The more I want to learn.

This is a tough program that stretches a person. I have pushed myself out of my comfort zone while at Palmer by just being here. I recently heard a quote that said something along the lines of, “once the mind gains new information and is stretched it can never again regain its original dimension.” The new dimension that I have been stretched to is this idea of what I am capable of. I have learned how to organize, focus, and prioritize better than I ever had to before. What I have enjoyed about this is that it has been a refining process. I am able to learn faster and comprehend more. My investigative skills of knowledge have expanded and the more I learn the more I want to learn. Seeing the personal development has been a very rewarding thing for me.

Dylan Clark – Iowa Campus

The two-way street of communication is always open

One thing I have done at Palmer that has been out of my comfort zone is getting in touch with the faculty and administration. I’ve always been very comfortable talking with other students, even support and office staff, but in the past I have limited my interactions with my professors. In my head, they didn’t have time for me, they weren’t interested, they had no idea who I was. At this school there is an illusion that you can fade into the background in the classroom. It’s an illusion indeed, because as I began to talk with faculty I realized how aware professors are of their class, no matter how big the class size. Many professors knew my name or face without ever having a conversation with me. Once I was realized that recognition here was a good thing, I was able to ignore the previous intimidation that held me back from obtaining tips, tricks, knowledge, and advice from those who are here to do just that. The faculty and administration at Palmer are genuinely interested in the thoughts, suggestions, and questions from the student body. My experience at school has become much more enjoyable since I acknowledged that the two-way street of communication between faculty and student is wide open.

Hannah Anderson – Iowa Campus

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


Half-way there and almost in clinic

I am currently in 6th trimester and so excited for what lies ahead in my remaining year and a half at Palmer. I completed my first observations in the Palmer student clinic the other day and got a good taste for what my own clinic experience will be like. I can’t wait to have patients of my own and begin using all of the skills and techniques I’ve accumulated along the way.

I am currently in two technique classes, thoraco-lumbar and pelvic. Therefore, after this trimester, I will have officially learned the entire spine, which is so exciting! So upon entering the clinic in 7th trimester, the only technique class left to take is extremities. The progression of technique classes is very logical, and I love how we now get to start getting hands on in 2nd trimester.

Keeping profit in perspective

Today in philosophy class, Dr. Sorgenfrey (the extremities adjusting professor) shared about his experience starting in practice after he graduated. He noted that there are many chiropractic seminars and magazine articles dedicated to helping the practicing chiropractor “get paid.” But, he asked us, isn’t our time and brain power better focused on best patient care and helping people stay healthy?

As I look ahead to graduation in February (2013)—Woot! Woot!—it’s good to be reminded not to get swept up in the entrepreneurial worries. It’s good to keep things in perspective. Present-time consciousness, being thorough, and keeping the end goal in mind (people’s health)­—these are the things I’ll focus on the most.

I’m realizing that in this, as in other higher principles, one needs a little help and community encouragement to keep the main thing the main thing. Fortunately for me, my soon-to-be wife is a passionate chiropractor! I think we’ll keep each other focused. Here’s hopin’.

Vito Spadafino
9th trimester student, Davenport Campus

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

Thoughts on National Boards, wedding planning and more

When I left you last time, I was talking about organization and how important it is as a student.  Well, I have to say that being organized is going to be more important to me this trimester than the ones before.  This is mostly because this tri I start seeing student patients in the Campus Health Center (CHC), which is a very exciting new step.

However, student clinic is not the only thing on my plate this trimester.  I will be taking Part II of National Boards, which means weekends of board review and studying in all of my spare time.  On top of all this, wedding planning is in full swing as my wedding is less than 11 months away!

I often find my mind wandering to questions like, “Should I do satin ribbon or organza?” or “Is fuchsia the ‘right’ pink, or do I like magenta better?” Then after a few minutes of wedding thoughts, I have to come right back to thinking of my classes and studying for boards.  The only problem is that wedding planning usually sounds way more fun!

Although wedding planning is great, the thing I am most excited for this trimester is being able to start treating patients. I feel that I am ready for this next step in my education, and I can’t wait to start helping my fellow students. Working in the CHC will give me the opportunity to really refine my skills and prepare me for my future as a chiropractor.

Hopefully I can stay on track this trimester and limit my wedding distractions!

Stephanie Tronnes
7th trimester student, Davenport Campus

Getting ready for practice

So I cannot believe I’m at the end of 9th trimester already! My wife and I recently returned from a trip to buy a house in South Carolina, where we are moving.  Soon I will begin an internship with my preceptor, Chris Beckwith, D.C. in Moline, Ill.

I’ve also been taking some courses with the Carrick Institute for Chiropractic Neurology and look forward to seeing some more chiropractic neurology in practice with him.  Just one more trimester until graduation. I can’t wait to get started on my practice!

Elliot Hirshorn
9th trimester student, Davenport Campus

A seminar weekend

This weekend I had an exciting opportunity to attend a free seminar with doctors in the field from Omaha, Nebraska! I went with a fellow Campus Guide friend who is from Fremont, Nebraska, Stacia Kampschnieder. The seminar was very unique because it was held in a small office with many chairs, mimicking how BJ Palmer used to set up talks in his own office. If you have ever toured the mansion, you may remember the room he used to have lots of people come and discuss chiropractic with him in. The place we visited was bought and fixed up by a successful doctor in Omaha and it’s nicknamed “The Source”. He wanted it to be a place of philosophy just like the founders of our profession! It had BJ and DD painted on the walls inside, along with many of BJ’s epigrams that you see around the school!

