Spinal practical … sublux midterm … and BIRTHDAY!

Last week was one heck of a week with my spinal practical, sublux midterm and my birthday (which all ended up being Thursday and Friday). If you are a prospective student, you may not have already heard that Spinal is one heck of a class but on a positive note, Mr. Morter really prepares you for National Boards exams (from what I hear)!

Classes have changed slightly in the past year or so. When my brother, who is in 7th tri, took spinal it was broken out in two classes, now it’s one class.

I spent the beginning of the week working through bones (spine, ribs and sternum) so that I could how to write out the order quickly with correct spelling during the timed exam. So, for example, if the posterior tubercle was colored in on C1 you would need to write it out as following: C1, posterior arch, posterior tubercle. Not so hard, but sometimes under pressure you can easily forget something! Then Wednesday night was a late night in the library with another classmate, Jen. I was so excited (you could say) Wednesday night that I couldn’t sleep, and I don’t think it was because my birthday was Thursday!

Thursday was the big day for spinal, and it was my birthday! I started the first hour of the practical in the wet lab going over muscles and ligaments, which ended up being a good confidence booster. Then ended the second hour with the bones. So many people had said it was going to be super difficult and that they had left the practical exhausted. I think I prepared myself pretty well because I felt great leaving it and was very satisfied with my grade!

Thursday evening I met up with some friends to study for the sublux midterm, which was Friday. This class can also be challenging because it is one of the first classes where you have to think more outside the box instead of just memorizing things. Anyway, my friends were great and baked me a cake, ordered some food and had some amazing gifts! It was the best way to end my birthday with a very busy day and busy day ahead of me!


Thinking back to Thanksgiving break

109412262.thbHaving a break during the trimester to go home is always nice! Although, sometimes it can get a little trying to jam pack visiting with family and friends along with spending time studying. I headed back to my parents house Wednesday afternoon, and it was about a four-hour drive.

Thursday morning my sister-in-law came to my parent’s house with my niece and nephew (my older brother is a firefighter, so he had to work on Thanksgiving). It was so nice to spend time with them, as Griffin is 3 and Myla is 6 months. Sometimes I’m not sure if Griffin or Guinness (my dog) is more excited to see each other, and I think they spend a majority of their time doing laps around the house.

Since I want to work with children once I graduate, I also spend some time palpating the two of them, mainly Myla because she sits still for me whereas Griffin is a busy 3-year-old boy. Every now and then there is a child at the Pediatric Club, but I don’t have the pediatric class until 6th or 7th trimester. So when I can, I like to compare the difference between children and adults to work on my palpation skills.

One of my friends also let me know earlier in November that she is moving to the Cayman Islands in January for a job. I’m so excited for her and was able to get all the details around her new job and I can’t wait for one of our trimester breaks to visit her!

Besides spending time with family on Friday, I was able to spend the day studying on Saturday. I initially thought I would spend the day at a library, but then my entire family left the house for the day so I didn’t have any distractions there. We’ll see how Christmas break goes at home because I think I’ll be spending a lot of my time at a local library so that I don’t get behind relaxing and eating to much!

Prospective Student Event!

The Palmer campus! Davenport, Iowa.

The Palmer campus! Davenport, Iowa.

This weekend was the big Prospective Student Event on campus, which I attended to work the Pediatric Club booth. It seemed like there was a great turn-out of excited prospective students. I had a chance to speak with a few one-on-one when they stopped at our booth.

One person was telling us her story about watching a baby getting adjusted. Some people who stopped by said they were interested in pediatrics, too, but didn’t really think about babies getting adjusted. Before I was getting adjusted by my chiropractor back in Milwaukee, I didn’t think about babies getting adjusted, either. Now knowing what I know, I wonder why more babies and children are not getting adjusted!

Another person who had stopped at our both was really excited about pediatrics and started asking about how I liked Palmer. I told her that it had been a year since I had attended the Prospective Student Event and how I applied for the D.C. program that weekend when I got home–and then started in March. She was surprised with how quickly my process went, because she was looking at taking a year off and then coming next fall to Palmer. I was telling her that this event ended up making up my mind on what my next step in life should be, which ultimately was to quit my job and move to Davenport. It has been one of my best life choices!

I’ve talked about why I choose Palmer and chiropractic in a previous blog; but it was great getting a chance to be on the other side of the table, talking to those who might still be on the fence. Deciding to attend the Prospective Student Event and then deciding to attend Palmer has forever changed my life. I am very grateful to be a part of Palmer and chiropractic community.

If you are still on the fence about chiropractic or even Palmer, definitely check out a Prospective Student Event or even a tour! The students at Palmer are awesome and are always willing to help anyone out. So don’t ever hesitate to ask any question, whether it be to one of us bloggers or even the group on Facebook (Future Chiropractors – Palmer College of Chiropractic). I had my brother and his friends to ask questions of, and believe me, I had a lot!


Dr. Lovejoy … Success leaves clues!

A while ago I attended an amazing event put on by SICA (Student International Chiropractic Association) with Dr. Alan Lovejoy as the speaker. This was the first time I had heard him speak. Two of my friends in my class, Katrina and Hira, spoke so highly of him from a previous event they attended that I didn’t want to miss this one! And, of course, they were spot on, Dr. Lovejoy was an amazing speaker filled with lots of energy and passion for chiropractic. Here are a few things that really stood out to me.

• Spinal care classes: Dr. Lovejoy recommended having spinal care classes for your patients. This is a great way to educate your patients on the benefits of chiropractic care. He recommended having a two-minute story to go along with the safety-pin theory with a small or large safety-pin and spine. I really liked this idea because it keeps things simple.

• Know your vision, purpose and mission: Understanding these three things is truly important because it helps you get through the more stressful and difficult days of exams. He recommended that as students, we should start living our “why” and mission now, so that when we get out in the field, we have our purpose down and we can explain this clearly and easily. This also goes along with keeping a clear vision and visualizing what you want your future office to look like.
• Success leaves clues: This was probably one of my favorite topics that Dr. Lovejoy talked about. He discussed keeping in contact with professors and current doctors practicing what you are interested in. For example, if you want to become a pediatric chiropractor, you should shadow those D.C.s and find professors that focus on this as well. I’ve understood this before, but one thing that stood out to me was staying closely connected with a professor and asking lots of questions.
I am very grateful for doctors like Dr. Lovejoy who take time out of their busy schedules to come speak to us. I think this is great information for me to absorb before graduating. In the future, I’m pretty sure I won’t have access to all of these successful chiropractors for FREE (which included dinner, too)!

Running the Arsenal bridge!

Sunrise over the Mississippi River, as seen from the Arsenal Island bridge.

Sunrise over the Mississippi River, as seen from the Arsenal Island bridge.

Morning workouts are my favorite, mainly because I don’t have enough time to talk myself out of it that early. And then, before I know it, the workout is done!

Two of my awesome friends (Sara and Danielle) and I have started running in the mornings, which has been great because we all hold each other accountable for getting up in the morning.

I’ve always been a morning person, so getting up before sunrise isn’t an issue for me. I think being a morning person annoys people sometimes, but I love the fresh start of a new day, and I don’t understand how people can be grumpy with the morning! So, I tend to be most productive in the morning with school, too. One of my favorite places to run is across the Arsenal Bridge (check out the picture and you’ll understand why!). You just don’t get these views running in a gym or sleeping.

I also told a friend from back home that I would run a 15K with her Oct. 31 in the Milwaukee area. So I will be expecting a lot more of these beautiful sunrises for the next month as I train to run with her! Thankfully the race is over our break between trimesters.

If you aren’t a morning person, I’m sure you could get an amazing view of the sunset during a run, too. If I’m going to workout in the evenings, I would prefer yoga or Zumba, so I’ll stick with the sunrise.

