers and meetings! You can never possibly be bored here.

Boards are about to be taken by many, myself not included, for I will be taking Canadian boards sometime next year. It is the first time my classmates will take part 1 boards, and I can usually hear someone discussing their panic attacks, explaining concepts, making up silly mnemonics, or something of the like in between classes.

I took the NBS board review with my friends last tri to stay ahead of the game. That was before I knew I would not be taking American boards, but over break I took the board review again for $25! Steal of a deal for lots of fun with Dr. Laura. She is quite the animated teacher and she can really shine a light on all of that first year info and even make learning fun! I’m kind of a nerd … if you haven’t guessed. Haha!

So we just entered fifth trimester and wow! I can’t even tell those of you who haven’t experienced it yet how DIFFERENT it is from fourth tri! We get to participate and not sit as much in class!

We are learning the basics of physical therapy with Dr. Rowell, which I am excited for, coming from a sports background. We have already learned some about preventing sports injuries and rehabilitation! We even have a lab for it to practice exercises and sketches to show our future patients.

 Then we have radiology two with Dr. Firth, where we continue to increase our skills at looking at an x-ray and differentiating between normal and pathological conditions, and gaining knowledge about how cancer can present in the bones on a film.

 Then we have toxicology class with Dr. Nightingale, which is very interesting! We get to go over how the medications may be interacting in many of our patients’ digestive systems, at what limits they can be lethal, and conditions when drugs may be useful.

 At 10:15 we have Dr. Torgurud again. We have not seen him since CNS class in first tri! He teaches us biomechanics, which is all about the technicalities and a little physics of the adjustment, stability and posture! We then have lunch! Yay for lunch break!

 At 12:05 we begin physical diagnosis with Littrell. What an amazing teacher! We have discussions in class, and she encourages us to put together info from all the past few tris to come up with differential diagnoses in the first week of class!

 I just purchased my diagnostic equipment today, and I can’t wait to be able to listen to heart and lung sounds, take a proper blood pressure, and use my new beautiful panoptic oto-opthalmoscope to decipher whether or not any ear or eye problems exist!

 Then we get into cervicals class! Aha! Chiropractic, hands-on! We have already covered leg checks and some film analysis with the sweetest teacher who has been a chiro for many years. Today I already analyzed my own cervical films and came up with listings!! So neat!

 The last class of the day is NMS, where we will be learning other diagnostic skills to test the nerve pathways in the body. Today I felt like a doctor in practice already because we got to take patient histories and practice a clinical setting as if someone was in a new patient visit with me and I was finding out about them! I know I am going to leave this tri with great skills for my practice! It is so great.

Cheers to all of you Palmer students ahead of me, to all Palmer grads out there who are rocking it in practice, and to all of you future Palmer students who have yet to experience fifth tri! It’s a gooder!

Kaileigh Strath, 5th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

Beginning to think like a doctor

Hello again! I just completed fourth trimester and I am now beginning the fifth one. I must say, I am excited for this trimester. Instead of feeling like I am sitting in all of my classes and getting “lectured at” (as I felt in some of the basic science classes). I can tell that my professors are encouraging us to engage and interact more.

For example, in my physical diagnosis class, our teacher was doing a mock patient history in which she was the patient and our class had to do a hypothetical case history on her. We were taught the “18 HPI” questions, which basically allow us to gather information about what
brings the patient in that day, and were able to use them in a mock setting. Based on what my classmates and I asked her and what her response was as the patient, we had to try and figure out what her diagnosis was.

Our professor pretended that she had amenorrhea (absence of her menstrual cycle) for four months, blurry vision, headaches and other symptoms. It was up to our class to put the pieces together and figure out that this patient could potentially have a pituitary tumor, also known as an adenoma. This exercise was a neat way to demonstrate how we can gather certain information while taking a patient’s history and put that information together in order to figure out what is  going onwith them.

Another example of a class being more interactive than those in previous trimesters was my Neuro-Musculo-Skeletal class. Our professor put us on the spot and asked, “Front row, which segmental levels are correlated with the biceps muscle?” We all could sense the pressure of him looking for one of us to answer and I blurted out “C5/C6.” I was nervous that my answer wasn’t correct, but thank goodness it ended up being right! I didn’t know how exactly I remembered the correct answer, but it felt good to be asked to think on the spot. At this point in the curriculum, we have learned an abundance of material and I am looking forward to applying a lot of that knowledge in more of a clinical setting now.

Kelly Serra, 5th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

Planning for boards? Take this advice

I hope you all had a great break—at least better than mine. I spent most of the time studying for the National Boards Exam part I, and it definitely wasn’t entertaining.

The Part I board exam consists of 6 topics: Spinal and Gross Anatomy, Chemistry, Physiology, Pathology, and Microbiology. It pretty much contains all the things that we have learned throughout 1st to 4th trimesters. This is a good opportunity to review all the materials that we have gone through and to remind ourselves about the “basic” knowledge that we are expected to know as doctors. It is painful to study these all over again, but it sure did help me to go through most of the information that we have been taught at Palmer for 4 trimesters.

I am not taking any review classes but am just studying off from my old notes and a book called “Chiro Essentials” from the Bookstore from Palmer, which I hope to be sufficient. For those of you who have never taken Boards, I would recommend to find out the due dates for registering during your 3rd or the beginning of your 4th trimester—and keep on track on what you need to do to register for the exam.

There are a couple steps that you need to follow in order to successfully register yourself to take the NBCE. You need to take a passport photo, get a money order, register online, and, finally, register on the 4th floor of the Campus Center. Hopefully this information was helpful. I wish all of you the best of luck both for Board exams and this new trimester!

Yoon Mi (Lisa) Kim, 5th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

Back to the grind

Well its back to the grind with a new trimester underway but this time new classes is actually the last thing on my mind. Now I’m getting ready to take boards for the first time in a couple weeks. It’s still a little over whelming even though everyone says you are going to be fine. I’m really glad that I’m taking the NBS board review because they are such great teachers and really help you understand the information better. The review makes this much less stressful but at the same time how can you not stress at least a little.

Break seemed to go by so quick this time and I didn’t even go anywhere. I guess just not being in class or doing anything makes time go so fast. I suppose knowing I had boards coming up made the week go faster too.  I’m hoping that we start to get some warm weather after boards so I can start doing stuff outside. I’m definitely ready for the depressing cold weather and lack of sunlight to be gone.  Spring and summer couldn’t come quicker. Well I hope the next couple of weeks treats me well. Later.

Ryan Etherton, 5th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus