Remember: always take time to step back and enjoy the ride

Where has the time gone?

As I sit down to write this, I think about where the time has gone since I started at Palmer. I am almost done with my 6th quarter, just completed national boards, and gearing up for finals. I rarely take time to step back and look at all the time that has passed, all the exams I’ve crammed for, and all the memories I’ve made with my new friends. School has a way of doing that to you; it makes you focus on the moment, on cramming for the five tests you have that week, and not giving you much of a chance to look ahead. Before you know it, another set of midterms have passed and another quarter has come to an end. There are definitely times when I appreciate how fast the time flies by, but then there are others where I would like to just slam on the brakes and take this experience for what it is; a time where my friends will soon be my colleagues, where reading for pleasure happens only about twice a quarter, and making it to Friday without pulling an “all nighter” means it was a good week. Chiropractic school has a way of sucking you in; sometimes taking your focus off the big picture so you can make it just one more day. But, taking the time to see the light at the end of the tunnel, to see that you will be a health professional who will be positively changing lives on a daily basis without drugs and with just the use of your hands is an important thing to always remember. I constantly remind myself that this is just school, the real reward comes when I graduate and get the opportunity to better the lives of those who come to see me.

Ajay Iselin – West Campus

Celebration is in order!

“I passed National Boards!”

I am half way through my 7th quarter here at Palmer West, and I have just received the news that I passed part I National Boards!

It feels like the best news I have ever received, if I am going to be honest. Taking boards along with finals last quarter–along with a 100-hour Applied Kinesiology course–was very stressful, and I found it very difficult to manage my time efficiently and not completely pull out ALL my hair. After that experience, I feel like nothing could possibly be harder. So what do I go and do? Get more involved!

I ran for and won Associated Student Government (ASG) Vice President. I am so excited to be going forward knowing that I can accomplish anything that I put my mind to. This next year is going to be full of surprises and difficulties, I am sure. But I welcome the challenges knowing that I will only be bettering myself by helping to prepare for my future.

– Courtenay Schroeder, 7th Quarter, West Campus

Taking time to smell the roses … and eat a marshmallow

(Note: This was written at the end of March)

Spring break starts today. Really it’s just a few extra days off. Most colleges get an entire week, but we only get Friday and Monday off. I think it is good, though, because as I prepare to enter the professional world, it’s not like I get an entire week off several times throughout the year.

“Charcoal” or golden brown? What’s your preference?

Since the beginning of the Trimester, I have been going and going and going. I haven’t been able to do anything really fun with my kids. I play with them when I get home from school, of course, but with recently taking (National) Boards then trying to squeeze studying for the first rounds of tests this Trimester, it has been hard to take my brain off focus mode to really play with them.

We went to the park today and had a blast. Totally worth it. The ground was still a little wet but no big deal–that is why we have a bath/shower in the house! After we got home, we roasted marshmallows over our gas stove. My girls were hilarious. I faintly remember when I liked to eat a “charcoal” marshmallow instead of a warm, golden brown, heated up marshmallow. Maybe that is the true sign and gateway into adulthood, and the gateway into parenthood is obliging your children and eating charcoal again. It was a great day.

– Dylan M Clarke

I am SO stressed! But that’s okay

Hello! My name is Courtenay, and I am almost halfway through my sixth quarter here at Palmer’s West Campus. Man, am I stressed! Midterms are hitting full force, and so is the realization that Part I boards are right around the corner (end of the quarter with finals). Trying to balance school, friends and health can be challenging, especially in times like these. However, the great thing about my class is that we are all in this together, and everyone is so supportive! It makes the endless hours of studying seem not THAT bad.

The deeper I get into the curriculum, the more I get to learn adjustments and the better I get at them–so that is honestly what is getting me through right now. Regardless of how much studying I have to do, exams I have coming up, or the fact I need a nap SO bad doesn’t deter me from practicing my adjusting skills every chance I get. Seven more quarters to go, but who’s counting right?

Passed Boards and heading to the clinic!

November brings the beginning of a new trimester.  I am now in 8th tri and am thinking I will really enjoy this trimester.  With 8th tri, the class load is decreased so that we can spend more time in the clinics treating patients.  It is going to be really nice to be able to spend more time in the clinic versus the classroom!!

In December we will be allowed to apply for clearance to the AHC (Academic Health Center), meaning that seeing outpatients from the community is not too far away.  I can’t wait!! Also, all the classes this trimester have a practical application to real life practice, which makes them a lot more interesting and easy to pay attention to.

Also, a big weight was lifted off my shoulders two weeks ago when I got my Part II National Boards scores back and passed all of the sections!  That means two parts down and two more boards parts to go!! It makes all the stress and hard studying worth it!

