“You do these rotations and you meet all kinds of people, and as you get to know them, you like them, which means you also have a feeling like they’re an ordinary human being, and the fact that somebody you like is doing something you find pretty cool, you start imagining, well maybe I could do that. The biggest reasons that people choose their fields is they meet people that they like, and they end up wanting to go into that field.” -Atul Gawande
When I wrote last, I left you at the close of my last trimester on school premises, after seeing 250+ patient visits, and earning an honors externship in Providence, RI. In a whirlwind week, I was fresh off of the plane from The National, a huge chiropractic conference put on by the Florida Chiropractic Association. One thing was on my mind: what was I going to do after my upcoming graduation, months away now?
I arrived in Providence in my dad’s pickup truck, loaded with the bare essentials. I had arranged a place to live by Skype after finding a roommate-wanted listing on Craigslist, and basically badgering her landlord into letting me show up on three days notice. From my paved and fenced backyard on Federal Hill I realized I’d never been to Providence and never lived in the city- any city! All I had to prepare me was a place and a time: Rhode Island Spine Center, Monday at 9 AM. I set up my bed, made some dinner, and smoothed out my white coat to be ready for the morning.
Preface: Ten months ago, I graduated and noted that “there is still much more to write!” Yet, the last time that I updated this record of my studies was for my 8th trimester, which I finished in May 2015. I’ve seen the same thing happen with many other blogs by future doctors, and though I swore it wouldn’t happen to Hands in Training, here we are. I kept good notes (including three independent drafts of this post), so let’s resume where we left off, shall we?
Chief among the advantages of attending a rural college is the peaceful and uncomplicated setting. College ratings will tout the connection with nature, the quiet to think and the space to stay fit and healthy. Seneca Falls is one of those rural places, and it turns out that a town of few diversions (and an early finish on Fridays) makes for the ideal blogging conditions. During my final two trimesters of school, I lived in Rochester, NY and Providence, RI, respectively, and there were enough exciting attractions (and obligations) after class and clinic that blog updates fell by the wayside. Ironically, these were some of the best stories of my education!
The summer of 9th trimester was a wild time for me. Read more…
Yesterday, I graduated.
In the cold upstate New York morning, a cloud of students descended on the NYCC campus. Many of the crowd had not been here in as much as a year, other than a pilgrimage for licensing exams. We crowded into a hot back room, draped ourselves in black gowns and caps, lined up, and waited for the music to start.
In all, 94 of us walked the stage to receive our Doctor of Chiropractic degree yesterday. After dedicating ourselves fully to these studies since fall 2012, it was an incredibly relaxed, joyous group.
“You’ve started a movement of commitment, compassion, and excellence,” said student body president Bryan Kent, addressing the class on behalf of himself and the other students still in the thick of their studies. I had sworn I wouldn’t cry, but I admit that I got all misty eyed during his speech. This collective class has led the way in learning on and off campus, teaching those who come after us, improving the school and it’s policies, and involving students in the wider profession. Along the way, I think we unintentionally built a sense of spirit among students that wasn’t there before.
I feel incredibly lucky to have enjoyed the company of this class. As we spread out across the world in our professional lives, I’m proud to say we became doctors together.
Today, I can call myself Brendan McCann, Doctor of Chiropractic.
This won’t be the end of this blog. There is still much more to write! And as always, you can find me on Twitter at @bhmccann.
The final year of chiropractic education centers on the clinical experience, and at NYCC, students move off to one of four school-run clinics around New York State. One, of course, is at the main campus in Seneca Falls. One is on Long Island, where NYCC had its main campus until a move in the early ’90s. Two more are along the I-90 corridor, near the major cities of Rochester and Buffalo.
One full year before the big move, though, T5 students have to decide which city they want to call home during their clinical year. It can be a tough decision, with little information to distinguish between the clinics for those with no geographic preference. Over the past months, I talked with students from each of the locations, asking about about advantages, disadvantages, which students intern there, patient base/case types, how busy it is, mentor clinicians, opportunities, and other considerations. Here’s what I learned from some of my classmates:
Canadians are great. That said, prepare yourself for three years of needling for being our mild-mannered, hockey-loving, snow-tolerant, eh-dropping neighbors to the north. Being from just south of the border, I have no clue about the trials and tribulations of crossing over. So I recruited a friend from the Canadian Chiropractic Club on campus (it’s like a support group), and he is here with a supplementary set of tips based on his first year as a student in the US of A: Read more…
The first ever New York Chiropractic College Dance Marrow-Thon will serve as a fundraiser and awareness event to benefit BeTheMatch.org. Operated by the National Marrow Donor Program, BeTheMatch.org has organized the largest and most diverse marrow registry in the world. Saving lives is their mission and we are here to help. We encourage all faculty, staff, and students of NYCC to raise money, join the national bone marrow registry, and DANCE YOUR FACE OFF!
EVENT DATE: JUL 24, 2015
We may be a small community, but we can have an incredible impact. We all Read more…
Short of graduation, there is no landmark in chiropractic college more highly anticipated than the beginning of 8th trimester. It is the K2 to graduation’s Everest, the delayed opening to graduation’s snow day, the Peyton to graduation’s Brady, the table wine to a graduation’s Cabernet Sauvignon. That is to say, not the pinnacle, but still pretty outstanding.
Having just completed T8 myself, I can say that this anticipation is well deserved. We transitioned quite dramatically from spending 24 hours in lecture halls in each week of T7 to spending as many hours in treatment rooms this semester. Read more…
If you are friends with NYCC students, you’ve seen it already.
This time every year, the pages of Facebook overflow with pictures of blue-coated, stethoscope brandishing doctors-in-training. Taking these pictures is a tradition for Dr. Maggie Finn, who teaches NYCC’s Patient Assessment Methods II class, part of the 5th trimester of our chiropractic education. The pictures mark the day that we must complete a full-body, multi-system physical exam, tying together a full semester of patient assessment practice in one 45-minute examination. Dr. Finn says that watching us demonstrate this range of clinical skills and professionality always makes her proud, so she wants to share that moment Read more…
On February 25, nearly 600 people descended on Washington, DC, for the National Chiropractic Leadership Conference, most commonly known as NCLC. This annual conference brings doctors, students, and other advocates together for a weekend centered around lobbying for patient choice and chiropractic-friendly legislation.
Making an impressive showing, 280 of those gathering on Capitol Hill were chiropractic students. Right off the bus/plane, we were greeted by a reception in a Congressional hall, where several of the country’s most Read more…