Learning about pediatric chiropractic

A couple Fridays ago, the Pediatric Club had some amazing speakers from Premier Wellness Chiropractic in Crystal Lake, Ill. Dr. Tony, Dr. Jen and Dr. Ron were amazing and had so much energy!

There was a great turn-out during the 9:20 a.m. club hour, and then they came back in the evening to have a two-hour talk with more information about children and chiropractic and how they approach different situations.

Some things that really stuck with me were really understanding the philosophy, how to approach situations when just getting started, and working with moms.

Philosophy – Dr. Tony mentioned during club hour that you wouldn’t go to a priest who hasn’t read the Bible, so why would you go to a chiropractor that doesn’t understand the philosophy? I’m not really sure why this hadn’t clicked earlier, but this really hit home for me. Sometimes I just need someone to be very blunt for it to click in my head.

I’m currently in Philosophy II with Dr. Strang and really enjoy his classes and the history of the Palmers and chiropractic, but there are very little required readings. With the sorority, I’ve read “Palmer’s Law of Life,” but I will take some more time during my breaks to read more philosophy books!

Approaching situations when just getting started – Dr. Jen did a great job talking about this topic in the evening. She talked about when she first was getting started and she would use other D.C.s experience when talking to the parents to help them understand the benefits of chiropractic for children. Since she didn’t have the experience right out of school, she needed to find ways to gain the trust of the parents quickly (mainly with the moms). So this is something that I will definitely need to remember once I am out in the field!

Working with moms – All three of the docs touched on this because it is important to understand that when working with children you are also working with the mother (most of the time). It’s important for them to understand the benefits of chiropractic. Some things that they talked about were having workshops. Last trimester there was another pediatric chiropractor that came to talk on a Saturday who also said this and how important it is to keep them involved.

Dr. Tony ended by telling us about his personal experience with his son, which was very touching.

Their excitement and energy during the entire day was contagious, and I’m so grateful for attending both the club hour and evening event! I look forward to the three of them coming back to Palmer, and I plan to shadow them in the near future, too!


So many clubs and techniques to learn about!

The past few weeks have been busy, and things have been picking up with exams and more quizzes. This week we started material for our final exams in General Pathology and Physiology II! I can’t believe how fast this trimester is going, but I’m also excited for the break in October so I can see my family (mainly my niece and nephew).

On Thursday I went to Dr. Hogg’s office, where he presented “Introduction to AK” (Applied Kinesiology). I’m always interested in learning more about different techniques that I am not as familiar with. Dr. Hogg went through the basics of AK and then spent some time demonstrating AK techniques. One thing I really enjoyed about it was seeing the results immediately with the muscle tests. I also liked how Dr. Hogg showed how he could use low-force techniques. AK is definitely something I will be looking more into!

On Friday, the Pediatric and Activator Club combined to talk about how activator can be used with children. We also talked about how leg checks can be done on infants and children. This was my first time attending the Activator Club and will definitely need to start attending that club more often. There are so many clubs to choose from to attend! Some other clubs that I’ve attended and enjoyed are the Functional Neurology and Extremities Club!


My Homecoming experience

Dr. Michelle Barber during the toggle off at Homecoming.

Dr. Michelle Barber during the toggle off at Homecoming.

By Friday, Homecoming weekend was already very busy for me. I was attending events on campus and at the sorority house. Wednesday night, I attended the talent show and the toggle off!

I haven’t had the toggle class yet, so it was great seeing the first through third tri students (who also haven’t had the class) attempt to not break the egg on the toggle board! The eggs were in a plastic bag so that they didn’t make a mess. At the end of the contest, some of the alumni/professors competed. Watching them break the egg was hilarious. Upper tri students and alumni/professors couldn’t have the egg roll off the speeder board, either. So even if they didn’t break the egg and it rolled off, they were out!