Well, I don’t have too much to say since we have only been back in classes a week, but I am very excited to see what this trimester has to offer!

– Stephanie Tronnes, Davenport Campus

 

Sports Council: 3 Day Breast Cancer Walk

The only event of the year where Palmer’s Sports Council camps out for three days in a row–in one big tent, as one big sports medicine team–is the 3 Day Susan G. KomenBreast Cancer Walk. This event is one-of-a-kind and only comes once a year for our school to participate. This year Palmer’s Sports Council had over 30 wonderful volunteers that gave countless hours to thousands of participants to help with one cause, “The Cure” for breast cancer. The volunteers graciously provided their sports medicine and chiropractic skills, while facing many finals back at school and some even facing (National) Boards just days away. However, while they made many sacrifices, every single volunteer will tell you the positive impact of the event by far out-weighs the cost.

During the three days the volunteers were able to advance their skills in taping, soft tissue work and even history taking. The intern volunteers were able to treat dozens of patients for their first chiropractic adjustment and provide services that helped the participants finish the full 60 miles. The doctor and patient interactions at this event are unlike any other because it allows students to have interactions with the same patient for three days in a row and really see the impact that their skills have on real patients.

The 3 Day Susan G. Komen Breast Cancer Walk is filled with many people who have been impacted by breast cancer in one way or another and, because of this, there are many emotions that come with the event. The walkers are so thankful for the care we provide, which allows them to cross the finish line. The 3 Day walkers provide such kind words, warm hugs and, best of all, positive attitudes that are contagious. While the sports medicine team worked hard to keep the walkers on the course, the walkers worked hard to finish for the loved ones that they have lost to breast cancer, those who are battling breast cancer, and for those who will fight the battle in the future.  Our time at the event was priceless and allowed us to practice our skills but, best of all, allowed us to give our time to “The Cure.” 

Palmer’s West Campus Sports Council allows us students to really gain hands on, real life experience with patients, which has shown to be an invaluable opportunity for us students. 

Questions about boards? Ask away!

This quarter has flown by. For those who have never been on a quarter system before, it is quite the change. The semester schedule seems to drag on and take forever. With the quarter schedule you start school and get used to the new schedule for about two weeks. Then, before you know it, there are several weeks of midterms. Then you move right into finals. The quarters are great because they go by so fast—and they are really the perfect amount of time to get through a subject.

In several weeks we have boards, which occur for Palmer’s West Campus after lab finals but before lecture finals. The process of studying for boards really occurs while in school because lots of the material we cover throughout our courses. There is time outside of school that needs to be put into studying for boards to do well, but all of the studying is manageable.

With all the school, outside activities, and studying for boards, it seems like a lot. But everyone seems to be able to get through these busy quarters. I might add that there is a lot of coffee consumption! However, we seem to make it through the busy testing times.

In total we have Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, PT, and Part 4 boards. All of the parts except Part 4 are multiple choice only. The first time we come across boards is in our 6th and 7th quarters, and that depends upon the term in which you enroll (Winter, Spring, Summer or Fall). Boards come around about every 6 months after that until we graduate. The boards are important because to be able to receive your license as a doctor and to practice you need to pass all the above parts of boards.

If anyone has any questions about the boards process, I would be happy to answer them. You can e-mail me via the Campus Guides e-mail address, campusguides.ca@palmer.edu. I have only taken Part 1 at this point and am soon to be taking PTs.

However, if there are questions to which I do not know the answer, I can ask other students. I am blogging about boards only because it seems to be a hidden topic that some don’t know too much about until they are facing them.

Nichelle Francavilla
8th quarter student, West Campus

There’s always too much to do at National Boards time!

Let’s talk about what is on everyone’s mind right now: BOARDS! It’s National Boards time again here at Palmer College of Chiropractic. What does that mean exactly? Well, since it is the September Boards, we are talking board reviews and classes all day. Oh, and did I mention that we are n the middle of midterms?

I am currently in my seventh trimester, which is the trimester in which you first get to start seeing patients in the CHC (Clinical Health Center).  I have been seeing patients for about three weeks now, and I am still getting the hang of how the whole clinic system works. Now I am studying for boards, too!

National Boards are something that every chiropractic student across the nation has to take, unless you plan on practicing in Canada. (Then you would take Canadian Boards). There are four parts to Boards, plus a board in physiotherapy (we like to call it PT).

