Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Be Prepared

I personally believe that the best way to meet any challenge is to be prepared for it. On the surface that seems elementary but look a little deeper and you will see being prepared takes effort.
First, know what you are getting into. Look at our curriculum and our school calendar and you will see not only the number of courses for each quarter, but the number of hours for each course. Look at the course description in the handbook and then think about them. Compare what you read with the courses you took or are taking in undergrad. Now consider the number of hours that your undergrad courses met. I’ll bet you didn’t have very many classes that met four or five days a week. I will also wager that you did not go to class from eight in the morning until four in the afternoon, or later in some cases. Now calculate the number of classes by the number of midterm and final exams, not to mention those other pesky tests and quizzes. Are you getting the picture? As I stated in earlier blogs this profession requires focus and commitment on your part. Chiropractic is serious business, life changing business, yours and the lives of the patients that you will eventually serve. That’s what makes it worth it.

Second, make a committment that you will make the necessary sacrifices to make your education a priority. Talk to the students who are successful in their studies, including passing their national boards. Oh, you didn’t know that you have to take and pass national board examinations in order to hang out your shingle and practice this wonderful science philosophy and art? I will talk more about the National Boards in another entry. Untill then give some thought to the above and reflect on where you are headed in your life. We want to help you get there.

Monday, April 17, 2006

Challenges and Transitions

Many of our students experience a culture shock when they matriculate to Sherman College. Not only is the number of course hours significantly greater than they have experienced in undergraduate school, but the quarterly schedule can be challenging to adapt to. The vast majority of our full time students elect to continue the quarterly schedule throughout the summer quarter, so the days of “summer vacation” come to an abrupt end.
Our philosophy classes are also something new to many of our students who do not come from a chiropractic background and to some of those who may have a history with chiropractic, the philosophy based in vitalism taught here can be eye opening. The majority of our classes are in the clinical sciences are “hands on” which is a new experience to many students. As with life in general there are many situations in the academic setting that can pose challenges to ones ability to adapt to new environments as well as the culture of the institution. For example at Sherman College we have a very diverse student population with backgrounds that vary greatly. The small size of the school and the family atmosphere means that there is a high degree of interaction between students as well as with faculty, staff and even administrators. There is the transition from undergraduate studies to graduate studies. Then from being a graduate student to becoming a clinician in our on campus health center where chiropractic care is delivered to the public. The final transition is the journey from clinician to graduate doctor of chiropractic entering practice in the world of health care.
In future blogs I will be delving deeper into these challenges and giving you some advice and tips as well as testimonies from those who have successfully completed our program on how you can maximize these experiences.

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Half Way There! For now.

We are now at mid-term exams and some of our students can breath a sigh of relief while others need to really buckle down and put on the full court press. The good news about being on the quarter system is that time goes by very quickly. The bad news about being on the quarter system is that time goes by very quickly! You get to the break quickly, but you also have to be very diligent about your studies and keeping up. As I talked about in an earlier posting this is a rigorous program. Our faculty and staff recognize this and are always going above and beyond the call of duty to offer assistance to students who need extra time and understanding. One of the things that make this a “family environment” is the connection between students and faculty. Personally I think this is critical to success in and out of the classroom. I had one of my former X-ray Interns call me the other day seeking advice and information on x-ray units and companies. She spent some time working with another chiropractor after graduation where she gained a lot of valuable experience and she is now opening her own office soon. She persevered and is now on the brink of a whole new type of excitement. These are the types of phone calls we all love to get. It helps us as faculty members to strive to constantly improve our teaching.
Life really is about relationships and helping others achieve their goals and dreams. I know I speak for all of my colleagues when I say this is why “It’s worth it”.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

New Students start a new life here at Sherman College

October 3, 2005 fifty-three students began their fist step on a path that I believe will change their lives as well as the lives of countless people they will eventually serve. Service is what this profession is all about in my opinion. Giving of ones self for the betterment of others. We see the evidence of this not only in the Doctors of Chiropractic that see patients daily in their offices throughout the world. We see it on campuses like ours where faculty, staff and administration dedicate themselves to the task of delivering the best chiropractic education we are capable of. Service is setting aside ones own personal agenda for the good of the whole community. One area of service that goes unheralded is that support system our students have on the home front. Wives, husbands, significant others, parents and the like play a crucial role in the success of anyone, but especially a student in a graduate program such as chiropractic. Forming relationships that are positive and healthy are very important for success. This can be challenging and should be a priority for students. My role as Dean of Clinical Sciences affords me the opportunity to see first hand many of the behind the scene activity that goes on in an institution to assure student success in school as well as in their future practices. I am proud to say that Sherman College works very hard at developing successful chiropractic leaders that will one day soon serve humanity.

Friday, September 23, 2005

Perseverence pays off for twenty graduates!

Perseverance pays off for twenty new Chiropractors.

On September 24, 2005 Sherman College will graduate twenty Doctors of Chiropractic, to join the ranks of those of us who love this profession and all that it holds for humanity. I know each one of these individuals and our profession will be better off after tomorrow. As I look back over their journey here I see a common thread, perseverance. They survived and some even thrived while amassing nearly 5,000 clock hours of classes and this does not count the hours spent studying. I think that often when faced with the enormity of this type of curriculum the typical student doesn’t comprehend exactly just how much they are actually learning and assimilating. Soon enough, when they begin caring for their patients I feel they will really begin to grasp just how well equipped they are to enter the world of reality. Our new doctors will recall things they learned in the classroom as well as in those conversations with their mentors that take place in all around the college. It is quite common for myself and other faculty to walk down the hallway and hear, “hey doc do you have time for a quick question”? The questions are rarely quick and we nearly always have or make the time, we love and live for those moments. It’s one of our greatest benefits of being involved in the educational process. In my opinion a lot of information is disseminated in the classroom, but the real learning takes place in those moments of inquiry and contemplation. Even though the path to becoming a chiropractor is long and the climb is steep it is worth it, for those who persevere and work diligently to apply themselves. If you are considering a career in this field I sincerely hope you consider Sherman as the place to start your journey. We will give you our all if you give it yours.

Friday, September 09, 2005

Serious education requires focus.

Rigorous is one of the best ways to describe our curriculum. In order to maintain good academic standing and progress it is advised to make plenty of time for your studies! We have made every effort to structure the courses in such a manner so as to give cohesiveness to them. We also sequenced them to give you knowledge and understanding as well as prepare you for your National Board Exams, which can be taken throughout your educational process. When looking at the overall schedule you will notice that quarters’ eleven through fourteen give you plenty of time to devote to your clinic experience. It obviously pays to work very hard early in your stay here so you can complete the program in fourteen quarters. Falling behind early means staying longer. Small class sizes and very committed instructors help to support your success. We have several Intern programs that offer support and tutorials in the science and art of chiropractic. The X-ray Intern program focuses on taking x-rays. The Education Interns give health talks and assist in patient education. The Academy of Chiropractic Excellence Interns offers support in the analysis and adjusting area of the health center. Even though the program is rigorous there is every opportunity to succeed for anyone willing to give his or her best effort. Chiropractic is a serious endeavor and we take your education serious, as we are sure you will to.

Friday, September 02, 2005

Philosophy, Science and Art in the curriculum

One of the unique as well as exciting things about chiropractic is the foundation on which it stands. It is a philosophy, science and art. This is exciting in the sense that all three aspects support each other and serve to strengthen the practice of chiropractic when embraced and applied by the chiropractor. Here at Sherman we start inculcating all three components in your education in the very first quarter. Look at the first quarter classes and you will see what I mean. In fact the first three quarters are heavy with the trio of philosophy, science and art. As you progress through the program the application is reinforced in your basic science courses as well as clinical science courses.
Look at the first few quarter class schedules and you will see what I mean, here's the link: http://www.sherman.edu/edu/academics/standard_schedule.html