Archive for tag: naturopathic

Shadowing Experience

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For the past few weeks, I have been lucky enough to shadow Andrew Peters, ND, DC, in Danville, Ill., a 1997 graduate of National. He allowed me to sit in on patient care and quizzed me on clinical skills and treatment plan recommendations. I loved the small town feel of his clinic and how close his patients are to him. Most of his patients are family friends and neighbors that he sees on a regular basis. This makes for cheap advertising through word-of-mouth and networking.

Dr. Peters is the only doctor in his clinic but has a reliable and people-friendly front office worker to take care of payment issues and scheduling. This is one thing he said is a must when starting your own clinic, as talking to patients about their health care and then asking for payment can sever the doctor-patient relationship and create a salesperson relationship. To avoid conflict he definitively recommends leaving the finances up to a tactful receptionist.

As for practicing naturopathic medicine in an unlicensed state, Dr. Peters also has a DC therefore he practices under the scope of his chiropractic license; however, he still practices many naturopathic therapies. The thing that surprised me the most was how receptive patients were to naturopathic medicine. Many of the patients he sees have sought him out and come from as far as 3 hours away for his services. This motivates me even more to stay in the Midwest and push for licensure. We need more people like Dr. Peters in here in Illinois to perpetuate the naturopathic movement!

Guest Lecture

CroninDr. Michael Cronin paid NUHS a visit recently to lecture on up-and-coming events and therapies in naturopathic medicine. Dr. Cronin has been an ND for 31 years and has recently become the president of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP). He practices in Arizona, a state that allows a full scope of practice for NDs. As president of the AANP, he is committed to providing support to states like Illinois to help them gain licensure.

He also spoke on what it was like to start a naturopathic college, as he is the founder of the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Arizona. He was a charismatic speaker and full of information. It was a great experience getting to meet him.

Snow Day

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This week we had a huge blizzard blow through Chicago that brought almost 2 feet of snow! In some places it felt like much more due to the high winds causing the snow to drift. As we sat in clinic and watched the snowstorm roll in, we finally got word we were able to leave early to get home safe before it really got bad. Unfortunately for some, their normally 20-minute commutes were turned into a 2-hour plus ordeal! Luckily for me, I had gone grocery shopping the night before and could go straight home and prepare for my first snow day of 2011! 

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Aside from catching up on television watching on my extra day off, my boyfriend and I painted our living room and began organizing my things into the apartment. It always sounds like a good idea to paint until you realize how much prep work there is! Filling nail holes, sanding bumps and priming… I will be glad once it is done! By the end of the month I will be completely moved out of my old apartment and finally know where all of my things are! 

Saturday Clinic Shifts

This past Saturday was our first Saturday naturopathic clinic shift. We were surprisingly busy with each intern on shift having a new patient. Being open on a weekend day will help patients who work during the weekdays to be able make an appointment. We have had many new patients since the beginning of the year, which goes to show that word about our clinic is being spread in the community. With our newest staff member, Julie Martin ND, coming from a strong oncology background, she has referred several recovering cancer patients to our clinic for adjunctive care. This is an awesome experience for the naturopathic interns as many of us have a specific interest in oncology. 

Job Hunting 

The search for a job continues! I have had some promising leads in the Chicagoland area but am still unsure where I want to set up shop permanently. I am looking forward to graduation, which will open up a lot more time for job searching. One step at a time! 

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Have a great week and let's hope for no more snow!!

Grand Rounds

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Next week for Grand Rounds I am scheduled to present to fellow interns, clinicians and classmates. Grand Rounds is required of all interns in both Trimester 9 and 10. 

Clinical Question

You are given the freedom to present on a clinical question of your choice and my friend and I decided to pose the following clinical question: How do Clinical Outcomes Improve with Physician Education on LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transsexual) Sensitive Issues? We chose this topic based on a recent discussion on the importance of asking patients sensitive questions revolving around sexual history. As naturopathic physicians, we cannot brush over a patient's sexual history by not asking if they are in a committed relationship, having sexual relations with men women or both, or how many partners they've had in a lifetime. If we avoid these questions, we are not getting a true picture of the patient's risks for disease. 

Interesting Research

Disease types and risks can vary depending on the patient's social and sexual history. For example, lesbian patients were once told they had less of a risk of developing HIV/AIDS. This, of course, is entirely untrue. In fact, our research found many lesbian patients reported that when they were asked if they were sexually active, it was usually automatically assumed they were only intimate with males. If they disclosed they were in an intimate relationship with another female, it was assumed they never had sexual relations with a male in their lifetime. 

