As I reminisce about my first year at Palmer West, I realize that I have only just begun this chiropractic journey. Being a student in a chiropractic school you understand that the field is progressing so rapidly that what you learned last year could be negated next year. What you tested on to be the “truth” will only be proven incorrect in the next upcoming research and the information provided to you is somewhat negotiable. Isn’t that the fun of the field? Nobody chose chiropractic as a career choice thinking, “ I’d love to sit in an office all day; edit papers, write emails and make phone calls to people that don’t really want to talk to me.” We entered this field knowing that its internal upheaval only leaves room for more progress and more creativity. Think about it…you can be any kind of chiropractor you want once you have that certificate, you can see as many or as little patients a day as you’d like, you can specialize in rehab, weight loss, functionality, chronic pain, endocrine, etc. People in pain need help and we have the potential to have a tool belt overflowing with some of chiropractics greatest tools. So my advice, look at each subject, each club meeting, each certification course and each seminar as a way to add another tool to your growing tool belt. If something disagrees with your philosophy or negates what you were taught last quarter, research it and debate it. The best way to add tools to your belt is to prove that you know how to use them.
They say if you can get through second trimester here at Palmer in Davenport that you will be just fine the rest of the way. Well, as much as I hope this is true, I find that a month into third trimester, I am presented with yet another challenging tri.
It is overwhelming to look ahead, but I try to remind myself to take it day by day and remember why I am here. Although I believe this tri will be just as challenging as the first two, I think the one thing I have really learned to do is manage my time and apply myself much more efficiently. I now have much better study skills and much better time management, which allows me to have time to get involved in the fun things that Palmer has to offer.
I am starting to get more involved in the clubs offered on campus as well as attending seminars on weekends. This has allowed me to get more experience in palpation, set ups and X-ray analysis. Surrounding myself around practicing doctors and D.C. students continues to motivate and excite me as I go through this journey here at Palmer.
So each day I try to remind myself that, yes, each tri is going to be challenging in its own sort of way. But if I go into it with the right attitude and always remember why I am here, I can accept the challenge and succeed to the best of my ability.
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.
My first X-ray that I shot was in the Campus Health Center, and it was of a knee. We hadn’t gotten through the whole lower extremity in class yet, so I was very nervous about taking them.
We get a partner to take the X-ray, write a report and do a radiology reading with. I chose an 8th trimester student, because they had already been through the class. It’s nice to have two minds working together, because if you don’t notice something or don’t know how to word something, there is someone else to rely on. I will be the first to admit that I forget things, so it’s nice to have someone else to help. After the X-rays were successfully taken, we had to begin our radiology report. It was easy to write because there wasn’t anything of significance on the films. The radiology review is what I was truly worried about. I had heard all sorts of scary stories about the different things that could go wrong.
We chose our time for the next day’s review sessions. My first radiology review was a great experience. Our report was well written, and we didn’t get “yelled” at for anything. I say “yelled” because that it what I had heard about, but really they just teach you ways to do things properly and make sure that you see all the important stuff on the film. I forgot to mention, radiology review is when you take your films and radiology report in front of a licensed chiropractic radiologist (DACBR for short) to make sure that you didn’t miss anything on the films and that the report is written properly.
I am glad that I have had many positive experiences in the radiology review, because you have to take 30 X-ray credits in order to graduate.
This November, 20 Palmer West students literally traveled across the country to compete against other chiropractic schools at the Chirogames in Cocoa Beach, Florida.
We had teams playing flag football, women’s soccer and beach volleyball. The teams enjoyed playing the sports and competing on the beautiful sunny Florida coastline while being able to enjoy team sports, the warm beach and a little time away from home. It was a great opportunity to get to know new people around the school on a level outside the hallways.
Palmer West is one of the smallest chiropractic schools in the United States and had a smaller turnout than the other schools. But despite our low numbers, the teams put up a tough fight in all their games on Saturday and Sunday. The teams had a competitive mind set, but most of all wanted to go out and enjoy playing the games that they love.
The weather was hot, the food was fried and the nights were full of dancing. The nightlife in Cocoa Beach was filled with chiropractic students from across North America from both the United States and Canada, with a report of over 600 students on the small island over the weekend. This was a great opportunity to meet other chiropractic students that will one day be our colleagues.
