Q&A with a prospective student

Recently, a prospective student asked me several questions. Because I know that I had several of these same questions when I was looking at chiropractic schools, I will blog about my answers in the weeks to come.

Prospective student question: Do you feel that you get enough nutrition classes to enable you can give excellent nutritional advice to patients? Or is this something I would have to learn more about outside of class?

Answer: I feel that we learn enough of the foundation for making sound nutritional advice.

The biochem classes are taught specifically geared toward nutrition and give you a good understanding of how the body uses what we put into it, including variables such as what it needs after exercise and in what quantities. Those classes are followed by a general nutrition class that gives you basic concepts of nutrition, a toxicology class that focuses a lot on supplements (herbs, vitamins, etc.) and how to see if they are beneficial for certain things or just old wives’ tales.

The final class in the series is a clinical nutrition class that was added a few tris ago, so I didn’t take it. From what I have heard, it is supposed to give you guidelines on how to give nutrition advice clinically.

Will you need to learn more outside of school? It depends on the amount of nutritional advice you want to give. If you are working in a team setting with other healthcare professionals, you will have a full-time nutritionist helping with that. If you are practicing by yourself, you might need some more specific training—but Palmer gives you what you need to be able to look at something and determine if it is good or not.

I believe Palmer’s nutrition curriculum is the most extensive in any chiropractic program and is enough for giving advice to the general population. If it is more complex case, most chiropractors refer to a good, natural nutritionist or another chiropractor with advanced training because they have a lot more training than we could get.

Joe O’Tool
9th trimester student, Davenport Campus

Different Perspectives

I think one of the most rewarding things about being a campus guide is the variety of experiences that I receive. Just this last trimester I was able to give tours to individuals from practicing alumni, to our national congressman, to prospective students. It is always interesting to see the different perspectives from the various groups. I love the excitement that I see in prospective students. It reminds me of the excitement and the eager anticipation that I had when I started this program. It also helps lift my spirits if I am having a long day or just received a bad score on a test or practical (not that I ever do).

What is even more encouraging to me is when I see that same eagerness and anticipation from alumni who have been practicing for several years. It is awesome to see chiropractors that have the same love for their profession at the end of their careers as those who are taking the first baby steps towards becoming a chiropractor.

As I prepare to leave the student clinic for the outpatient clinic, I am starting to see tangible ways that chiropractic helps people not only feel better, but it helps them become and remain more active, alive, and free. Stay tuned for stories of patient encounters as I begin to discover my own chiropractic “miracle” stories.

Joe O’Tool, 7th 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