"When I began studying naturopathic medicine at National University of Health Sciences (NUHS), the majority of the population was unaware or unsure of what naturopathic medicine really entailed. As I developed during my duration at NUHS, the medical field also advanced in its knowledge and recognition of naturopathic medicine.
I chose to attend NUHS to pursue my goal of becoming a naturopathic doctor because I wanted to become proficient in individualized, whole-person, integrative health care. An education from NUHS facilitated me to employ care in a patient-centered, comprehensive manner, providing the most appropriate treatment for each patient. After graduation, I was fortunate to join an integrative family practice, with a highly intellectual and encouraging team of doctors.
I made a point to become very involved on the NUHS campus, joining multiple organizations, planning various events, and founding a couple student clubs. I also made an effort to be active outside of the NUHS community by joining national organizations, attending conferences, shadowing doctors, attending hospital grand rounds and obtaining additional training in IV therapy and sports medicine. Not only did this help me to make important contacts on campus, but also I was able to further my abilities and network with doctors of various specialties around the country. As NDs, we are given the task of educating not only our patients, but also other medical professionals about our distinct advantage in the evolving medical paradigm.
The clinical experiences at the Illinois campus helped to prep
me for patient care and allowed me the opportunity to participate
in a brigade with
Naturopathic Doctors International in Nicaragua, as well
as a clinical rotation at
Yellowstone Naturopathic Clinic in Montana. These supplementary
clinical opportunities enabled me to further develop and apply my
training in two diverse, yet powerful patient settings. For those
heading into your clinical year, I strongly suggest taking
advantage of extra clinical opportunities.
While NUHS is there to support you in your activities of growth as a doctor, it is ultimately up to you as the student to seek out opportunities in your education to learn from experienced doctors and gain the supplementary training. I would encourage students to shadow doctors in both licensed and unlicensed states, as both offer diverse prospects for NDs.
About a year out from graduation I began looking for employment. The residency options available to naturopathic students are few, but valid options nonetheless. Since I was an August graduate, I opted out of the residency experience. I began talking to the doctors I had shadowed over the four years, and as a member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), I received periodic updates on job opportunities in the ND community. I sent my resume out to countless recipients, periodically interviewing and visiting various clinics. ND students tend to think that there aren't any options for new graduates that will pay well, provide a supportive assembly of coworkers, and allow you flexibility to grow in your practice as a doctor. I can confidently say that these opportunities do exist. There are a variety of options available to new graduates if you are willing to apply yourself and seek them out.
The people in the NUHS community were significant in the transformation that took place during medical school. In a class of a seventeen, you get to know each other pretty well. My colleagues believed in me, when I worried I would not succeed. Do not sell yourself short and talk to as many doctors as you can. The four years spent at NUHS and the connections I made there are memories I will cherish in my growth as a doctor."
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