Campus Guide Question of the Month:

What change did you hope to make by joining Campus Guides?

I hoped to change the perspective of some of my peers who only ever see the negative in Palmer. Campus Guides has allowed me to understand our history and appreciate the school more, which allows me to share all the great things about Palmer.

–Brian Hall

I was hoping to help people get real answers about Palmer and chiropractic from student’s point of view. Taking a tour at Palmer is what helped me make up my mind about coming out here instead of going to Cleveland Chiropractic College in Kansas City.

–Ryan Etherton

Each individual personality has the ability to change and benefit a group. By joining Campus Guides, I hoped to add my experiences to the team’s dynamic, help prospective students enjoy their visit, and aid them in making the best decision for them in finding a chiropractic school.

–Jaclyn Andrews

I want to specifically reach out to those prospective students who are deciding if chiropractic is the right choice for their second career. I want to share with them that giving up the job, selling the house, and/or moving their family to Iowa, will be worth it the end when they think of all the lives they will change as a chiropractor.

–Brook Peters

During my Undergraduate Studies at Brigham Young University-Idaho, I was lured (by a tall blonde haired, blue eyed girl- of whom I never dated anyhow) in to a student-lead organization that was in charge of the new student orientation, Student Spirit Events. This luring was at first because of the networking of “future potential” dates, but eventually my drive to help with New Student Orientation came from within myself to help these new students become connected with a “new life” or a “new chapter” in their lives.


I brought this same drive with me in to the Campus Guide Organization. I want people to choose to come to Palmer College of Chiropractic. This needs to be their decision and I want to help them in their search to answer questions that they might have. There are always rough times in life and at Palmer this is no different! Every student has moments of “why am I really here?” or “Is this worth it?” At this point the student needs to reflect back at the time when they felt like they needed to be here and when they made the decision to come here. Referring back to these moments can give us the courage and the self-will power that we need to bear another hour, another day, another week until we find that answer once again- “THIS is why I am here!” “THAT is why I am learning these things!” “THIS is why I am becoming a Doctor of Chiropractic!”


As an organization, Campus Guides thrives on networking. I love that about this organization. If I do not have an answer, give me some time to write a few emails and to hear back. I will then have a good answer to your question or some good direction on what other students have done or accomplished.


Much like at Brigham Young University-Idaho, the vast majority of the student body knows that they are supposed to be here for the continuation of their education and many more need a support group. I want to be one who helps people feel “at home” and to be a support when they need/ want it. That is one great reasons I joined the Campus Guides Organization- to serve my fellowman (woman, too), to “help other people at all times,” and “To Do A Good Turn Daily” (Boy Scouts of America, Scout Oath & Slogan).

–Anton Keller

I wanted to feel the love from leading with service! I believe that energy frequency rises to the person in the room who is giving off the most positive energy. What effect does the collective group of positive guides have? What if a guide has a great feeling after serving and leading a tour and they bring that energy back to their classrooms? What if it lifts all of Palmer’s spirits? You never know how far reaching…

–Kalleigh Strath

I hope to make the student body appreciate more what awesome educational experience Palmer is offering us all. To help keep them focused on the positives and in working together, make better that which makes us feel gloomy sometimes.


My goal in joining campus guides was to surround myself with positive productive individuals. By doing this I have grown in so many ways, the friendships we build within Campus Guides provides us with a group of peers in which we can rely on for support and continuous personal growth. I also hoped to get more involved in our Palmer community, which has happened in tenfold, being more involved has allowed me to appreciate Palmer on another level which I would not have seen otherwise.

–Jennifer Katzer


“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed. It is the only thing that ever has.”

-Margaret Mead


Toggle Recoil … toggle-like?

Another holiday break came around. It is kind of crazy the time that is flying by. I am currently in Toggle Recoil Technique class, and within the next year I will have taken the rest of the technique classes that will be the foundation of my whole future!

Toggle Recoil Technique is viewed by some as an old and outdated technique that we are only taught because of the historical significance not only to our school, but to the whole world! I have had some students from other chiropractic schools ask me if we were taught Toggle Recoil, and I would reply that it is a required class for everyone who passes through our program and graduates from Palmer. Their replies have always been almost apologetic.

From my point of view, I feel apologetic towards them because they are not being taught a technique that is rooted in the history of Chiropractic–one that is backed-up with lengthy research projects that were performed within the same clinic space where we have our first clinic experience during 7th trimester.

It is true that we are not suppose to live in the past or to hold onto events from the past as if they are everything and “it.”  However, we are to revere events of the past and, as we embrace significant moments, we are to build upon them and to improve upon them to better society as a whole.

