Allisha is preceptoring!

Note from the editor:

Allisha is currently doing a preceptorship with a D.C. in the field. While she is super busy, she may send us an update on her progress while preceptoring and  before she graduates next tri.

Thank you for reading her blog! We wish her well in her exciting career ahead!

Palmer’s Marketing & Communication Department

OSCE time … Nerve-wracking!

This last month has been a little more busier than usual for this trimester. We just had midterms before break, and this trimester we don’t have very many exams aside from midterms and finals. Most of our points come from projects or homework assignments, which is a big change from previous trimesters.

This guy looks just as nervous as I felt before the OSCEs!

This guy looks just as nervous as I felt before the OSCE exam!

I also took the clinical portion of the OSCE exam. The OSCE exam is a test all students have to take to clear for Level One clinic, and it just assesses you’re skills in a clinical setting and with patient care. It’s a pretty big deal and with it comes a lot of stress. The whole exam is recorded and after you’re graded you have to watch yourself and evaluation how you think you did. I went into the exam very nervous because it’s compared to Part IV of the National Boards and, well, we need to pass to clear for the outpatient clinic.

I am here to tell you from experience the OSCE exam is not scary. After I finished taking the test I was a little angry at myself for how nervous and stressed out I was about it. We are very well-prepared in our education that essentially the clinical portion of our education comes very naturally.

That being said, you should still study for the exam. It covers a lot of material and really makes you think about how you would handle real patient situations. There are three patient cases, you have to take a detailed history, perform orthopedic exams then answer some questions on how you would provide management for your patient. The kicker is you’re timed, and if you finish up asking questions or performing the exams before the time is up, you have to demonstrate your interpersonal skills with small talk.

Small talk is not one of my greatest skills. There were a lot of awkward silences during my exam. It definitely got better by the third patient case, but you can only talk about the weather for so long! Awkward silences and all, I was able to get through the test with no real issues.

5K glow run fundraiser with mom

I’m doing a 5k tonight for a friend’s sister. She has a rare soft tissue cancer and my high school is putting on a glow run for her. I’m making my mom do it with me, although we decided we were going to participate a week ago so we haven’t really done any real training for it and we’ll be walking most of it. I’ve been in the gym a couple times this week running and walking the same distance just to make sure I can do it. I haven’t struggled too much but we will see how I do trying to keep up with 500 other runners.

Good news is, there is a celebration afterwords and word on the street is there is free pizza. Maybe doing this 5k will inspire me to do more around the Quad-City area this year. It’s the first time i’ve ever participated in one. The thing about Palmer is being here tends to motivate you to want to be healthier. It has for me at least. Well, once I found myself with a little more time. I wanted to get healtthier when I started going to school here but that first year is a little scarce on extra time.

I’m fortunant because my hometown is only an hour-and-a-half away and I tend to go home often. There isn’t usually a lot going on back home activities-wise, but it’s easy for me to get there when there is. There is also supposed to be an ‘80s roller skating party this weekend I might be attending. It will be a nice break before things start to pick up and I have to start doing a lot of studying and homework this next few months.

CHC assignments and thinking about the end of the journey

We got assigned to our clinic doctors in the CHC this week. It is kind of surreal. It feels like just last week I was sitting through orientation—scared out of my mind from all the information they were giving me and realizing the next day I would have to wake up before 7:30 for the next three years. I can’t believe in just a few months I will be taking care of real patients. I still feel like there is so much I need to learn. The time has gone so quickly and in a year-and-a-half I’ll be graduatated.

I started in the undergraduate program through Palmer a year before I started in the D.C. program. I remember people asking me shortly after I started the D.C. program how much longer I had and saying “still over three years” and it felt like my answer never changed. But now I say a year-and-a-half and those people still respond with “man that’s still a long time,” but in the scheme of things it’s not.

I feel like I don’t have enough time to finish everything I’m supposed to finish. I’m also getting married the summer before I graduate so I think about that and then it hits me that shortly after the wedding I’m graduating and my journey at Palmer is over. As of right now I feel like I will never be ready for it! There have been a lot of people that have done this and they are always prepared, so in the end I know I will have all the skills I need.

Take my advice … sleep!

Don't let this be you!

Don’t let this be you!

Tuesday was a mildly uneventful day. We get those from time to time. Although uneventful, it was still quite busy. I didn’t get home until about 11 p.m., which is past my bed time.

One of my first pieces of advice is to never sacrifice sleep. You may think you should pull an all-nighter to study, but if you go into the exam dead tired, the all-nighter will do you more harm than good.

Which leads me to my second piece of advice: time management. This will be one of the most important things to learn as soon as you get here. The faster you learn to manage your time, the less stressed out you’ll be and the more successful your experience here will be.