On Thursday, I attended Dr. Nightengale’s session “How does My Diet Influence My Cancer Risk?” I thought it was interesting to hear her talk about what should be on your plate. Some of the foods included: salmon (with garlic and turmeric), berries, grapes, green tea, wine, walnuts and roasted broccoli with olive oil. I’m currently in Biochemistry II and we are learning about the different pathways (Krebs, glycolysis, fat burning, etc). I’m excited to get further along in the program so I can take the nutrition classes. Growing up, for dinner we would always talk about what we would eat as sides with our meat. Now looking at the plate, really the meat should only be about a quarter of the plate.

Dr. Nightengale also recommended a few apps that she uses or that she has heard of. A few of them are: Is My Food Safe? (free), Food Keeper (free), Cronometer, Foodle and Figwee. I haven’t had a chance to download any of these apps yet, but I know we’ll talk about them again in her nutrition class.

I also had a chance to walk through the vendor section (expo) in the gym on Friday. I picked up some BioFreeze and Theraband kinesiology tape from two of the vendors. I also won a roll of Rock Tape (kinesiology tape) and a ticket to enter to win a speeder board. I took a kinesiology taping seminar last trimester and have found it really helpful with taping some of my friends with edema in their extremities!



PASS sessions, yoga and pets

My dog, Guinness.

My dog, Guinness.

Saturday morning was a busy morning! With a general pathology exam on Wednesday, our PASS (Palmer Academic Success Service) tutor held an extra session this morning reviewing chapter two. The PASS sessions have been extremely helpful for me, mainly to hear the information for a second time and to hear it explained a different way. A lot of the tutors also have different ways to remember topics and tips for what the professors focus on! This makes studying for exams a little less stressful. Most of the PASS sessions take place during the week after classes or in between classes.

Right after PASS my friend picked me up from school and we headed to yoga in the park at Vander Veer Botanical Park. This trimester I’ve started taking yoga classes again at One Tree Hot Yoga as a stress reliever from school. There are a few different studios in the area, and there’s a free yoga class on campus Saturday morning, which I haven’t had a chance to attend yet. The yoga class in the park is free every Saturday morning at 10 a.m. through the summer. There are all different levels of people who attend, and the instructors are great at showing different ways to modify positions for all levels!

After yoga, I spent the remainder of the afternoon reviewing for my general pathology exam and spending time outside with my dog, Guinness. My brother, who is in 6th trimester, also has a dog. Since I have a fenced-in backyard, he’ll bring his dog over to play. I love having my dog at school, and it’s a great reason for me to take some breaks and spend time outside with him. There are also a few dog parks in the area. Since I have the fenced-in backyard, I tend to play fetch with him at my place. But I do know of some friends who take theirs dogs to those parks to run around.

For those of you wondering, there are a number of people who have pets at school. From what I’ve heard from others, people are more likely to get a pet after the first year is over so they have more time for them.




Picture of my dog, Guinness.

Redband and practicals

Redband coffee ... yummm.

Redband coffee … yummm.

Week four of the trimester flew by, and I can only imagine how quickly the rest of the trimester will go. Today (Thursday) we had our first palpation practical on the pelvis. Over the weekend and last night, a few of my classmates and I got together to practice finding specific landmarks (PSIS, ASIS, etc.) along with the testing (fluid motion, seated flexion, etc.). I am starting to find these landmarks much easier with practice and am becoming more confident with then!

I remember the first day struggling to find the inferior and inferior PSIS. I am sure that as I go further along in the program, palpating different features will continue to get easier. Then I’ll look back and wondering why I stressed out over these practicals.

During the practical, there’s no talking, except when you’re performing the test and showing the landmark to the professor. Palpation is probably one of my favorite classes because it’s all hands-on compared to sitting all day. The hour always flies by! Just like I know my time at Palmer will fly by, but I’m excited to have more hands-on classes.

The test only took each person about 10 to 15 minutes to complete. And then we had the rest of the time for ourselves. I walked to Redband with two friends. If you’re not familiar with Redband Coffee, they have two locations, and one is a quick walk from campus. And they have some amazing iced coffee! If you are a coffee drinker, I highly recommend checking them out. I also love their breakfast sandwiches!