An interesting experience for me took place in the student clinic the other day (where the B.J. Palmer Clinic was). The Clinic doctor was trying to instruct the students in some hands-on training, and he stated that the thrust should be a “toggle-like” thrust. How often do we actually go through a class or an experience in life that at the moment we feel it is a waste of time, skill, money, etc.? On the flip-side, we need to look into these experiences with more long-term-vision spectacles to see how these can benefit our lives as well as those we will help heal themselves through not only our chiropractic care that we will offer, but also the healing as we take time to hear and communicate with our patients! (And please do not take this as something I have mastered … I am yet a peon in this aspect of enJOYing life.)


Thoughts on lab practicals, T-shirts, personal challenge and more

Well, with finals and lab practicals literally on my own doorstep, I would be lying a little if I said I was not stressed out. I am a little. OK, more than a little. This just means that I am putting my studying mind to full-throttle and pray for the best!

Lab practicals this time around involve identifying “landmarks” on particular parts of the skeleton, identifying organs, vessels, nerves, and other tissues on cadavers—oh, and many muscles that are on cadavers. One would think that studying on cadavers would be weird—and it is for the first little while —but then you get used to it. I have had to separate myself from the specimens and think of the cadavers as just that: specimens.

A living billboard? Sure!

On a different topic, I lately have been having some random thoughts about people wearing shirts with spines on them—Palmer gear and other things like that.

Up until a few days ago I would feel weird wearing it. I am not sure why. But now, looking back at how much time I am spending on learning these fantastic bodies of ours, I feel like, “Give me a spine shirt, or a Palmer shirt to wear proudly during any day of the year.!” I know this stuff well enough to bore people with the little details that we need to know as chiropractors!

 So, yes, I am catching the fever. I’m wanting to spread the good news of chiropractic, spinal health, and knowledge!Maybe I will be able to do that during our upcoming summer break.

How many people will I be able to convince that their lives would be better if they saw a chiropractor? How many people will each student come into contact with that may be a future chiropractic patient? Everyone whom we contact who is not already one!

So, here is the challenge that I now have put upon myself: To be a living billboard for chiropractic care. “So let it be written. So let it be done!” ”

Anton Keller
2nd trimester student, Davenport Campus

Real winners are those who overcome

I am now winding down my 6th trimester here at Palmer, and as I reflect on my time here, it has been full of some great memories as well as some very stressful times. It’s hard to believe that next trimester I will begin seeing student patients. I’m excited and at the same time scared. I’ve spent the past 2 years learning so much information, and I wonder if I will be able to pull it all together and help my patients. Of course I know that I will have the help of a staff doctor as well as my fellow classmates, but I have to be honest and say that I am still a little scared.

During my time here at Palmer, I had the opportunity to re-take a couple classes way back in 2nd trimester. It was during that difficult time that I questioned if this career path was truly right for me. I loved what I was learning, and I knew that I wanted to help people, but could I really make it through this program?

The majority of my classmates hadn’t struggled with the academics—so I wondered if I should just give up and throw in the towel. Well, after a lot of heartfelt thought, and even a prayer or two, I knew that I could make it through. Since that time, I have worked really hard to get to where I am now. Don’t get me wrong, I still have those days of minor self doubt, but I know that I am on the right path. Just the other day I was talking with a fellow classmate and friend of mine. We were discussing how tired we are and in need of a break. I think that she heard a little more in my tone beyond the words I said because later that day she posted this to my Facebook wall: “The number one reason why people give up so fast is because they tend to look at how far they still have to go, instead of how far they have gotten.”

Once I read that, I felt the fire and conviction to succeed come to life with renewed determination. It also reminded me of one of my favorite poems. It’s called, “The Race,” by Dr. D.H. Groberg and I’d like to share it with you.

The Race 

Whenever I start to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
    my downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; how I remember well,
    excitement sure, but also fear, it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope, each thought to win that race
    or tie for first, or if not that, at least take second place.
Their parents watched from off the side, each cheering for their son,
    and each boy hoped to show his folks that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they flew, like chariots of fire,
to win, to be the hero there, was each young boy’s desire.
One boy in particular, whose dad was in the crowd,
    was running in the lead and thought “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field and crossed a shallow dip,
the little boy who thought he’d win, lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arms flew everyplace,
and midst the laughter of the crowd he fell flat on his face.
As he fell, his hope fell too; he couldn’t win it now.
Humiliated, he just wished to disappear somehow.
But as he fell his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win that race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit that’s all,
and ran with all his mind and might to make up for his fall.\

So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
his mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished that he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”
But through the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face
with a steady look that said again, “Get up and win that race!”
So he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last.
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight, then ten…
but trying hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently. A tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running anymore! Three strikes I’m out! Why try?
I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought. “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.

“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “you haven’t lost at all,
for all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
Get up!” the echo urged him on, “Get up and take your place!
You were not meant for failure here! Get up and win that race!”
So, up he rose to run once more, refusing to forfeit,
and he resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been,
still he gave it all he had and ran like he could win.
Three times he’d fallen stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered another boy who crossed the line and won first place,
head high and proud and happy — no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen youngster crossed the line, in last place,
the crowd gave him a greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last with head bowed low, unproud,
you would have thought he’d won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me, you won,” his father said. “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and bleak and difficult to face,
the memory of that little boy helps me in my own race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
And when depression and despair shout loudly in my face,
another voice within me says, “Get up and win that race!” 

I hope that this blog has maybe helped you in some way, and I hope to see you walking the halls of Palmer someday soon. If you have any questions or if I can be of assistance feel free to get in contact with me. Have a great day!

Matt Sharples
6th  trimester student, Davenport Campus

The power of proof

Finally, from the 5th trimester, we have opportunities to take elective classes as long as we meet the prerequisites.

We get to take specific technique classes that are not the part of the Palmer package, and I had a great opportunity to take an upper-cervical technique class called Atlas Orthogonal. This “AO” technique uses an instrument to adjust, and was created by the founder Dr. Roy Sweat. Dr. Sweat wanted to create an instrument that would give same positive outcomes to every patient, since adjustments can vary for everyone and even within oneself.

One of the foremost things I loved about this class was the amount of research that was done by AO doctors. Many doctors who came over to the Palmer to teach us about AO were involved in many research projects. They wanted to show people that chiropractic works, and in order to prove it, we need scientific proof and written documents.

Also, they wanted to show what they do visually, so they have set up a protocol to take pre- and post-X-ray film. They take post-films immediately after the first adjustment. These post films not only gave them information about the treatment given, but also helped the doctors to set up the treatment plan for each individual. Many patients showed remarkable improvements after single adjustments, regaining their curves back in their cervical immediately. There were cases that required prolonged and numerous treatments, and later on showed improvements. There were cases with patients with Bell’s Palsy and acute torticollis with incredible results.

Also, pictures of patient’s posture and leg lengths pre- and post-treatment were taken to show the patients that there are improvements. It was amazing to see the power of chiropractic, and the power of the upper-cervical system.

This research and actual visual proof of the effects of adjustments are not only necessary for the future of the chiropractic, but to spread the word about chiropractic to many of those who do not know about this profession.

I thought that the classes were amazing, and it would be great if more chiropractic offices would take visual proofs about what they do for both the doctors and the patients. We all know that chiropractic works and about the power of the chiropractic, but if we can show the others who are not familiar with the chiropractic, why not do more research and record proofs about our outcomes and move our professions forward?

Yoon Mi (Lisa) Kim
5th trimester student, Davenport Campus

Note to self: Take time for off-campus fun!

These past couple of weeks have been quite interesting. We had a break from our tests (talk about OVERLOAD a few weeks ago), and now we are bracing ourselves for another swing of exams. Studying can get very monotonous, and that is why we should have a life OUTSIDE of Palmer—or at least outside campus.

Recently my wife and I have been doing more activities together, and through this time together we have let the Quad Cities area take root in our hearts. We have been bowling at a local alley with another couple, and we had a blast! And our latest find is a hiking/mountain bike trail that is just minutes away from Davenport! Breanna, my wife, and I got so wound up in the biking that we almost felt like we were in the mountains from where we both grew up, North Idaho and Eastern Washington.

Students that say that there is nothing to do have not been looking in the right places! #1: Winter CAN be dull. It is cold, VERY cold at times, and it may seem long, but do NOT forget! Spring and summer will come! #2: Spring and summer, so far, have been great!

There are many activities in the Quad Cities that draw your attention and gets you excited to be involved. For instance, the Mississippi Valley Fair will be going on during school time in July! There are weekly races at the fairgrounds on Fridays that I *just* found out about because I heard the engines from our house! There are festivals all over the place! And, you can go ice skating all year at the Davenport recreational facility–my wife’s favorite! (For some reason, she likes to see me biff it all the time). The parks around here, for the most part, are beautiful and great places to have a great BBQ. (Oh, the tastes and smells of SUMMERTIME!)

Oh, and I guess I am getting a little excited to have a vacation from school that is coming up. As a matter of fact, I think everyone here at campus is getting a little antsy for the BIG break. It’s only three weeks, but we will utilize those three weeks to the best of our capabilities! Soak it in while you can!

OK, now back to studying. More exams—and more to look forward to!

Anton Keller
2nd trimester student, Davenport Campus

Keeping the end in mind

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.

Hannah Anderson
2nd trimester student, Davenport Campus

Halfway mark!!!