And then comes the whole topic of transsexuals who can exogenously inject hormones to more physically resemble the opposite sex. This comes with a whole set of probable disease developments. These are just a few of the stereotypes we dug up during research for our presentation. This was enough to spark our interest to investigate this topic further and present our findings to our fellow interns. 

Valuable Resource

During our research, my co-presenter and I visited the Howard Brown Center in downtown Chicago. Howard Brown is a health care organization that serves more than 36,000 lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender individuals annually. The organization provides primary medical care, behavioral health counseling, research, HIV/STI prevention and social services for all age groups. We met with Chandra Matteson, RN, to discuss our presentation to ensure we were on the right track and to gain more information from someone who works with this population first-hand. She was more than helpful in critiquing our slides and provided us with a wealth of resources. We had such a great time we took pictures with Chandra and added it to our presentation!  

Ashley _Sarah _Chandra

Unfortunately, you have to be a student or faculty member of the University to be invited to attend Grand Rounds, but I urge those who are in health care to take another look into this populations' unique set of health issues. It has been indeed proven that with training in GLBT-sensitive issues clinical outcomes are more favorable. 

Wish me luck on my presentation! I will report how it goes next week!

Break in Boston

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This past holiday break was one of the best! Not only did I get to spend quality time with my friends and family, I was able to meet my boyfriend's family in Boston! Being a Midwest girl, I had no idea what to expect in "Bean Town." I swallowed my first oyster out of a half shell, walked along the Freedom Trail and went to a New England Patriots football game! I was hoping to have a Boston accent after the trip… but my friends back home gave me a hard time when I tried to incorporate the term "wicked" into normal conversation!!  

The one thing that surprised me was how many people know about naturopathic medicine. One of my boyfriend's classmates from college shared with me her father's story of his battle with colon cancer. He utilized alternative medicine including acupuncture and naturopathic medicine in addition to traditional treatments. Her father is in full remission currently and now the whole family seeks alternative medicine practitioners for their health care needs. This was only one of the many people I spoke with who have been recently looking for a natural health care doctor. This got me thinking more seriously about practicing in a licensed state, as I want to utilize all of the modalities I have been trained to do. There are several states in the Northeast that currently license naturopathic medicine including Connecticut, DC, Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.

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Helpful Websites

One website that I have found particularly helpful in seeking future job opportunities is the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. This website will advertise naturopathic doctors in any state as long as they have graduated from an accredited program, passed the NPLEX board exam Part 1 and Part 2, and hold a license in a licensable state. This site also lists job opportunities around the country for naturopathic physicians. Another way to search for employment is good old craigslist. My close friend Sarah was recently hired at an integrative practice in Joliet, Ill., and she found the job listing on craigslist! It goes to show that with a little research there are opportunities out there.  

Clinic Expansion

Clinic has been getting busier every week as we are starting to establish a larger patient base. With our new clinician on staff, Julie Martin, ND, we are able to see more patients at one time, which will allow greater flexibility for our patients. In addition, we are adding a naturopathic shift on Saturday to increase our availability in clinic. While this will be more work for interns, we are excited to bring in more patients and practice naturopathic medicine! 

I hope everyone had a nice and restful break!

Pumpkin Carving, Pumpkin Seeds, and Pumpkin Pie

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Happy Halloween!! I am pretty sure I have overdosed on pumpkin this weekend!! It all started with breakfast this morning being pumping pancakes… followed by pumpkin carving, pumpkin seed roasting and pumpkin pie baking! Now, I am enjoying the glow of my pumpkin on the porch while watching scary movies! I normally absolutely detest scary movies but 'tis the season! Halloween has always been one of my favorite holidays and I fully enjoyed it this year! 

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Clinic News

A group of students from a local high school came to visit National this past week to learn about alternative medicine. An intern from the chiropractic program, and intern from the acupuncture and oriental medicine program, and one of my fellow clinic interns from the naturopathic program presented on our respective programs and what each of the professions can do for patients. Many students were fascinated about the naturopathic program and wanted more information on how to become a naturopathic doctor! I am so happy that young students are being exposed to the naturopathic profession because had I known of this medical pathway way back when I was starting out on my college career I would have made different decisions for sure! 

Campus Visit Day

Speaking of future naturopathic doctors, Campus Visit Day will be held next weekend. As it stands now, the stats for visitors are almost 50/50 for ND-interested students and DC-interested students. This is a first for Campus Visit Day for sure! Usually, there is an overwhelming amount of DC prospect students coming from far and wide to check out the school for Campus Visit Day, but with the ND program growing interest we are starting to have a greater presence on campus! I will be at Campus Visit Day this weekend to answer questions of prospective students and to help give tours of the campus. Come and join if you can!

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Have a spook-tacular week!!