A Typical Week at the St. Louis VA Medical Center
SOURCE: ACA Blog ~ 9–19–2017
By Steven Huybrecht, DC
VA St. Louis Healthcare System
I’ve had more than a handful of family and friends ask me, “What’s it like working for the VA in St Louis?” and my response is always the same—“It’s great!” I usually then proceed to give them a rundown of what a typical week looks like as my activities vary from day to day and sometimes from month to month.
An average week is broken down into four different segments:
interdisciplinary pain rehabilitation (IPR) program,
scholarly activities, and
The majority of my time is spent in clinic helping veterans manage their pain and develop healthy habits for self-care. However, the time spent outside the clinic has also been beneficial for personal development and education.
On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, I provide chiropractic care in the pain clinic during our normal hours of 8 a.m.- 4 p.m. along with the program director Dr. Pamela Wakefield and attending chiropractor Dr. Glenn Bub. I usually see anywhere from six to eight veterans on an average day, some more clinically complex than others. We have a (relatively) small workspace, but are very busy and have a full schedule on almost every clinic day.
This time is the “bread and butter” of my week where I’m working with veterans who not only have pain issues, but also often have multiple comorbidities. I spent over two years in private practice before starting at the St. Louis VA Healthcare System and have already seen more complexity in my patient population in the first two months of my residency than I saw in those previous two years.
On Tuesdays, in addition to treating veterans I have some scholarly time. One of the recent projects I participated in with two other residents, Nicholas Evertz from Canandaigua, N.Y. and Rachel Mooers from Los Angeles, Calif., was to create a presentation of evidence-based spinal examination procedures. After scouring the literature and cultivating sources, the best tests for diagnosing spinal-related complaints were established. This taught us not only how to critically appraise research, but also how to work together from different sites across the United States.
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