This whole week ended up being busy. I personally had four quizzes, two practicals and one exam. So right now my time management skills need to be in their prime. Which they aren’t right now. I was in class until about 4:30 p.m. yesterday and then had to hit the gym. That’s a new thing for me but not because I’m setting myself up for a New Year’s resolution failure. It finallly hit me that I only have six months before I have to start wedding dress shopping, so if that’s what it takes  to get me to start being healthy, so be it. And I can’t tell my patients to start living a healthy lifestyle if I’m not doing it myself.

After the gym I had to make a pit stop at the grocery store so I could eat for the next couple of weeks, which is also important. I picked up a lot of brain food, also important. After my two-hour trip to the grocery store, my friends and I had another get-together to run through our cervical set-ups to prepare for our practical Wednesday. So by the time I had done all these things It was about 11 p.m., and I still had to study for my quiz.

But don’t worry or get overwhelmed–this program is designed to prepare you for weeks like this. And once its over, you realize it actually wasn’t that bad. Plus, in the end, it will be more than worth it.

– Allisha

Brrrrr … but in a good way! Kinda.

(Note: This post was actually written Thursday, Jan. 23)

Yay! Another too cool for school day! By cool I mean freezing cold (way below zero without factoring in the windchill), not I’m too cool for school and I skipped. Skipping is not good; don’t do it unless absolutely necessary. Luckily, with this freezing weather, the exam, practical and quiz that I had scheduled for today were moved until Monday. Which means I get to use this “snow” day to actually just relax and browse notes at my own leisure! It is 2:03 in the afternoon, and I have not left the comfort of my own bed. It’s too cold, and there’s no better place.

Get to know this guy really well--especially his spine!

Get to know this guy really well–especially his spine!

From my understanding, the second trimester kids got a treat today and had their Spinal Anatomy exam moved. You will hear lots of things about Spinal Anatomy. All I will say is I genuinely enjoyed the class. When I took the class, it was also in the fall trimester and we had an exam the Thursday before one of the breaks. We had the worst blizzard of the year that day, so our exam was pushed back to after break–which also meant having to study spinal over the break. Now most people would be excited for more study time, like in the case of my physical diagnosis exam for Monday. Not when it comes to spinal anatomy, though, after you have already prepared and prepared (and hopefully you have) and you’re just ready to take the exam and be done with it. So I was super disappointed when I had to continue to study and come back and take it. Either way, the experience was non-traumatic, and I obviously made it out okay because in just about a month I will be halfway done with the D.C. curriculum, I still love the profession, I still love this school and I still love what I do everyday.

Once you get  here, you’re going to hear a lot of things and get a lot of advice from other students. My advice on this is be choosy about what you believe. Everyone has their own levels of difficulty. If someone tells you a class is super easy and not to bother studying until a couple days before, take it with a grain of salt and find out for yourself. Never wait until a couple days before to prepare for any exam. Your idea of easy is not the same as someone else’s. You both don’t have the same background or learning style, so what comes easy to them may not come easy to you. When you choose to believe those things, then end up not preparing like you should and not doing as well as you like, then you start to get bummed out because that class was suppose to be easy! Don’t let those things get to you; everyone has a different class that they struggle with.

On the other end, there will be classes that people say are incredibly hard. Spinal II will no doubt be on that list. Those words of advice may freak you out and make you nervous, but just study hard and find out for yourself.

All in all, just try to enjoy your time here. It’s going to be challenging and it’s going to be tough, but it’s also going to be amazing. You’re going to have so many incredible opportunities and meet some fascinating people and make some of the best friends you’ll ever have. Embrace yourself and embrace chiropractic.


An arctic blast and a sad little push-up

snowman-littleIt’s our first full week back from our holiday break. Last week  the “arctic blast” graced us with its presence, which was bad news. It was too cold to even leave the house. The good news is that what were suppose to be the first two days back from our holiday break were cancelled (even doctors-to-be like a snow day).

But this meant that everything scheduled for Monday and Tuesday was pushed back to later in the week or to this week, making this week not only our first full week back but also a very busy one. Since last week was a surprise short week, it was basically spent with everyone trying to get back into the swing of things and figuring out how to wake up before 7:30 a.m. again. I, myself, am still trying.

I mentioned in my last post that you learn a lot about yourself while you’re here at palmer. I probably learn something new about myself at least once a week. Sometimes it’s something really small like I really like avocados (then I eat them every day for weeks straight until I can’t eat them anymore).

Sometimes it’s bigger things that are brought to my attention. Today, for example, in Physiotherapy lab (learning proper ways to stretch and strengthen muscles) we were working with core stability and strengthening your abdominals and the surrounding muscles. For the first exercise we were to perform a modified push-up that worked more of the core than upper arm strength and how to show your patient how to do it correctly if they are struggling. What I learned about myself today is that I actually have no core strength, because when I tried to lift my body off of the floor, I strained and strained and still remained on the floor. The great thing about it is my partner and I had a good a laugh … and now I know exactly what to do to fix that, and I have the proper tools to help myself get better.