You will take Part I after your first year. Then it’s up to you to decide how you take the rest.  I will be taking Part II and PT in just a few short weeks. What does this mean for me? Board review all this week. Sigh. This means class from 8:30 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. every day this week, then clinic from 3:45 to 5 p.m.-ish working with patients. Then I will be in board review from 5 to 10 p.m. at night. On top of that, I have tests this week that I need to study for, too! Let’s just say that I am ready for the next few weeks to be over so that I can finally breathe again. Well, at least until scores are posted in six weeks!

Devan Lysen
7th trimester student, Davenport Campus

There’s so much to love about fifth tri

Wow! A new trimester is upon us and I can feel the buzz of excitement in the halls at Palmer. It is always a refreshing place after everyone has had a break, and students are diving into new clubs and speakers and meetings! You can never possibly be bored here.

Boards are about to be taken by many, myself not included, for I will be taking Canadian boards sometime next year. It is the first time my classmates will take part 1 boards, and I can usually hear someone discussing their panic attacks, explaining concepts, making up silly mnemonics, or something of the like in between classes.

I took the NBS board review with my friends last tri to stay ahead of the game. That was before I knew I would not be taking American boards, but over break I took the board review again for $25! Steal of a deal for lots of fun with Dr. Laura. She is quite the animated teacher and she can really shine a light on all of that first year info and even make learning fun! I’m kind of a nerd … if you haven’t guessed. Haha!

So we just entered fifth trimester and wow! I can’t even tell those of you who haven’t experienced it yet how DIFFERENT it is from fourth tri! We get to participate and not sit as much in class!

We are learning the basics of physical therapy with Dr. Rowell, which I am excited for, coming from a sports background. We have already learned some about preventing sports injuries and rehabilitation! We even have a lab for it to practice exercises and sketches to show our future patients.

 Then we have radiology two with Dr. Firth, where we continue to increase our skills at looking at an x-ray and differentiating between normal and pathological conditions, and gaining knowledge about how cancer can present in the bones on a film.

 Then we have toxicology class with Dr. Nightingale, which is very interesting! We get to go over how the medications may be interacting in many of our patients’ digestive systems, at what limits they can be lethal, and conditions when drugs may be useful.

 At 10:15 we have Dr. Torgurud again. We have not seen him since CNS class in first tri! He teaches us biomechanics, which is all about the technicalities and a little physics of the adjustment, stability and posture! We then have lunch! Yay for lunch break!

 At 12:05 we begin physical diagnosis with Littrell. What an amazing teacher! We have discussions in class, and she encourages us to put together info from all the past few tris to come up with differential diagnoses in the first week of class!

 I just purchased my diagnostic equipment today, and I can’t wait to be able to listen to heart and lung sounds, take a proper blood pressure, and use my new beautiful panoptic oto-opthalmoscope to decipher whether or not any ear or eye problems exist!

 Then we get into cervicals class! Aha! Chiropractic, hands-on! We have already covered leg checks and some film analysis with the sweetest teacher who has been a chiro for many years. Today I already analyzed my own cervical films and came up with listings!! So neat!

 The last class of the day is NMS, where we will be learning other diagnostic skills to test the nerve pathways in the body. Today I felt like a doctor in practice already because we got to take patient histories and practice a clinical setting as if someone was in a new patient visit with me and I was finding out about them! I know I am going to leave this tri with great skills for my practice! It is so great.

Cheers to all of you Palmer students ahead of me, to all Palmer grads out there who are rocking it in practice, and to all of you future Palmer students who have yet to experience fifth tri! It’s a gooder!

Kaileigh Strath, 5th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

Planning for boards? Take this advice

I hope you all had a great break—at least better than mine. I spent most of the time studying for the National Boards Exam part I, and it definitely wasn’t entertaining.

The Part I board exam consists of 6 topics: Spinal and Gross Anatomy, Chemistry, Physiology, Pathology, and Microbiology. It pretty much contains all the things that we have learned throughout 1st to 4th trimesters. This is a good opportunity to review all the materials that we have gone through and to remind ourselves about the “basic” knowledge that we are expected to know as doctors. It is painful to study these all over again, but it sure did help me to go through most of the information that we have been taught at Palmer for 4 trimesters.

I am not taking any review classes but am just studying off from my old notes and a book called “Chiro Essentials” from the Bookstore from Palmer, which I hope to be sufficient. For those of you who have never taken Boards, I would recommend to find out the due dates for registering during your 3rd or the beginning of your 4th trimester—and keep on track on what you need to do to register for the exam.

There are a couple steps that you need to follow in order to successfully register yourself to take the NBCE. You need to take a passport photo, get a money order, register online, and, finally, register on the 4th floor of the Campus Center. Hopefully this information was helpful. I wish all of you the best of luck both for Board exams and this new trimester!

Yoon Mi (Lisa) Kim, 5th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus