Over the Hill: 6th Trimester
I am now in my fifth week of 6th trimester at New York Chiropractic College, and I am sleeping less than usual already.
To be fair, summer in the Finger Lakes presents its many distractions, and I have done little to resist. Yesterday evening I left a trail of dust along 25 miles of wandering roads between Cayuga Lake and Seneca Lake, east and west of campus, as I enjoyed some good weather from the seat of my road bike. And I even took one of my big projects outside.
This part of the 10-trimester doctor of chiropractic curriculum has a reputation for
involving fewer exams, and many more projects. Professors provide less emphasis on learning new material, and more time on synthesizing knowledge established over the past two years into clinical applications. This means case studies, papers, and reflections on how we will one day practice. In the business and philosophy classes, professors often emphasize the importance of community service, and each 6th trimester NYCC student is required to complete five hours of service, which many of us tackled this week.
Friday afternoon after class, thirty students gathered in an inconspicuous parking lot along our local branch of the Erie Canal, armed with an intimidating assortment of tools. We spent the remainder of the day on the Cayuga-Seneca Canal Trail, cleaning up brush and debris, making this little-known path just that much more appealing. One day it will connect Geneva, NY to the Erie Canalway Trail that runs from Albany to Buffalo, one of the country’s better known trail projects. Along its path it will pass Seneca Falls and NYCC, and we hope to improve our community with the contribution.
Plus, an afternoon working outside with friends was fantastic after a week sitting in class. Here is what those hours of labs and lectures look like for us, now that we are just beyond the halfway point of our chiropractic education:
- Evidence Based Clinical Case Management (with practical lab) – 3 credits, 4 hr/wk
- Case studies in appropriate care in clinical chiropractic context
- Flexion-Distraction Technique (with practical lab) – 3 credits, 4 hr/wk
- Technique involving spinal distraction, particularly good for disc symptoms
- General Diagnosis – 3 credits, 3 hr/wk
- Correlative Patient Assessment – 2 credits, 4 hr/wk
- Passive Care (with practical lab) – 2 credits, 3 hours per week
- Complementary in-office modalities such as heat, cold, electric, ultrasound, laser
- Active Care (with practical lab) – 2 credits, 3 hr/wk
- Complementary outpatient therapies such as home exercise
- Practice Management and the Law – 2 credits, 2 hr/wk
- Scientific Basis for Chiropractic Care – 2 credits, 2 hr/wk
- Patient Education – 2 credits, 2 hr/wk
- Principles of Diagnostic Imaging – 2 credits, 2 hr/wk
- Radiographic Examination – 1 credit, 2 hr/wk
- Intro to Applied Kinesiology – 1 credit, 1 hr/wk (an elective)
- ConnecTX Soft Tissue Therapy – 1 credit, 30 weekend hours (an elective)
The breakdown: that comes to 13 different classes accounting for 26 credits this semester. Each week I spend 32 hours in lectures and labs. And my past two weekends have been consumed by one of my electives.
So you can understand why, when given the opportunity, we took our community service hours outdoors. (And of course, you can count on a post about the project after we have done our time!)