Ladies and gentlemen, we've had the pleasure over the last 18 months and counting of seeing what it is like for a budding Upper Cervical doctor, as he works his way through the rigors of professional schooling.  It seems like yesterday that Josh walked into the office in June of 2010 to shadow for the day (and get his first Upper Cervical specific correction, I might add).  Please, read the following.  Josh is working hard to one day serve people like you...

Another three months passes by, which means another quarter knocked out in chiropractic school. Time just keeps on flying by at an exponential rate. We got a lot of work done and passed all of our finals right before the Christmas break. Here is a little taste of the classes my classmates and I took to give you a little idea of what I have been up to.

-Full Spine II- This is a 48-hour course in Full Spine adjusting methods, including analysis protocols and application, x-ray and palpation considerations. Students will develop skills in the application of specific adjusting methods for the cervical and thoraco-lumbar spine. The adjusting procedures presented are those practiced in the Sherman College Health Center.

This class was by far my favorite for the quarter. We learned a lot of neat techniques and how to apply them. With only eleven other classmates, it provides a very fun and laidback learning environment learning what we want to do for our career.

-Lab Diagnosis I- We go from the most exciting and fun class to perhaps the most boring one in the entire program. Although boring, the course did contain some important information for patients to be aware about when they go see their medical doctor for exams such as urinalyses and blood tests. This lecture/laboratory 60 hour course focuses on laboratory procedures and on the physiological and diagnostic significance of laboratory results including the differences between normal and abnormal structure and function.  It also focuses on the clinical interpretation of diagnostic laboratory tests results in relation to blood and metabolic disturbances. It includes all of the components of the complete blood count (CBC), coagulation, basic immunohematology and urinalysis are also covered. Students are required to examine body fluids using laboratory tests including urinalysis and CBCs with the diagnostic interpretation of findings. Students also consider various case presentations, identify appropriate tests or necessary procedures and interpret the results.

Like I said, pretty boring. The only exciting part was we got to urinate in a cup one day and got it examined by all of the protocols and procedures we learned in class. It was nice to see that my urine was normal in every category. Itís amazing how many things medical doctors can find whatís wrong with somebody with just a little urine.

-Hard Tissue Pathology - This 60-hour course focuses on the recognition and interpretation of pathology as presented on radiographs.  The course is designed to aid the student in learning to recognize deviations from norms which constitute possible pathological conditions and/or contraindications for the use of certain chiropractic adjusting techniques. Advanced imaging procedures are introduced including CT and MRI.

This class was rather difficult. We learned about close to 100 different pathologies and had to be able to recognize them on x-rays. After getting through this course, I have a much deeper appreciation for radiologists.

-Phys Exam I- This 48-hour course is designed to develop systematic examination skills of the skin, lung, eye, ear and heart. The course includes the proper use of the ophthalmoscope, otoscope, sphygmomanometer, stethoscope and other examination tools and procedures. Normal and abnormal findings are presented and discussed.

Haha, this was an interesting course to take as a chiropractic student. Itís important to remember, chiropractors are not just taught about the spine for 4 years in school. We are taught about EVERYTHING forward and backward, but we are EXPERTS in how the spine works. My classmates and I found it quite humorous walking around with stethoscopes and otoscopes (Otoscopes are the instruments medical doctors use to examine your ears). I honestly did not know what one was before I had to buy one, haha. It was interesting. Although my classmates and I did not agree with the reasons chiropractors have to know this stuff, it was a more interactive and practical class unlike the other ones where we just sit and listen to a teacher talk to us for fifty minutes at a time. So, I did appreciate that aspect of the course.

-Endocrine and Reproduction- This 60-hour comprehensive lecture course covers the normal function of endocrine tissues including human hormonal control systems, the functions of individual hormones and their interactions, and reproductive physiology. The course also introduces a variety of disease states that affect these endocrine tissues. We also learned about the male and female reproductive systems and their specific physiology. Along with nutrition, this was perhaps my favorite ďacademicĒ course so far during my 18 month stay at Sherman College. We learned some fascinating stuff about several of the major hormones in our bodies and how they interact with each other. A lot of what I learned in this course helped me learn about my fitness and how I treat my own body with eating, sleep, and exercise.

As I mentioned three or four blog entries ago, Dr. Duke is perhaps the most renown name in the academic world of Sherman College. He teaches four grueling classes that make up a 12-month sequence that students refer to ďDuke UniversityĒ due to the demanding work it takes just to pass. I am very happy and relieved to announce that my classmates and I have officially ďgraduatedĒ from Duke University this past December and are on to better days at Sherman College :-) . I canít decide which was more satisfying, completing the 9 months of smelling cadavers in the anatomy lab, or the 12 months of Dr. Dukes neurology classes. I will let you know if I ever decide between the two. All I know is I would never want to take either again, I learned a lot, but am so glad to be done with those portions of the curriculum!!

-Orthopedics/Neurology I- This 60 course covers etiology, presentation, evaluation, and management of disorders of the nervous and musculoskeletal systems.  Students are taught to conduct and assess neuromusculoskeletal and orthopedic examinations and correlate findings with information obtained from the case history and physical examination. Students must demonstrate the ability to identify, select and perform appropriate neuromusculoskeletal and orthopedic tests and procedures for a complaint or presentation.  Emphasis is placed on identifying critical information for development of a working diagnosis and determining the appropriate management of the condition. 

Going back to endocrine class, I learned a lot about the relationships between growth hormone and insulin. I also learned about the importance of omega 3ís versus omega 6ís. You hear some of your friends say I take an omega 3 fish-oil supplement for their hearts. Yes, omega 3ís can support good cardiovascular health, but it is responsible for SO MUCH more! The relationship between omega 3ís and omega 6ís has been reported to play a HUGE role in our immune system function. In the typical American diet, we tend to get plenty or more than enough of omega 6ís. However, a large portion of the population doesnít have a high seafood diet which is necessary if the person does not take an omega 3 supplement.

But, remember this; 1) Iím not a doctor, 2) everyone is different. Do the research on your own. Itís important to listen to what health care professionals say. Dr. Chad always has some great stuff. But, itís very important to do the research on your own. Check it out: just google topics such as omega 3ís versus 6ís or omega 3ís and immune function.

ďMany nutrition experts believe that before we relied so heavily on processed foods, humans consumed omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids in roughly equal amounts. But to our great detriment, most North Americans and Europeans now get far too much of the omega-6s and not enough of the omega-3s. This dietary imbalance may explain the rise of such diseases as asthma, coronary heart disease, many forms of cancer, autoimmunity and neurodegenerative diseases, all of which are believed to stem from inflammation in the body. The imbalance between omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids may also contribute to obesity, depression, dyslexia, hyperactivity and even a tendency toward violence. Bringing the fats into proper proportion may actually relieve those conditions, according to Joseph Hibbeln, M.D., a psychiatrist at the National Institutes of Health, and perhaps the world's leading authority on the relationship between fat consumption and mental health. At the 2006 Nutrition and Health Conference sponsored by the University of Arizona's College of Medicine and Columbia University's College of Physicians and Surgeons, Dr. Hibbeln cited a study showing that violence in a British prison dropped by 37 percent after omega-3 oils and vitamins were added to the prisoners' diets.Ē

Some websites in case you were further interested: however, be sure to google negatives or dangers of omegas 3ís, thereís always someone playing antagonist. Get educated, and make your decisions.

One more thing I learned was about mercury levels in fish. Thereís arguments to both sides, and after doing the research, I still donít know what answer to believe. Some say that there are dangerous levels of mercury toxic to the human body in fish and can have some serious complications if consumed highly.

However, MANY sources talk about an element in the fish called SELENIUM that binds to the mercury in fish and therefore neutralizes it by the time we eat and digest it to the point where we can eat as much fish as we want. This website below, says I would have to eat OVER 142 ounces of TUNA in ONE WEEK in order to be concerned with mercury levels. Thatís 28 of those 5 oz tuna cans at the grocery storeÖLobster fans? We can consume over three pounds per week of lobster and be totally fineÖ check out this website..

So, interesting stuff. Read up on it, get educated.

Like I said in the beginning of the blog, time keeps flying. The quarters, the months, the weeks seem to just breeze by. Itís not just my academic life that is flying by so quickly itís hard to grasp, its many aspects. After dating the love of my life for over five years, I believe God put it in my heart that I was meant to spend the rest of my life with this beautiful blessing. So, after following my heart, guided by God giving all the glory to Him, I got a ring and asked my now fiancť, Becca, to marry me. How did I do it? A few blogs back, I told you guys how she went on a 4 month mission trip to Uganda to build an orphanage and spread the love of Christ. Thank you so much for your prayers. She got back safe and is doing great. So, right when she got off the plane, I had her little brother and two of her best friends waiting for her at the airport and dropped the hammer as soon as she got off the plane. She had no freaking clue. I know the Charlotte airport might not be the most romantic place, but it was perfect for her and perfect for me and we couldnít be happier. I canít wait to spend every day with her and continue lifeís journey with the love of my life.

So, another quarter down. 24 months and I will be done with chiropractic school! By completing sixth quarter, we are heading into 7th quarter, which happens to be our first national boards quarter. As I mentioned previously, chiropractors have to take four to five (depending on what state) national boards in order to be licensed in the United States. This is the first exam of the 4-5 for my classmates and I. The exam consists of six individual tests covering the previous 18 months of information that has been crammed into our skulls. The six individual tests are General Anatomy, Spinal Anatomy, Physiology, Chemistry, Pathology, and Microbiology. Each test contains 110 questions, students from all over the country and the world will be taking these exams on March 16th-18th. So, if we ever find a way to manage the seven classes we are already taking this quarter, we will be studying the 1.5 yearís material non-stop. The month of March is going to be absolute madness, pun intended. We have March Madness going on with the NCAA basketball tournament, national boards which consist of six individual tests the weekend mentioned, and then seven final exams from the 20th-23rd. So, we will be taking 13 final exams/liscensing exams in a span of 7 days! Madness. Thatís part of the journey though.

Should be a great Spring Break when all of this is over :-).

Thank your chiropractor today. They work extremely hard to make sure you are subluxation free and functioning properly.

Words of encouragement:

ďSo whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.Ē

1 Corinthians 10:31

In whatever you do, if itís being a student, a teacher, a lawyer, a fashion designer, a stay at home mom picking up toys, a dad playing with his children, a friend going the extra mile, or just taking out the trash, do everything for the glory of God. Heís our creator, we are made in His image, itís all His.

God Bless you guys, I hope you have a blessed New Year and enjoy Godís constant grace and love.

Till next quarter !!!!!

Josh Dalessandro