I am often asked by prospective students why they should choose National University's Doctor of Chiropractic medicine program over other chiropractic educational institutions. My answer has evolved through the years, but I do not waiver in believing NUHS is the best education available.
During school, I would have answered the question based off the culture of the school and classes I had maneuvered through. Immediately after school, I would have answered by focusing on the rigor of the overall education. But now, as a few years have passed, and I have been able to compare my knowledge base to my colleagues, I value other parts of my education.
Here are the fundamental parts of my education that make me most proud of being a National University of Health Sciences graduate:
1) You will receive the best in anatomy education.
In alignment with National University’s evidence-based education, NUHS students dissect cadavers for a greater understanding of anatomy whereas some schools only prosect. Prosection involves pre-dissecting a cadaver and sometimes preserving it before a class of students can look at the cadaver as needed. Students study these like models. They are much more detailed than a plastic model, but to learn from prosection is still only memorization.
In my opinion, dissection is the most thorough education style. Day 1 of anatomy lab at NUHS, I was assigned a cadaver and spent the following year dissecting. A steady hand, anatomy book, and scalpel were my only assistants.
When we first began, the instructor demonstrated how to dissect a specific area. We were told that if we had a soft hand, it would take extra hours, but if we had a heavy hand, we were in danger of cutting through needed anatomy such as nerves, vessels, and organs. Achieving the right balance was not an easy task, but as a result, I learned anatomy more thoroughly than I ever knew was possible. Soon, I found myself growing fond of my time in anatomy lab. When the year was over, I was sad it was done.
At NUHS, I never had to memorize any anatomical features. I dissected the entire body and learned kinesthetically every inch of the body system that I now treat on a daily basis. There is no substitution for dissection.
2) You learn how to integrate with other health professions.
Despite two different locations (Florida and Illinois), both sites carry the same theme of integrated education. In Illinois, the campus houses chiropractic medicine, naturopathic medicine, oriental medicine, acupuncture and massage therapy. In Florida, the NUHS chiropractic program is located on a health sciences campus of St. Petersburg College. On that campus, there are physicians’, nursing, physical therapy, and dental assistants, and emergency medical services technicians, among other health professions.
Throughout education, there are opportunities for students in each of the programs to interact with others through various learning exercises. As a student, it helped me talk to other professions about the benefits of chiropractic medicine and collaborate on how we could all work together.
Years later, as a professional working in the field, I realize it was teaching much more than that. I have a very thorough understanding of how easily integrated each of the fields could be. As healthcare shifts and many multi-disciplinary and integrative medicine facilities begin to work in unison, I know how to talk to other professions, in their language, about how we can all work together. My time at NUHS prepared me to be a part of the future wave of health care that works collectively with other professions.
3) You have the opportunity to learn virtually and with amazing faculty.
NUHS has done an exceptional job of hiring the best faculty available, with many of the professors being experts in their field. Whether they are located at the Florida site or Illinois campus, virtual learning allows students to learn from faculty at both locations.
When I first sat in a room with a screen, I was not sure if this would be a valuable learning opportunity. Quickly, I realized this was a genius idea. Both campuses could learn from the best professors on a topic. Typically, straight lecture courses are very easy to teach virtually. There is a system for real time question and answer interaction, as if you are sitting next to the professor. Not only are you given the opportunity to learn from the best in the field, but it allows both campuses to share the same material and maintain the same identity among graduating students.
Another personal aspect that I enjoyed was that many of the interactive teachers would go to the alternate location during the trimester, allowing the students to build a more personal relationship with them. I loved this unique measure to keep Lombard and Florida running as true sister schools, rather than different locations with different teachings and identities, as some chiropractic schools have done.
In Reality, the Differences Make National University Better
There are fundamental elements in chiropractic education; however, it’s what National University does differently that makes this school stand above the rest. All schools teach adjusting, sciences and evaluation skills. NUHS takes education a step beyond what is required, and that’s what makes it special. As you decide which school works best for you, ask yourself if the school you’re considering has the elements that make the school as great as NUHS. In my opinion, the only decision is the Florida site or Lombard campus.
About the Author
Dr. Shelby Plante