For my STEP project, I had an internship at a functional medicine office in Medina, OH called Whole Body Health. For two months, I worked at this functional medicine office at the front desk, at the health food store, or on the rehabilitation floor. I also shadowed the doctors while they had appointments with patients.
While this was my second summer working at Whole Body Health, the office had drastically changed from the last time I worked there. A naturopathic doctor started working there, as well as a new chiropractor and a holistic health coach. Since the office had transformed so much since I lasted worked there, I learned a lot of new information, which transformed me as well. Dr. Monzo, who is the N.D., practices a form of medicine that I had never heard of before called The King Institute Method, or TKM. He studied the bio-electromagnetic systems of the body and uses what he learned in school to holistically treat his patients.
While I have been very intrigued by holistic medicine, I also consider myself somewhat of a sceptic. The first day that I sat in on one of Dr. Monzo’s treatments, I had many questions for him and struggled to understand how his form of medicine, which lacks pharmaceutical treatment, worked. However, as the weeks went by, I saw sick patients becoming stronger and healthier. They would come up to talk to me at the front desk after their treatments and tell me all about how amazed they were that Dr. Monzo was actually helping them. That was when my idea of medicine was transformed. While I knew that I would probably never fully understand the medicine of TKM, I had a new found respect for it. I realized that, as a Physicians Assistant, I may not always fully understand the forms of medicine that are used to treat patients. However, there are many different ways to treat patients, and some forms of medicine may be just as qualified as others.
My favorite part about working at Whole Body Health was the fact that I got to do work in all places of the office. I mostly worked at the front desk. It was here that I would check in patients, file patient paperwork, make new patient portfolios, pull patients charts, and check patients out. While sometimes it was a little discouraging to be stuck up front, away from the doctors where all the magic happens, I slowly developed a liking of it. Although i I didn’t get to sit in on every treatment, I got to be the first friendly face the patients saw when they walked in, and the last friendly face they saw when they left. I often got to hear all about the patients days and was able to form professional friendships with many of them. It was always so refreshing to look at the schedule for the day and be excited to see which one of my new friends were coming in that day.
The health food store at Whole Body Health was connected to the main office and the treatment rooms. It was here that I got to restock items, help customers find what they were looking for, and check patients out. It was working here where I felt most helpful. Because of my interest of “healthy” food, I had tried a lot of the foods or supplements that Whole Body Health sold, and I was often able to give patients good suggestions on what to buy. I loved when a first-time customer would come in simply because they heard about our store and I was able to tell them all about it, acting as if I was an expert.
The rehabilitation floor was the traffic director of the office. It was here where I would shuffle in the patients and keep them busy until the doctors were ready to see them. Often times, the patients knew exactly what to do and where to go on the rehab floor, but I would set them up on the massage chairs, decompression tables, or vibe boards. Although there was a lot of tedious work when running the rehab floor, like billing charts, it served as just another place where I was able to get to know the patients and feel like I had a role as the “intern” at Whole Body Health.
Although my jobs at the office were ever-changing, I was able to see how all parts of a doctors’ office work together. I formed a respect for all of the employees at Whole Body Health, from the front desk girls to the doctors in the back. While some people may consider some roles at a doctors office less significant than others, I was able to observe each and every role and see that each one compliments the other.
The biggest thing that I took away from this internship is that, as a future Physicians Assistant, I now have a better understanding of the harmony that is a doctors’ office. Because I have had this privilege, I think that I will have a unique respect for all employees of the doctors’ office that I may work for one day.