Training Interns

Training Interns

Posted On: December 5, 2017

I am Dr. David A. Johnson, the Director of Clinics at North Shore Spinal and Sports Rehabilitation. I am licensed as a chiropractic physician and a physical therapist in Illinois. I practice as a chiropractic physician and physical therapist in Highland Park and Lake Bluff.

I have trained many a young chiropractor and physical therapist over the years. I would like to share some of the knowledge I have gained from this experience.

The first thing I try to do is meet the intern where they are at in their learning process. Most of the interns have had the basic clinical sciences when they come to work in my clinics. I have to not only have familiarity with their curriculum and training, I also have to probe them as to their knowledge base.

I usually probe by having them observe me examine a patient. I often ask after the history, what they think is wrong with the patient. I listen to their ideas. I may then ask some leading questions as to what I think is wrong with the patient. I then perform the exam and formulate my diagnosis. I report my findings to the patient and what plan we should follow. After the exam, I sit down with the intern and discuss why I came up with the diagnosis. Through this process, I look for gaps in their understanding and do my best to help fill in those gaps.

Most interns are trying to consolidate their knowledge into a cohesive whole rather than a lot of disparate components. I do my best to try and help them do this. I can still remember what it was like to be full of knowledge yet lacking understanding. I also remember how hard I worked to pull all the parts together. I enjoy helping interns gain in their depth of understanding as to what is needed to practice good medicine.

One of my favorite things to do is to help them get right sized. All to often I get students who having gotten good grades and they therefore assume they have the knowledge. I pick areas of weakness and give them case examples, challenging their knowledge and exposing their weakness. Once exposed, I explain to them that learning is a life long endeavor and that recognizing ones weakness gives rise to the opportunity to fill in those gaps.

By continued exposure to conferences, the clinical literature and post-graduate training, each intern has the opportunity to recognize their own gaps and work to develop into the best clinician they can be. Being a good clinician is a life long endeavor and by pursuing it, the clinician will help thousands of people while enriching their own lives.

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