One thing I have done at Palmer that has been out of my comfort zone is getting in touch with the faculty and administration. I’ve always been very comfortable talking with other students, even support and office staff, but in the past I have limited my interactions with my professors. In my head, they didn’t have time for me, they weren’t interested, they had no idea who I was. At this school there is an illusion that you can fade into the background in the classroom. It’s an illusion indeed, because as I began to talk with faculty I realized how aware professors are of their class, no matter how big the class size. Many professors knew my name or face without ever having a conversation with me. Once I was realized that recognition here was a good thing, I was able to ignore the previous intimidation that held me back from obtaining tips, tricks, knowledge, and advice from those who are here to do just that. The faculty and administration at Palmer are genuinely interested in the thoughts, suggestions, and questions from the student body. My experience at school has become much more enjoyable since I acknowledged that the two-way street of communication between faculty and student is wide open.
I have a love/hate relationship with the first day of school. I have just experienced my fourth first day of school at Palmer, and our relationship status might read “it’s complicated.” If you are currently an undergraduate or high school student, you either stretch summer as long as possible and loathe getting into routine again, or you buy school supplies in July and pack your backpack two weeks ahead of time. I am the latter, therefore if you are the latter, don’t be ashamed.
You know the part in the movie “You’ve Got Mail” where Meg Ryan gushes about bouquets of newly sharpened pencils? That’s me. The part I love the most about beginning a new trimester is the refreshing intrigue of new classes and “can do'” attitude everyone has in their heart. Not to mention, students at Palmer look much nicer when they’ve actually gotten a healthy amount of sleep for the past 2 weeks.
The part I dislike about the first day of school is reading the syllabus and not lecturing. Get out of my way, syllabus, I have things to learn! This routine is the same in every school on the first day, and many people (many with more education and fancy letters after their names) have told me that this part is necessary, so somewhere in my brain I believe them. Love or hate, my favorite part of this particular first day of 4th trimester was the collective sigh of relief and pleasant smiles as my class welcomed some our favorite returning professors.
There are instructors at Palmer that you are allowed to–and should–adore. I genuinely believe I have had some of the world’s best instructors in my first year at Palmer, and I am excited to learn from what I know will be many more wonderful faculty in my next 6 trimesters.
On Palmer’s Davenport Campus, there are quotes everywhere. Not just the epigrams by B.J. Palmer, but from other doctors, as well. I thought I had seen and read every single one, but today I noticed one which I hadn’t before. It said something along the lines of, “It is important that a patient knows that the doctor is taking his own advice.”
This has popped in and out of my head all day as I sit next to my fellow students, and as I walk in the halls. I have been privileged to receive treatment from several doctors who I know take their own advice. It is difficult as a patient to “eat plenty of vegetables” and “get 8 hours of sleep” if you notice your adviser at a fast food restaurant several times each week.
As a newbie here at Palmer, there are several students in my trimester, and the other earlier trimesters, that carry their bad habits with them into class. It is easy to distinguish an upper trimester student from a lower trimester student, not only by the way they dress (upper trimester students are in the clinic throughout the day, and therefore wear clinic appropriate dress attire), but also by the lack of energy drinks and junk food. Obviously chiropractic is about promoting health, and health does not include chewing tobacco, energy drinks, and sugar-filled sodas.
As an outsider, not yet completely changed by the Palmer education, it is evident that the knowledge supplied at this school has the ability to change patients into doctors as students progress through life at Palmer.
2nd trimester student, Davenport Campus
When I attended my first student council meeting, as the newest and youngest member, I was assured that the three-and-a-third years at Palmer would fly by. The ease in which upper trimester students discussed their path to graduation made it seem as though the next time I turned around, I would be in 10th trimester. Ta-da! I can assure you, I have turned around several times, and I am still in second tri.
Word on the street is that second trimester is one of the most aggressive academically, and this week especially I have truly, truly felt that. I do not doubt my success here at Palmer, but there are times when do I lose sight of my original vision of promoting and providing preventative healthcare.
It is easy to get bogged down in the beginning of this journey by the never-ending flood of core scientific information. However, I am lucky enough to have a handful of doctors in eastern Iowa that recognize the highs and lows of chiropractic school. There times when I am least excited about studying and ask both internally and out loud, “What does this have to do with anything? When will I have to explain this to patient?” It is at times like these that I contact my favorite Palmer graduates and beg to observe in their office.
Watching a practicing doctor verbally and physically integrate the topics I am currently learning (muscle origins and insertions) with the topics I would rather be learning (adjustment techniques, physical therapies), is enough to reignite the spark that encouraged me to pursue chiropractic in the first place. I would like to encourage students in a mental “rut” to contact doctors practicing in the field. However, I would mostly like to express my gratitude to D.C.s who open their doors to students. I am sure that this exchange between students and doctors nurtures the entire profession.
2nd trimester student, Davenport Campus