Spring Has Sprung

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It’s my 4th week back in spring quarter, and there’s so much to do but it feels like I have so little time (what’s new?). Besides the assignments, quizzes, cases, SOAP charts, and exams to complete for this quarter, I have a clinic entry exam coming up in June, and the NPLEX I board exam in August. Talk about overwhelming. I can still remember the first day of orientation and meeting everyone for the first time. Now, I look at my classmates and see how far (most of us) have come. Our second year in naturopathic medical school is almost over – in 2 months to be exact. It’s exciting but a little nerve-wrecking at the same time!

Let me jump back to winter quarter real quick. I heard from so many people that winter quarter was more laid back than spring quarter (supposedly, spring quarter will be crazy). NO. I didn’t feel like that was the case at all. So far, Spring quarter has been manageable, but a few of my classmates and I still feel like spring break wasn’t a long enough time to recuperate from winter quarter. For me personally, winter quarter was fine and I felt like I was on top of everything, until midterms rolled around. Not only was I drained from that but I had a friend from back home come visit me, then afterwards I became REALLY sick with a sore throat that wouldn’t go away for what seemed like forever, among other things. Then before I knew it it was finals week, and miraculously I passed all of my finals (10 in total, including 2 lab practicals).

Back to spring quarter – here’s what my schedule looks like:

  • [M] Naturopathic Clinical Dx III
  • [M] Naturopathic Theory and Practice VI (biweekly weeks 1-5, then online for the rest of the quarter)
  • [M] Integrated Pathology, Immunology, and Infectious Disease III
  • [T] Integrated Therapeutics III (Pharmacology/Botanical Medicine)
  • [T] Physical Exam Dx III Lab
  • [W] Fundamentals of Radiology and Diagnostic Imaging
  • [W] Counseling and Theories Interventions
  • [W] Physical Medicine VI
  • [R] Nutrition Principles II
  • [R] Naturopathic Clinical Dx III Lab (“Stab Lab”)
  • [R] Integrated Case Studies VI
  • [R] Clinic Observation II Shift 5PM-9PM (week 6 – week 11)*
  • [F] Integrated Pathology, Immunology, and Infectious Disease III
  • [F] Homeopathy III

This quarter we are covering the Renal/Reproductive system, Endocrine system, and Nervous system. We discuss everything from diseases to classic symptoms (sxs) and how to diagnose/assess. We’re actually just finishing up the Ren/Repro system now in most of my classes. In PEDIII I’ll even be doing a male and female physical exam on paid actor patients. I’m so nervous! This will be my first time performing a physical exam on someone other than my classmates. We usually practice the physical exams (cardiovascular, respiratory, abdominal, etc.) on each other and then have a final check off with a partner, but this time all we have to prepare with is a script of what to say, what we go over in lab, and an online video. So wish me luck…

As I mentioned earlier, in June I will have my clinic entry exam. This is the key to getting in to the clinic as a 3rd year student clinician! Basically we will see a “patient” (paid actor/actress) who will present with a chief complaint of some sort (i.e. cold, fatigue, etc.). We then have to perform a complete patient history (hx) intake, perform 2 physical exams that we think are relevant to the chief complain, assess and diagnose the patient. Afterwards, we have to chart everything from the patient visit (without notes and from memory)! Hearing about the clinic entry exam and what to expect for the first time was really scary honestly. You need at least an 80% to pass, otherwise you have to retake clinic observation II as a 3rd year. Luckily, I have my boyfriend to practice on (he’s actually graduating in June from Bastyr!) and to help me prepare. As for the NPLEX I board exam, I can’t even think about it right now given everything that’s currently going on so I’ll save it for another post down the line…

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