When I get into practice and encounter this problem with one of my patients, I will understand their struggle and have first-hand experience to tell them how I was able personally use these exercises to hopefully one day be able to do at least one push up.

Guest post: Why I get passionate about Chiropractic

(Guest post by current student Mike Lynch)

This is why I get so passionate about Chiropractic.

I’ve had the opportunity to shadow many docs and screen a lot, and it’s truly a life changing experience because it has made me more convicted in what we do as Chiropractors. I definitely know many students do, but I’m not sure if quite everyone realizes the truth that we know can literally save and change lives. If you don’t believe me, I’ll take you screening with me and you’ll see exactly how sick people are and how desperate most of them are for a change.

Your 2 hands, your 2 Pisiforms will change more freaking lives than any pill, potion or lotion will ever have the ability to do. Stop watering it down and speak life and truth into people. People are looking for what we know because they not only need to hear it, they deserve to hear it. Stop playing small and be anchored in The Principle … people will never anchor to an unanchored mind.

Martin Luther King Jr. had a HUGE vision, he had a dream and he was anchored in his beliefs. People didn’t follow him for him, they followed him for his vision and dream. He didn’t have an “I have a plan” speech, he had an “I have a dream” speech. People don’t buy what you do, they buy WHY you do it … they may not even buy YOU, but they’ll buy your vision.

We are the one of the sickest countries in the world, but we spend the most on “health care” and have the “best” medical technologies that are available. We are 5% of the world’s population and use over 50% of prescribed drugs … yes, drugs. Drugs are now the #1 accidental killer in the United States with a majority being properly prescribed drugs. Our system kills more people per week than 4 jumbo jets crashing, and you never hear about it.

I’ve read some things about how some D.C.s want to expand our scope of practice, and I’ve read others who are just money hungry. I know I haven’t been in the trenches yet seeing people every single day, but I know for sure that the amount of money you make is directly proportional to the number of lives you change/save. Therefore, find your purpose, get out there and tell the truth and find people. You are doing this amazing profession a disservice if you’re in it for the money. If you want job security, go be a barber or a cabby because everyone needs a haircut and everyone needs a ride. However, those things don’t matter. What we do as Chiropractors matters.

Does everyone need a Chiropractor? Heck yes they do, but not if they are going to be a drug pusher. These people in our communities need to be taught how amazing their own bodies are and how to change and improve their lifestyles instead of giving them a drug. Our bodies heal from Above Down Inside Out. There is no other way. Your body needs no help, just no interference. Get adjusted, eat right, work out, minimize your toxins and watch your health improve without the use of drugs. You are no good to God, your family, your friends, etc., if you’re sick or dead.

It’s not about your tests and grades, it’s about becoming the doctor that people respect and admire and can lead them to the truth. Good is the enemy of great. Quit thinking things are too hard and start preparing yourself to handle everyone else’s problems on top of your own. You are the one! People need you at your best. You are not a student, you are a world changer in the making. Quit thinking that you need to shrink so others can be seen.

Be bold so others have greatness to pattern. Become the doctor that can lead others, and the others will come running to you. You are a champion, a warrior, a hero! The world needs you. They are dying for the truth (quite literally). Now is the time to lead. Quit thinking like a student and start thinking like the doctor who’s going to save the world!

– Mike Lynch, 7th tri student, Davenport Campus

Today I talk about following your dreams …

New blog from Iowa …

Every human being on the planet wants to be happy. Anything that anyone desires is because they think their desire will make them happy. Whether it is health, money, a loving relationship, material things, accomplishments, a job, or anything at all, the desire for happiness is the bottom line of all of them. But remember that happiness is a state inside of us, and something on the outside can only bring fleeting happiness, because material things are impermanent.

Find your joy, and all else follows.

Permanent happiness comes from you choosing to be permanently happy. When you choose happiness, then you attract all the happy things as well. The happy things are the icing on the cake, but the cake is happiness.

I’m proud to say, ‘I’ AM LIVING PROOF’ that with hardwork and determination ‘YOU’ can fulfill your dreams and goals. Make your mistakes, learn from them, and enjoy the journey toward your goals.

I told everyone for years, that I would be a doctor, and now I’m living in Iowa attending the best chiropractic school in the country. Working toward the next chapter in my Book of Greatness. Those who know me, know the pain and struggles I endured to be here, and for these lifes lessons, I’m forever grateful …. lesson learned life, thank you.

Palmer College of Chiropractic Student and Future Physician.