Overall, the weekend was a blast, being able to play in the sun and compete.
Nichelle Francavilla B.S., ART, CSCS
Palmer College of Chiropractic, West Campus (9Q-Student Intern)
Last month, I was able to experience one of the most anticipated events of the summer in the Quad-Cities area—the Bix7 race. Being from the East Coast, I was a newcomer to the Bix.
Each year people from all around the Quad-City area and beyond—even Africa!—gather to run a 7-mile course that is mapped out on the streets of Davenport. From professional runners to people with a passion for running and those who ran or walked just for the experience, around 18,000 people participated in this year’s race.
I was lucky enough to have a friend whose house sits along the middle portion of the course, so I was able to have an up close look at the proceedings. I enjoyed seeing friends run the race and watching all of the different costumes of those who chose to dress up.
In the evening, I also attended the street festival and visited several vendors, all while getting to spend some time with great friends from Palmer. It was a great time, and of course, a nice break from school work!
Third trimester student, Davenport Campus
Recently I was able to attend a seminar in Chicago. It wasn’t a technique seminar. It was a seminar geared toward business development and effective communication of chiropractic philosophy. It is a day that has shaped my career, and I am fired up after being immersed in such an intoxicating chiropractic setting!
I think sometimes we make chiropractic philosophy way more difficult than it really is. There was a simple illustration given: “All horses have 4 legs. Big Red is a horse. Therefore, Big Red has 4 legs.” No one would argue with this sequence of logic. Now let’s relate the same logic to chiropractic: “Our bodies are self-healing, self-regulating organisms. The nervous system is the most important system in transmitting self-healing, self-regulating energy in the body. Therefore, if there is interference in nervous system flow, life-force/energy is impeded, and the body cannot function at 100%.” Isn’t that simple?! This is just one easy example that can be used with patients. Obviously, educating our patients in chiropractic philosophy is an ongoing endeavor.
There was also a presentation that encouraged doctors to look for contradictions in their philosophy. Philosophical contradictions result in self-made limitations. If we market our practice as “back and neck pain” care, that is all we can expect to walk through our doors, but if we educate our patients on the vitalistic power of chiropractic, and commit unwaveringly to the chiropractic philosophy, we can continue to advance this distinct and special form of healthcare.
I was really moved by the doctors we met at the seminar. They were all so passionate about the power of chiropractic. (One doctor shared a story of how his son was declared blind in both eyes after an accident involving fireworks, and after adjusting the C1 vertebra every hour for days, his son’s vision was restored!) These doctors expressed interest in my future as a doctor of chiropractic, and they were willing to be transparent and open as they shared about their own private practices. I hope you can meet and surround yourself with positive chiropractic mentors as well.
All in all, it was a great seminar. It was one of those days where I sat listening to the presentations, and I thought to myself, “This is exactly what I want to be doing! I am a chiropractor!”
Well, summer break is right around the corner, and I can’t wait to get out and shadow a few doctors back home. I think that shadowing is such an awesome experience because it helps you see the light at the end of the tunnel. It helps see the love for chiropractic that the doctors still have and how they are truly benefiting the community. It also gives you a great perspective on how you may or may not want to run your practice some day. I definitely look forward to meeting with these doctors and getting advice from them to help me better prepare myself for the future.
Of course, when I go back home, I look forward to seeing my family and friends and getting outdoors for some fishing and boating. Then when it’s time to come back to school, I get to look forward to homecoming, which is going to be a blast. Well, until next time! God bless.
5th trimester student, Davenport Campus
Well, I’ve officially finished my first round of boards, and I can say that my brain is now fried. I can’t believe how much information we have gone through over the last year and half! Although I don’t remember a lot of the stuff we have covered, it was pretty cool to realize how much I have actually learned.
I know that school can be overwhelming, but it was pretty cool to realize that we are really learning stuff. I think the biggest realization of that is when we talk to people who aren’t in school with us, such as family members. They can’t believe how much we know—and yet we feel like we barely know anything!
I feel very fortunate to be here at Palmer and working toward becoming a doctor of chiropractic. I really want to make an impact on my patients’ lives, and I know that I’m slowly getting there. With the first set of boards down, I’m starting to get close. Now I just have to wait until April 27 to see if I passed!
Ryan Etherton, 5th trimester student