My Palmer career is about to change … clinic!

As I lay in bed tonight, I feel a combination of excitement, nervousness and pure joy. I’m in 7th trimester, and my Palmer career is about to change tomorrow … we have our clinic induction ceremony at 2:50 p.m., and next week we start seeing patients in the Campus Health Center (CHC)! Wow, what an amazing feeling.

I have my outfit all laid out for tomorrow–I decided against a dress and am going with black pants instead. Haha, a few of the girls and I in my class were discussing what to wear to it today!

It is going to be held at Vickie Anne Palmer Hall, where Spizz Night and graduations are held, as well. I know of some classmates who have family coming to watch us be inducted, handed our white coats for clinic and our clinic badges on stage. My family members, however, are not attending this time because the closest one is 12 hours away. Hopefully they can come see us graduate in a year and four months instead.

This week was packed full of observing 8th trimester students in the CHC, a clinical psychology exam, a YMCA Christmas Family fundraiser, a spinography quiz, radiology set-ups, learning how to adjust wrists and deal with carpal tunnel, my roommate’s birthday celebration, yoga, my first adjustment and getting adjusted, making butternut squash soup, and learning how to tell what kind of anemia a patient has from blood work! (Haha, in no particular order.) I can say that my Palmer planner from the Bookstore is definitely keeping me grounded this week and able to sort everything out! Phew.

Seventh trimester is interesting because it is like two different worlds. We still have class from 7:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. with a couple breaks, then clinic in the evenings. We really only are required to be in the clinic two hours in the evening per week, but we are encouraged, and most interns spend more evenings than one in the CHC to pick up patients, gain experience, do paperwork, familiarize themselves with the computer systems and get to know their staff doctors. I really appreciate the help from the 8th trimester students who have held my hand so far and showed me the ropes. I want to pay it forward and help those 6th tri students next trimester when they feel as confused as I did/do (though I must say, things really advanced and made connections in my mind today 🙂 Yay! ) upon entering clinic in 7th tri.

– Kaileigh Strath

The Movies Do It. TV Does It. Why Don’t You Do It?

“This is the day of dramatization. Merely stating a truth isn’t enough. The truth has to be made vivid, interesting, dramatic. You have to use showmanship. The movies do it. Television does it. And you will have to do it if you want attention.”                      – Dale Carnegie

This statement rings true of the Chiropractic Profession. We are “not” just “back doctors.” As Chiropractors, we have access to more systems in the body than any other practicing physician with the touch of a hand. We focus our attention on hours of extremely rigorous training, research, studying and technique practice to understand the complexities of the human body. Although we may access the the body most often through the spine, we are affecting the human body and all of its entities.

We are at a great time  within our profession. As the population is now leaning towards preventive medicine, we can show the rest of the world how Chiropractic is advantageous to all systems within the body. The efforts in research continue to scientifically support chiropractic as a means to improvement of health and function overall.

It is time to start thinking BIG, as B.J. Palmer once did, and show the world “Awesome” Chiropractic.

– Jennifer Katzer

7th tri, check! Reflections on my first two years

Looking back on the last two years of Chiropractic school, I can see how far my classmates and I have come. At the beginning of 7th trimester when I was entering clinic, I could see how much further I still had to go. However, with 7th trimester now almost behind, I can wipe my brow and say, “I did it.”

Of all of the trimesters 1st and 7th are perhaps the most daunting. In first trimester you are wondering not only if you can do it, but if you can put forth the effort for three years. Then in 7th trimester, as you are asked to go from student to clinician, you ask yourself again, “Can I do this?” It’s a big leap from student to intern, from regurgitating information to critical thinking. At the beginning of 6th trimester if you had asked me if I was ready for clinic I would have said, “No way! I don’t know anything yet.” However, in those short four months I feel like I went through a metamorphosis and changed from just a student to a student doctor.

The same thing happened again during 7th trimester. I entered into it with doubt and excitement. Now that its almost over, I realize that it really wasn’t that big of a deal. I was prepared. I just needed to learn to trust in what I had learned in my classes, apply it and have confidence in myself. After all, the root word of education is educere, which means “to draw forth from within.” For success in the clinic, let go of some of that learned knowledge and let your intuition guide you.

It’s amazing to reflect back on the last two years of school. I came to Palmer without a science background. First trimester was like traveling to a different country. I didn’t speak the language, I didn’t know the people, and finding my way around was somewhat difficult. However, now that I am two years into the program with graduation on the horizon, I can’t believe the progress that I have made towards being a doctor of Chiropractic. So what do I know now that I wish I would’ve known then?

I can still remember 1st tri. It was overwhelming, and it took all I had just to keep up with my class load. Every week I would say, “I’ll go to club this week” or “that seminar sounds like fun.” However, I chose to stay focused on school. Now I wish I would have gone to more clubs and invested more time into trying out different techniques. I shyed away from technique clubs because I wanted to wait to learn a technique in the technique classes within our curriculum. I didn’t want to learn them wrong and then have to unlearn them. However, now that I am an upper tri student, I find it hard to make it to clubs due to other obligations. So now I feel as if I’ve missed a great opportunity to take advantage of the some of the extra things that Palmer offers.

On the other hand, I have taken three of the technique electives. Now I run into the challenge of choosing between techniques in the clinic. I also have the challenge of not only practicing and becoming proficient with Palmer Package, but also with the three other techniques that I have taken. Sometimes I wonder if I have spread myself too thin, but then I remember that education is a lifelong process. Once I leave Palmer I’ll be glad that I took these electives because I’ll have the rest of my life to become proficient at them. Learning does not stop the day you walk across the stage and receive your diploma. It really just begins. As inhabitants of the earth, we are life-long students. There is always something new to learn.

Even though I’m not completely through the program yet (only a year to go!), it’s been fun to reflect back on the last two years. I encourage you to do the same because no matter where you are at in the curriculum, it will surprise you how far you have come along.

– Annie Bernstein (Editor, The Beacon student newspaper)

Oh, what a tri … I’m in clinic!

Ok, it’s been a couple weeks into the trimester, and I am here to tell you that 8th trimester is where it’s at. After seven trimesters of fairly grueling academic loads, I have been blessed with what is shaping up to be my most favorite trimester so far.

Why do I sing the praises of 8th trimester you ask? Well, let me share with you why I love it so. I now have one trimester in the clinic system down and am feeling a lot more comfortable with seeing patients and working with the clinic paperwork. And now that my nerves are a little more calm, I enjoy clinic more and feel that I am better able to serve my patients more completely.

I can also tell you that my excitement to move over to the Academic Health Center (AHC) is building. I really look forward to being able to interact with patients from the local community. Now don’t get me wrong, there is a lot yet to be done before graduation on October 18, 2013 (not that I’m counting or anything). I am starting to prepare for the remaining parts of boards and spending a lot more time in the clinic. And, yes, I can’t believe how fast my time here at Palmer has gone by. When you start here, you will here that A LOT and will think that everyone telling you that is slightly off their rockers. But before you know it, you will be starting 8th trimester and reveling in the excitement just as I am.

If you have any questions about Palmer and life as a student here, feel free to contact me via email at I hope you are having a great day and wish you the best in furthering your chiropractic aspirations.

Hopefully I’ll see you on campus before October 18, 2012. 🙂

– Matt Sharpels

The shadow knows – the value of shadowing doctors

I took off school for the whole week of Thanksgiving to go shadow offices. I have shadowed quite a few offices already, but I still don’t know what I want to do when I graduate. And graduation is only seven months away. Well, I’m getting more ideas of what I think I want to do.

Over Thanksgiving week, I was at one office Monday and one office Tuesday. I have learned so many new things while shadowing. You get the opportunity to see new techniques, different ways to evaluate patients, different paperwork, and different ways to run an office. The doctors are all very helpful about different hardships they have had while running their office. Seeing how different people practice has given me the opportunity to see who I may want to shadow next trimester.

– Christa Scheffler

Precepting – interning with a doctor

Oh … precepting.

Precepting is very similar to an internship at other colleges. During your last trimester at Palmer, you get the opportunity to go into an office and work under the doctor.

The regulations for each state determine what you are able to do while at the office. The doctors do not have to pay the interns, unless they choose. Each state has different requirements needed, if you can even precept with the doctor you want to. It can be difficult to find an office to precept with that you mesh well with and feel like you can spend 20 hours a week with. My deadline is quickly approaching and I haven’t found one that qualifies yet. I have found a few that would be fun, but don’t meet the Iowa qualifications.

-Christa Scheffler

Happy Thanksgiving! (a belated post)

It’s catch-up time in blog land!

Thanksgiving break was a nice relaxing time at home with friends and family, although the break goes by too fast. Even though I love learning more about chiropractic and techniques, getting a four-day weekend is amazing sometimes. Everybody just needs a few days off to relax and catch up.

Last year I stayed in the Quad Cities. It was very different for me, because there were three of us celebrating Thanksgiving together. It was fun because we all got along, but I’m used to 40 or so people all hanging out and catching up. But the three of us made great food and enjoyed the day.

I was happy to go home this year and see family, because I hadn’t been home since June. It’s always nice to get away and not have to think about the next thing you have to do at school. Seeing all of my family, especially my godsons, was a lot of fun. I was able to watch my godsons, who are growing far too fast. Spending time with family is great when you are not able to see them very often.

-Christa Scheffler

Clinic Abroad: A world apart in many ways

While on my Clinic Abroad trip to Salvador, Brazil, we spent five days in a make-shift clinic at a hospital. The first day and a half were slow. Mid-day the first day, two news crews came and talked to the lead doctors. We ended up on Brazil’s news. The clips aired on our second day over the lunch hour. The clinic was super busy from then on. When we arrived at the clinic each day thereafter, there were usually 50-100 people waiting for us.

We all got to see many patients with many different conditions. I learned how to read spinal MRIs quite well.

Many people in Salvador had hypertension. It was a common condition to people of all ages. It was fun to adjust different people in many different ways. The hardest part of the clinic experience was getting the patients to relax. They didn’t quite understand what they were supposed to do.

There were people of all ages with different conditions in clinic so we were able to learn about many conditions. The elderly all had osteoporosis, so I mainly used activator and drops on those patients.

The doctors on the trip were also good at showing new or different techniques to help the patient in different ways based on their condition or different ways they could be placed.

– Christa Scheffler

5th Quarter at West Campus

These past few weeks have been quite busy as a 5th quarter. We made it through our CCEPs and passed with flying colors! It was slightly stressful to be put in a strict clinical/testing setting, but in the end we found it kind of fun to demonstrate what we have learned in the past year. All of our professors from our first year of classes were the test facilitators, and it was kind of cool to show them that we’ve retained what they’ve taught us! It also gives us confidence moving forward. Seeing the now 9th quarters in student clinic is a huge reality check–we will be in that position in a year! And it’s motivating to really learn as much as possible in our classes, especially as we begin to learn more pathology and clinical related information.

With endless classes and tests it sometimes seems like it’s not possible to learn everything. But having so many classmates in the same boat makes the learning process much more fun and do-able.

A group of people from my class that are taking the Applied Kinesiology 100-hour course find ourselves particularly strapped for time with a sixth day of class each week. But after a year into Palmer West, you really start to have an idea of who you work well with, and studying together makes the process go much more smoothly. We’re all in this together to become the best chiropractors we can be!

– Tomilyn Thornberry, 5th Quarter, West Campus