We got to join the doctors who had been in practice anywhere from 3 to 30 years and listen to their discussions on topics ranging from Caljam, green books, Chestnut wellness, insurance practices, goals in practice, how to explain chiropractic, universal and innate intelligence, success stories and what they do for fun! The list goes on! They even included us in the conversations and asked us questions. It was a really neat experience and I’m grateful to have had the opportunity to join Stacia!

That being said, I am happy there are so many learning opportunities, seminars, clubs, and speakers once you arrive here on campus. These are all great ways to supplement our classroom education! We can never be done learning, right?? Chicago, St. Louis, Kansas City and Des Moines are all popular seminar locations as well, and are an easy weekend’s drive away. There are often many events right on campus or in Davenport as well because of the amount of eager Palmer beavers that want to learn! It truly is what you make of it and it is about how much time and effort you can devote to becoming a great chiropractor while you are here. Sleep lots, but spend your waking hours wisely, my friends! I’m trying! Ha, ha!

Kaileigh Strath, 4th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus


I am now in 9th tri and just a few short months away from being unleashed upon the world as a doctor of chiropractic.  Amidst the seemingly endless lessons I have learned at Palmer, one unspoken principle has been demonstrated and reinforced over and over since the beginning of my journey in Davenport is this: Balance.

The first year of the PCC-Davenport curriculum is packed with the basic science classes.  Through classes such as cell physiology, biochemistry, gross and spinal anatomy, I learned the intricacies of balance within each living cell of our bodies.  I learned the balance of energy production and utilization, along with the balance between our neurological system and muscular system.  I learned how important balance is to everything we do in life from the most simple, such as breathing, to the most complex such as conscious thought.  Outside of class, I learned to balance 30+ credit hours, studying, open labs, sleeping, making new friends (part of which involved becoming a member of the world’s oldest chiropractic organization, the Sigma Phi Chi Sorority), and adapting to a new area of the country and a new city.  While I lived in the largest city in Montana during my undergraduate years (about 90,000 people), moving to the quad cities area of about 400,000 people was still an adjustment (pun not intended).  My first Midwest winter was nothing short of a system shock and I think I called home every week with a new eye witness description of weather accounts!  P.S. Freezing rain is something you would never believe until you see it, it is beautiful!

In my second year of Palmer, learning patient assessment became more of the focus with classes in physical diagnosis, radiology, orthopedic testing and chiropractic evaluation/techniques.  Through these, I learned the balance of using knowledge of anatomy and proper function to gain information from the body.  I learned the balance between doing a quick exam and still doing a thorough exam without cutting corners.  I learned how to balance x-ray spinographic analysis and instrumentation with what patients physically present with.  Outside of the classroom I had lessons in balancing relationships and school.  I learned that as rigorous as the curriculum was, I still needed to spend time with the people I love and care for and to make sure they knew they were still an important part of my life.  I learned to balance extra-curricular activities as well.  I joined the Campus Guides organization on campus through which my understanding of the history of chiropractic and the significance of our campus as the fountainhead of chiropractic was deepened and enriched.  Coming from a medical background previously before Palmer, I often had many internal struggles with how my new view on healthcare fit into my definition of healthcare and I had to learn how to let go of my qualms with some of the extreme viewpoints out there in chiropractic and accept that my model of chiropractic is just as valid as anyone else’s.  I learned that while I have been exposed to many different viewpoints on what chiropractic is, what it is not, and how it should be utilized, I do not have to take any of those viewpoints as dogma.  Chiropractic philosophy comes from within just as innate does.  You don’t have to build it, it is already there – you only have to find it within yourself.

The third year is the transition from classroom to clinic.  This portion of the curriculum has been the most eye-opening for me.  Now, I am learning to balance being a technician with being a doctor.  I am learning to connect the dots between my basic science classes (such as anatomy), patient presentation, and how I will treat that patient based upon those two factors.  I am learning when to talk to patients and when to shut my mouth, observe and listen.  I am learning to talk with patients and not at them.  I am learning to think on my feet about what the patient is presenting with as they describe it and how I will narrow down the growing list of differentials in my head while still paying attention to what the patient tells me verbally and physically.  The most impactful lesson I am learning now is to trust the knowledge and skills I have acquired the last two years and to be more confident in myself and my abilities.  Outside of class I am learning to reconnect with the world and get out of student mode.  I am learning to open doors and make opportunities for myself and my future.  And I am learning to balance my ultimate goals and ambitions with the process that is needed to achieve them.

So back to this concept of balance and what I have learned here at Palmer College of Chiropractic…Chiropractic seeks to restore balance within the body so that balance outside of the body may be achieved.  Don’t forget that as you plow through your years at Palmer.  Remember to play, laugh, love and relax; otherwise no matter how “well adjusted” you are, you are wasting the gift your innate is giving you.

Alicia Ruiz, 9th Trimester Student
Davenport Campus