When National University of Health Sciences–Florida established its relationship with St. Petersburg College in 2009, it became the first chiropractic medicine program in the country to develop a partnership with a public college.
As the site celebrates its 10th anniversary, it is one of 17 educational institutions that are part of the University Partnership Center (UPC), with the chiropractic medicine program being one of only a few doctorate programs. The UPC provides NUHS students with integrative educational opportunities with students from other schools and health care disciplines, and access to a wide variety of services and programs on multiple campuses.
Additional collaboration is available to National University Doctor of Chiropractic program students through the St. Petersburg College Health Education Center (HEC), where they and those in other health science disciplines attend classes.
Integrative Learning Opportunities
”Our students and interns are able to communicate, collaborate and engage in projects alongside other individuals seeking health care degrees,” noted Daniel Strauss, DC, Dean of the Florida site College of Professional Studies. These collaborations provide NUHS ̶ Florida students with the integrative medical background that is a hallmark of the University’s educational philosophy.
“They have the chance to give presentations at the HEC on health and wellness topics, as well as chiropractic medicine, to a wide variety of students seeking degrees in various health care disciplines,” Dr. Strauss explained. They in turn attend presentations by students in other programs, such as learning about oral health from dental hygiene students and emergency procedures from paramedic students.
In addition to affording educational interaction with students from partner schools, NUHS offers complementary care for UPC member students, faculty, staff and their families at its HEC clinic. An outcome of this collaboration is that students attending the UPC and HEC programs, and who have the opportunity to experience chiropractic treatment in the clinics, graduate with a better understanding of the value of chiropractic care and the quality of education chiropractic physicians receive, said Dr. Strauss.
Unique Chiropractic Education Experience
National University–Florida chiropractic medicine students also have the chance to illustrate the knowledge they have learned through St. Petersburg College’s New Initiative Program (NIP). The program facilitates cadaver workshops taught by NUHS students, supervised by an NUHS anatomist, over a two-week period twice a year, reaching nearly 300 students, faculty and administrators each session. “Participation surveys constantly say that the quality of dissection and instruction by our students is exceptional,” Dr. Strauss reported. To date, six NUHS students who presented cadaver programs have been hired by the college as adjunct faculty following graduation from the NUHS DC program.
Through the UPC, NUHS chiropractic students also have access to:
- Use of six libraries, five student cafés, five bookstores and several fitness centers.
- More than 35 student clubs and organizations, such as the Motion Palpation and Community Wellness Clubs.
In November 2019, NUHS will join other UPC members for the second annual mental health event, where chiropractic students, physician assistant students and those in other health disciplines will be part of panel discussions open to the public. “It’s all about primary care,” Dr. Strauss stated. “We’re educating future health care professionals that inevitably will treat someone in their practice that may have underlying mental health issues. It is important to know the proper resources they might need to recommend to their patients.”
NUHS Has Latest Anatomy Technology
In addition to the hands-on learning that takes place on human cadavers in the gross anatomy labs at both the Florida site and the National University campus in Lombard, Ill., each location offers chiropractic medicine students access to an Anatomage Table. This life-size 3-D interactive table is today's most technologically advanced digital visualization system for anatomy education. There are less than 100 tables in the U.S., and approximately 300 in the world.
- Over 120 pathology examples, allowing students to dissect both normal anatomy and abnormal pathologies.
- 4-D scans, including respiration and beating heart scans, with full interactivity allowing users to cut and manipulate the moving scans.
UPC members may also schedule use of the Table, located in the Health Education Center, which Dr. Strauss said has been very well received. “It’s a benefit to UPC members that National University has brought that technology to their students,” he said, adding that NUHS students provide demonstrations on the Table on prospective student visit days.
Benefits of Community Service
National University students also volunteer their services through various community activities. By serving the local community, they provide much needed care while spreading the word about chiropractic medicine and reinforcing the mission of the institution. Some of the opportunities available to chiropractic medicine students at the Florida site include:
- Volunteer to provide medical care for local charitable runs and other events.
- Participate in Pinellas Park Medical District events, bringing health and wellness education to community residents.
- Give monthly nutrition and wellness presentations to individuals recovering from mental illness and other disabilities at Vincent House in Pinellas Park.
- Serve military veterans as interns in the Whole Health Center Veterans Clinic.
“National University’s strong commitment to community outreach and support has been part of the plan since the beginning in 2009,” explained Dr. Strauss. “As we enter our next 10 years, we’ll continue seeking ways to not only enhance our students’ education, but give back to the community in whatever way we can.”