It’s a small, healthy world

Within the chiropractic profession, it doesn’t take long to figure out that a lot of us know each other in this network of health-oriented individuals. A lot of us are at school because our lives were personally impacted by a chiropractor we know from home or somewhere else. We all have our stories of how we were introduced to chiropractic, as well as how we discovered it would be the right job for us to pursue.

Along this journey, I quickly realized that a lot of us Palmer students and alumni are interconnected based on where we’re from, whom we’ve met in classes, who we’ve met at clubs, who we’ve met at seminars and in other learning experiences.

In my case, my dad is a 1982 Palmer graduate, so this web goes back a little further in time. Currently at Palmer, I know of at least six students who are children of my dad’s Palmer rugby teammates. It’s cool to see these students in the hall now that we are here and following in our fathers’ footsteps.  It’s neat to think that all of our dads enjoy their profession so much that their passion for chiropractic and the lifestyle that accompanies the paradigm has influenced all of us to choose the same path.

I have had conversations with these six students as well as other “chiro kids,” and it has been great to say, “Yes! I was never vaccinated, either,” and “Yes, I was adjusted since the day I was born. I’m so lucky and I love it!” And “Yes, I was one of the weirdos whose lunch box contained grapes and carrot sticks instead of Dunkaroos and Doritos.”

Coming here and becoming a part of the “chiropractic bubble” has been an amazing experience because instead of being the oddball for trying to eat well, work out often and get adjusted, we are all encouraged to do so since these are part of the “norm.”

A recent Friday also reminded me of how it is a small world within the chiropractic realm. My friend from New Jersey came to Palmer for a Friday visit with his father since he is positive he will attend chiropractic school and is highly considering Palmer. It was awesome to hear that the reason he is so interested in the profession is that my very own dad has been his chiropractor since he was three years old.

It was a great weekend for my friend and his dad to visit since it was the Bix weekend, and there was a lot going on. I explained that every weekend in Davenport doesn’t involve 14,000 people running a race here and live music in the streets, so they picked a great one to be here! It was a great opportunity for my friend to meet my fellow classmates and get a feel for some of the summertime activities in the Quad Cities. Now if he decides to come to Palmer in Davenport, this network of interconnected chiropractors and chiropractic students will grow a little more!

Kelly Serra
7th trimester student, Davenport Campus

‘Summer Camp’ for chiropractors

“Palmer is like a summer camp for people our age. We are a bunch of strangers from all over the country that picked up and moved to Davenport for one common goal,” said my friend from New Mexico. As we were sunning at a park that overlooks the Mississippi River, my friend from New Mexico, my friend from Montana and myself, a New Jersey native, were thinking about this concept.

We reminisced about going to summer camps when we were younger and how neat it was to meet people from other areas of the states or regions we were from. The three of us then related this to how we are essentially doing the same thing now, but on a greater scale.

We realized how cool it is that we are from all different areas of the country, but have a lot of similar experiences, goals and interests. How cool is it that we have the opportunity to converge with people from all over while working hard towards the same goal of becoming the best doctors we can be? Not everyone is fortunate enough to be able to say they have done something like this in their lifetime.

It takes a lot to leave friends and family behind at home while embarking on the journey of chiropractic school, but ultimately it is worth the time spent here. Someday when we are out in the field, helping many patients, it will be well worth all of our time at Palmer. We are currently living right where chiropractic began and right where many of the best chiropractors went to school. When we graduate and say, “I went to Palmer in Davenport” everyone will think, “Wow, you picked up and moved to Iowa to learn from the best.”

While we spend our time here at Palmer, it is important to learn not only from our professors but also from our peers. As we have these few years together, we spend a lot of time with each other in classes, while studying, and while enjoying time off. During all of these moments, we must soak it all in and teach each other about our experiences as well as learn from what others have experienced. Palmer is a great “extended summer camp,” and I’m so glad that I am fortunate enough to be here.

Kelly Serra, 6th trimester student
Davenport Campus

Need inspiration? Check out these great quotes!

A great way to enhance our learning experience while going through school is to attend seminars. There are many different types of seminars to choose from, and I highly recommend checking some out while going through the Palmer program.

Some of these chiropractic seminars focus on technique and set-ups, where others focus on things like how to run a practice and how to encourage patients.

A seminar I attended a few weeks ago was Dr. James Chestnut’s “Think Well” module in Montreal, Canada. (Dr. Chestnut also has “Eat Well,” “Move Well” and “Chiropractic Paradigm” modules that are a part of his wellness certification program.) Below are some of my favorite quotes from the seminar I attended. I thought that you, our reader, might enjoy them, too:

“Our levels of self-control and integrity are the greatest determinants of our quality of life.”

 “The more often you make a good choice, the easier it becomes to make that good choice. The same goes for bad choices.”

“The small decisions in life are the training ground for the big decisions in life.”

“We’re responsible for what we believe and we can change what we believe at any time.”

“The number of patient visits doesn’t matter. The number of positive patient outcomes does.”

“You must be driven by patient outcomes, not doctor income.”

“I have a reverence for knowledge. We must have a reverence for things; regard them as emotionally important to really soak them in.”

“People need to feel loved, important and appreciated.”

“My wife and I joke around and pretend we are in the movie ‘50 First Dates.’ Each day is a clean slate, and I get to convince my wife to fall in love with me. Every morning is a new chance.”

“I have found that patients who derive pleasure from healthy and congruent lifestyle choices are the healthiest.”

“Nobody else can dictate our emotions.”

“If we’re not sure if something is good for us, we must ask ourselves, ‘is this making my life better?’”

“You can’t stay a victim beyond the attack unless you keep yourself there.”

“Retail therapy has never worked for anyone besides the retailer.”

“We are the ‘address the cause’ paradigm.”

These are just a few of the many great quotes I heard during this two-day seminar. It is definitely worth it to check out Dr. James Chestnut’s seminars. Attending seminars can remind us why we are in school and working hard in order to become great chiropractors!

Kelly Serra
6th 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