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


All the prep work was worth it for this practical

This morning in physical diagnosis class, we had our first practical. It covered all aspects of taking a thorough case history on a patient. For an entire week, we discussed the importance of taking an extensive case history and all the components of the case history, so that by the time the practical rolled around today, it seemed easy! During the practical, we each took the doctor role and did a complete case history on a patient (upper-trimester students filling in) from memory. It went great, and I am so glad that we got a chance to master this skill before moving onto the next big idea, which will be taking blood pressure and vitals. I feel like I will learn a lot in this class!

Lacey Pletchette, 5th trimester student
Davenport Campus

Taking a closer look

This week I did my clinical observations! Since I am in 6th tri, we follow around the students who are in the student clinic adjusting since my class will be in there next tri starting to adjust—which I am extremely excited for! On my clinical observations I had an interesting experience.  I watched 8 adjustments, and I had an experience I want to share with you.

So the first few adjustments were like typical ones I have been exposed to, where the doctor feels your spine through your shirt and delivers the adjustment through the shirt.  Well, the one student intern I followed did it much different!  This student intern put the patients in a gown, examined the skin, measured the heat difference of the spine from left to right, looked for changes in the texture of the skin, looking for slight changes in the muscle tone, and feeling for joint restriction.  I was absolutely amazed because I had never seen such a thorough exam.  I know there are a TON of different techniques, but this really made sense to me.

As chiropractors we remove subluxations. Well, as a doctor or student intern how do you know if you have found a subluxation? By a restricted joint alone?  Well if we remove subluxations, which cause nerve interference, how is it that that the only finding would be joint fixation?

If a subluxation interferes with the mental impulses from the brain to the body, or body to the brain, isn’t there a way to measure or detect this nervous system interference?  I think so!

If subluxations affect the nervous system and keep it from functioning at 100 percent, then it is our job as chiropractors to solve the mystery of where and how the nervous system has decreased function.  From my clinical observation, I saw how the body can leave subtle clues!

If the physiology is altered, it can causes changes in the skin: such as color change, a skin blemish, patch of greasy or dry skin, swelling, hot or cool patches of skin, muscle tightness or fatigue, and altered motion in the joint.

This makes what we do a bit more challenging, but a whole lot more exciting!  It is neat to see how the highly specific adjustments we deliver to remove a subluxation can alter the human physiology from the outside. Now, just IMAGINE what is going on inside the body!

Chiropractic is an amazing thing. Never doubt the power the body possesses to heal itself if the interference is removed. From this experience in the clinic, I discovered how important it is to be as specific as I can.

I feel that it would be an injustice to my patient if I didn’t take a few extra moments to examine their external physiology.

One of my favorite epigrams on campus that reminds me of this topic is “Chiropractic is specific, or it is nothing!” So my challenge to you is, whatever you choose to do, be specific, and be the best you can be! 

Stacia Kampenschneider, 6th trimester student
Davenport Campus

Athletes turn to Palmer for care

Recently I have been working in the outpatient clinic at the Academic Health Center during my 8th trimester. There have been numerous athletes coming in to get worked on in the clinic, and I have really enjoyed the learning experience I have gotten from it. My staff doctor has made some great connections at the local gym, and, as a result, the word is spreading among the athletic community that chiropractic can help people with their injuries.

I was blown away to see just how much goes in to quality care for a patient, and that the most subtle observations can be the keys to solving the problem the patient is dealing with.

I have seen my doctor take a look at a patients walking gait, and within seconds he can see where the problem originates. Not only  that, but he was able to adequately explain to the patient and I what he was seeing, and why it was important to take care of it.

I suppose, on one hand, it was eye-opening because it showed me just how much better I need to get before I graduate, but it also encouraged me to see that I get to work with staff who really know how to care for patients.

As a student who would love to work with athletes in the future, I am thrilled that I am able to get the experience here at school that will help me know how to treat athletes after I graduate.

Joshua Pattengale
8th trimester, Davenport Campus

I have my clinic badge!

Earlier this tri my class got our clinic badges! I know it seems like such a little thing, but it something that I have worked so hard for the last year and half!

This means that I am one step closer to taking care of my fellow students in the clinic. I can’t wait! Excitement and anxiety are the two overwhelming emotions that run through my head when I think about the fact that, in August, I will be an intern!

Every day I feel more and more confident about taking on this huge responsibility of caring for others. I just need to learn to remove my student hat and put on my chiropractor hat, and everything will be great!

The professors and fellow students in the upper trimesters here do everything they can to help us prepare. When we go through patient scenarios in class and I answer correctly, it is a great feeling, and a great confidence booster.

It has been such a long strenuous process, but I wouldn’t change a thing! 🙂

Kaitlin Bowen
6th 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

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

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

Frustration ensues

Well, I am beating myself up slightly.  I knew coming here that I would be working with a different subset of people than I was used to and that it would not be easy adjusting military men.  The first week I was following him, Dr. P even had a discussion with me about how all of his students have hit a point in which they have had difficulty adjusting many of the patients and consequently they felt their skills were sub-par.  He told me to expect it to happen and when it does to not doubt myself but realize it is a part of the growth process.

This week, I hit that point.  The first couple weeks, I was adjusting at least half of the patients (he would allow me to) with minimal problems but now I seem to be missing most everything!  In my defense though, I haven’t been able to focus as much as I would like due to some dental woes that are keeping me up most nights.  That excuse aside, I realize that life always presents such challenges and when I’m out in the world on my own I’m not going to have an experienced doctor to fall back on so I need to always bring my ‘A’ game regardless of personal issues.  Subsequently, next week I am determined to be more patient with myself and to not have Dr. P step in to adjust unless I absolutely have to.