I am just about to finish my 5th trimester which marks the completion of the first half of my Palmer education! With that being said, it is very exciting to think that i am half way there, but at the same time a little scary! I mean, in about 6-7 months I will be seeing patients in the Campus Health Center.  When I first started at Palmer I thought that this would never come, but I have to say it has flown by!

Fifth trimester has been a crazy and busy tri, but at the same time I have learned many skills that will be used in future practice. Currently I am taking a class called Physical Diagnosis where I have learned the many skills needed to perform a thorough and efficient physical examination.  With all the practice in class, I have gained confidence in my skills.  This tri I am also taking Cervicals, which has been a great experience.  We have been taught both Gonstead and Diversified techniques for adjusting cervicals.  Along with those two classes, I have NMS Diagnosis which has taught me multiple different tests that can help to better determine patients’ conditions. It is cool to think that I am starting to learn more hands on applications and adjusting techniques this trimester.  I am very much looking forward to what next trimester has to teach me!

Stephanie Tronnes, 5th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

How do you do it?

People outside of the Palmer community really don’t have any idea of what kind of coursework we take on each trimester, and I find that their new-found understanding is the result of three typical questions. The first question I usually get asked is, “How long are you in school?” My answer of three solid years isn’t that surprising to most people. They will then follow up with, “How much schooling do you have left?” When I reply with, “I’m in my third trimester,” I am met with confused expressions as the person scans my abdomen assuming I’m talking about pregnancy! I quickly add that Palmer is a ten trimester program. (Sometimes I just play that little trick to mess with people!) The third question is along the lines of, “What is your credit load?” The answer to this question is what really shocks people…The average credit load of a Palmer student is right around 28 credits per trimester. (It makes our 15 credit semester in undergrad seem like a day at the beach!) While the credit load is heavy, it is not impossible. Here is what I have learned along the way to help me be successful and still live a balanced life.

1. Plan ahead: You cannot study for exams at Palmer the night before. Well, you probably could, but I would guess you would not be that happy with your grade, and you will be exhausted for the rest of the week with possible other exams.

2. Use a calendar: You will know at the beginning of each trimester the exact dates of all your exams. Reference this frequently!!! Don’t plan a weekend getaway before a week of three exams.

3. Know when it is time to take a break: There are nights when I know that I just need to take the night off from studying. If I tried to force myself to sit down and study, it wouldn’t be productive anyway, so I might as well relax and get a good nights sleep so that I can feel refreshed to study the next day.

4. Do what you love: Every trimester at Palmer so far, I have managed to get out on my bike, hike a trail or two, visit friends and family on a weekend, and read at least one fiction book apart from my studies. These are things that I love to do, and school should not keep me from them. You have to keep investing in relationships; life doesn’t stop when you come to Palmer.

So with that being said, prepare yourself for some hard work ahead, but keep it all in perspective. And strive to live a full life while you are here at Palmer. It’s an exciting ride!

Leah Hetebrueg, 3rd Trimester Student
Davenport Campus


Not only are these the lyrics of one of David Bowie’s most recognized hits (way before my time!), it also seems to be the recent theme of Palmer’s technique department. In response to student feedback, Palmer has made some big changes to introduce technique earlier into the curriculum! My class is the first group to experience these changes, and I can tell you that the reception among my classmates and myself has been awesome.

Palpation (first of Palmer’s technique classes) used to be a third trimester class, and last year it was moved to second trimester. I was nervous about adding an additional course to an already crowded class schedule, but it ended up being an appreciated addition to the heavy anatomy courses. It was so exciting to start palpating spinous landmarks and build the proprioceptors in my fingertips! There were challenges in trying to feel some osseous landmarks, but I know with continued practice this will get easier.

Another change has been the addition of a brand new course called, “Introduction to Subluxation Analysis.” This class incorporates palpation, instrumentation, x-ray, and posture analysis to identify and label a subluxation in a patient. Now, when I say instrumentation, I don’t mean that we are sitting around with flutes and guitars! We are learning how to use Nervoscopes and Tytron technology to objectify neurologic dysfunction and relative temperature of the spine. When this information is coupled with palpation, patient history, x-ray analysis, we can zero in on areas of the spine that might be subluxated. I’m starting to feel like a doctor! Again, these skills require lots of practice, and so I have a lot more work to do to feel comfortable and confident in these skills.

I think the coolest part about these changes, and one of the things I love about Palmer is that the institution really listens to students. They received the feedback from student surveys, and took action to move technique classes earlier in the curriculum. I know that these changes and future changes are implemented to help students become the best doctors of chiropractic we can be.

Leah Hetebrueg, 3rd Trimester Student
Davenport Campus