Spring Term DC Student Blog No. 3

Tips from Dr. Bill Borman and Dr. Ron LeFebvre

By: Caitlin Jones, Q7 UWS doctor of chiropractic and sports medicine student

The spring 2020 quarter has proven to be a different one for sure! With the Doctor of Chiropractic (DC) program being so hands-on, it’s going to be a difficult transition, but our professors are working together to try to ensure that we get the best possible education we can. I spoke with a few professors before UWS decided it would be in everyone’s best interest to extend the online learning to labs for the quarter as well –, but their answers are still really helpful during this time! Currently, they are working together in a taskforce to deliver our lab content to us online and deciding how to best assess and prepare us as clinicians. My best advice now is to be patient and work with your Associated Student Body (ASB) reps if you have any questions or ideas!

Q&A No. 1

Dr. Bill Borman, basic sciences professor

bill borman

Do you have any recommendations for how students can succeed in your class this term? 

I think the key to success will be self-discipline in keeping up with content. It’s going to be very tempting for students to put off studying/learning, because they won’t have the obligation of being scheduled for class. They also won’t have the benefit of the group dynamic that comes with everyone going to class together and working or studying together. I anticipate developing the self-discipline to stick to a schedule dedicated to learning the content of each of the many courses students take in each term will be key to success.

With labs being postponed, are there any at-home, hands-on activities that students can do to help reinforce your material? 

I think the dissection lab is, by far, the best place to learn, understand and appreciate anatomical structures and their relationships. Losing the opportunity for students to continue that experience is disappointing, but prudent and necessary given the coronavirus circumstances. Given that, a viable alternative to participating in the dissection directly would be for students to observe the dissection remotely. As such, I’ve started recording myself doing the dissections students normally do for themselves. While I’m dissecting, I’m also recording the commentary I make while helping students in person – reviewing structures, describing relationships, quizzing, etc. I think these videos are going to be immensely helpful for students to observe the process and sequence of dissection, and hopefully, will be an acceptable alternative to the lost opportunity to dissect for themselves. I will also post review videos from a previous term in which I taught these courses and I already know students really appreciate those videos. 

And for fun, what did you do during the quarter break? 

Given the circumstances, we had to modify our plans for what we were going to do during the quarter break pretty substantially. Originally, my wife and I had planned on traveling to Wisconsin for 10 days to spend time with both our families. We decided it would be better and safer to stay home. I originally spent some time installing trim in the lower floor of our home (I’ve been working off/on for a number of years replacing all the interior doors and trim throughout our entire home.) Pretty quickly, though, I realized I needed to get in the lab and start dissecting/recording. It’s a pretty daunting project given the short timeline, but it’s going pretty well so far and I’m enjoying it. I think the students will really appreciate it as well.

Q&A No. 2

Dr. Ron LeFebvre, clinical education professor

Ron Lefebvre

Do you have any recommendations for how students can succeed in your class this term?

It is critical for students to structure their time. The daily course schedule usually does a lot of that for them. Now, however, many of the lectures are asynchronous and can be done at any time leaving the potential for time management chaos. Suddenly, all of the normal time guardrails have fallen down leaving an open range where I fear many will lose themselves. Students should create a tight schedule for watching videotaped lectures and accomplishing other training tasks as if they were back in school. They should also link with study buddies and meet via FaceTime/Zoom also on a regular schedule. This all is going to require the next level up of self-discipline.

With labs being postponed, are there any at-home, hands-on activities that students can do to help reinforce your material?

I’ll leave that advice to lab instructors—but obviously, if they don’t live alone, there may be people that they can safely practice some procedures on and if they can, they should.

And for fun, what did you do during the quarter break? 

Note that in class, Dr. LeFebvre told Q7 students that he has been hard at work over the break going through his courses and making them best suited for the new online format. He has also been going on numerous walks with his dog and enjoying time at home!

In future posts, we’ll hear from Dr. Cortny Williams, Dr. Mia Crupper, Dr. Beth Dominicis and Dr. Lester Partna!