On a good note, I performed my 3rd new patient physical this week and it went SO MUCH more smoothly than the other two times!  Dr. P let me run the show, other than stepping in once to have an educational moment with the patient and I was grateful that he did.  The patient was a male in his 40s, not long out of the military, not working, and presenting with low back pain.  Dr. P had a discussion with him about staying active (ok, yeah I could’ve done that) and about the importance of reintegrating into society constructively.  He stated that he’s seen so many veterans from the Vietnam era isolate themselves and do nothing but sit in front of the TV, eat, drink, and waste away and he told that veteran not to fall into that trap.  He told the veteran to get involved in something that keeps him connected to society and keeps him feeling productive even if he cannot work.  That counseling was really good for me to hear, as it hadn’t really crossed my mind that this 40 year old guy could have such an issue and I had been so focused on the mechanics of doing the evaluation that I would’ve missed the opportunity to educate the patient.

The interesting case for this week was a male in his mid fifties that came in with neck pain and numbness and tingling in his left fingertips.  Looking at his x-rays, he had a surgical fusion of his 3rd and 4th cervical vertebrae (which had been performed in February of this year), he had not had numbness and weakness in this hand prior to the surgery but it has been present ever since the surgery.  Looking at his pre-surgical MRI, the bones and spinal cord at those levels looked relatively fine while at C5-T1 had substantial disc bulges and his spinal cord in that area looked wavy…not a good thing.  Also, when we performed all of the orthopedic and neurologic tests the findings pointed to the C7-T1 area as being the culprit.  We decided not to adjust yet and sent him off for a new MRI to see how the tissues in his neck have changed since his surgery 8 months ago.  I felt sadness for the poor guy because I could tell he was scared and freaked out about not being able to feel his fingertips and also because I know that the disc impingement on the cord has been long standing enough that even with a surgical removal/repair of the discs in his lower neck, he will probably always have deficits in his hand.

Enough shop talk.  My days outside of the VA consist of frequent walks with my roommate’s dog Gizmo and working out at the YMCA that is within walking distance of where I’m staying.  The location is pretty sweet because its right on a lakeside park so when I finish working out I wander to the waterfront, out onto the dock, sit and dangle my feet over the water and Zen out for a bit watching the water and wild life and listen to the water hit the shore.  It is very peaceful.

I made pumpkin pie from scratch this week and brought some in for Dr. P and James, they both enjoyed it and it turned out fabulously. Otherwise I’ve just been studying for Part IV National Boards coming up AND I found out that I passed Part III that I took back in September, YAY!!!

That’s pretty much my status report for this week.  As always, thanks for reading and I’ll talk to ya again soon. 😀

Alicia Ruiz, 10th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus

Slow week = area exploration

This week was a little slower than last week as Dr. P’s son was sick and he took a few days off to stay home with him, so I was only in the clinic on Monday and Friday. With three days off in the middle of the week, I decided to drive around and explore the area.

I have found 2 beautiful lake side parks that are within walking distance from where I am staying, one of which has a YMCA on the grounds as well…SCORE! I have also found a couple of malls, a few restaurants that look like some good eats, and while jogging in the area I stumbled upon a martial arts school. Anyone who knows me and my mini “obsession” with martial arts would not be surprised that even though I was pouring sweat and heaving for breath, I cut across traffic and jogged my way over to the school and stopped in to check it out. It was a nice facility and the Korean woman running classes was super nice. I had contemplated joining for a few months in order to get my kick on but sadly it was a bit too spendy and I couldn’t justify the expense while I’m here in MS.

Last week was the last week of the Mississippi State Fair in Jackson and my roommate took me Sunday evening. It was probably the biggest fair I have seen so far. The food midway was HUGE and the rides were pretty standard except they had two of the more popular rides. Even with doubling up, the lines were RIDICULOUS! I tried “chicken on a stick” which was a kabob of chicken breast chunks, onions, and dill pickle slices, all battered and deep-fried. Even though I’m not a big fan of deep-fried foods, it was pretty tasty. I didn’t ride any rides but did enjoy some people watching!

Even though I was only in the clinic for two days this week, it was a big week for me. Dr. P allowed me to adjust a few patients and even let me do an entire established patient work-up, paperwork and all. Even though the adjusting table in his office is a bit too tall for me, I have been doing pretty well at adjusting on it. I have been getting a lot of pointers on my technique and it is refreshing to see that Dr. P really goes back to the basics of those techniques. He has had me adjust 2 of his patient’s necks in cervical chair (meaning that they are sitting up in a chair) and even though I feel weak in this technique due to lack of practice I have been doing ok with it. Although Dr. P did tell me Friday that my setups were “ugly,” he is determined to help me perfect my technique in cervical chair which I am VERY excited for.

The interesting case this week was an elderly gentleman that came into the office. Initially, I noticed a few growths on his face and neck. As I observed more, I could see more growths through his shirt and it made me start thinking. “Oh man, here comes national boards questions to haunt me again….what the heck was that disease in which the person is covered in a bunch of nodules?  Hmmmm. Processing, processing, racking the brain….eureka! Neurofibromatosis!  Could it be?” I wandered over to Dr. P’s computer and pulled the patient’s file up while the doc was working with the patient and after scrolling down the gentleman’s co-morbid list, there it was! Yay! I have just seen my first real life case of neurofibromatosis AND I remembered what it was! For those that don’t know this condition neurofibromatosis is a disorder in which nerve tissue grows tumors that are normally benign. For more information and to see what it looks like, check out the following link:

Well, that does it for this week’s post. As always, thanks for reading and I hope you have a great week! See ya next time!

Alicia Ruiz, 10th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus