I admit that I'm starting to reminisce already about my time
here at NUHS. Here are just a few of my thoughts this week as
things start to wind down and rev up for the next part of this
As each of the 10th trimester Interns complete their patient
numbers and competencies, transition their patients to the Interns
advancing from observation to the main clinic, and prepare for the
next step beyond graduation (whether joining or opening a practice,
continuing with another license or starting a family), I believe
each one has taken the first step on a journey of helping others
with minimally invasive therapies to become healthier.
Spring 2014 will see 11 new doctors of naturopathic medicine
graduate from NUHS. These doctors will be prepared to help those
with chronic illness determine the underlying cause of their
disease, and where possible with the therapies that we are taught
to utilize and our rigorous training on the human body and its
functions, work together as teammates to return our patients to
their basis for health.
This is a bittersweet time for many of us. Those of us who have
developed close friendships over the past 4-5 years and fostered a
sense of teamwork, cooperation, learning, teaching and
accomplishment will be stepping out on our own. We will be making
our way in the world as healer, educator, family, friend and human
being. While we will be making our singular way, we know that we
will have the support of our colleagues, loved ones and our
Ultimately, the support of our patients is the driving force
that allows us (motivates us) to take the next leap as we begin our
journey in a profession with a scope that currently exists in only
18 states and territories along with the District of Columbia in
the United States. This is both an exciting and scary time for
many, especially the younger new docs who are stepping out into the
working world for the first time. I continue to encourage my
colleagues with the notion that they are very well educated, well
trained new naturopathic doctors who are going to make a positive,
healing impact upon their patients' lives. As long as that is their
motivation and they manage their practice wisely, they will be
rewarded with a full practice as word of their expertise
Until next week, most likely with a bit more reminiscing, enjoy
the spring season and renewal of the sun's warmth!
This week I'm profiling two naturopathic interns, Heather
Bautista and Echaukyei (Chucky) Ndumbi. Today, as the two of them
were sitting discussing their future practices and the lives they
would improve and save, I decided to set up an impromptu
Echaukyei (Chucky) Ndumbi and Heather Bautista
Heather Bautista is a native of the Chicago area. After working
in the pharmaceutical industry for a number of years, Heather saw
how disease was being "treated" and not healed, across the
spectrum. She decided to pursue a career that helped others heal
through learning proper lifestyle choices and habits. She chose a
profession that gets to the root cause of a problem and finds a
way, where possible, to remedy that problem to return the person to
a basis for health.
When Heather was considering medical school, her experience with
the pharmaceutical industry was a strong consideration in her
decision to pursue naturopathic medicine as opposed to allopathic.
She has a strong desire to help people heal rather than take a
course of medications for an indefinite period, many times simply
masking a deficiency or illness. When asked what gives her
motivation for becoming a naturopathic doctor, Heather mentioned
the complete sense of accomplishment and fulfillment that comes
with helping another human being truly heal.
Chucky is a native of Cameroon. After his family immigrated to
the United States in his early teens, he decided to continue the tradition of
becoming a healer, as his family has been in Cameroon for
generations. Chucky remembered how healthy his friends and family
were as they consumed vegetables, fruits and meats from their farms
and lived a healthy, active lifestyle. Chucky came to his decision
to pursue naturopathic medicine as it espoused a lifestyle that is
crucial to the basis for health as well as being eclectic in
preventing, as well as treating, and curing disease, when
prevention is not enough.
Chucky chose NUHS based upon the location of our campus to his
home in Maryland. Chucky knew he wanted to pursue naturopathic
medicine and he said he truthfully could not have prepared himself
for the rigors of the basic sciences portion of the curriculum here
at NUHS. Essentially, when he visited campus, he fell in love with
NUHS. Chucky feels that NUHS is preparing him to become an eclectic
naturopathic doctor who will use the proper modality to help his
patients heal to the greatest extent possible.
Each of the students who roam the halls of the naturopathic
clinic know that when strictly looking at the mathematics of the
cost of naturopathic medical school vs. allopathic medical school,
the costs are very similar. At the same time, the residencies are
not as plentiful, the backing of huge pharmaceutical and medical
supply companies is non-existent, and the starting salary of a
newly matriculated and licensed naturopathic doctor is a fraction
of a new allopathic doctor's. While these are the hard facts as the
profession stands today, we are growing as a group.
The success stories are mounting as NDs set up practices
throughout the country. We are licensed in 17 states and U.S.
territories at the time of this entry's publication. As our numbers
are currently around 6,000-7,000 NDs in the USA and Canada, the
word is spreading that our medicine works to get to the root cause
of illness. Somewhere I've read that about 25,000 practitioners is
the critical number to truly have an educated populace who knows of
our profession and how we approach medical care. If this is the
case, we are doing a pretty good job until now getting out the word
about Naturopathic Medicine, in 17 of the 50 states so far.
As Heather and Chucky expressed today, most naturopathic medical
students are not here for a huge paycheck. While we all acknowledge
that we need to make enough to repay our student loans, pay our
bills, live a good life, and save for retirement, our true purpose
here is to save lives.
• Combined Classes
• Observing in Clinic
• Botanical Medicine
• Minor Surgery
• Intern Skills
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