It’s getting closer! November 9th – 11th, National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) will be the host campus for the 2012 Naturopathic Gathering. The annual event is hosted by a different naturopathic college each year, and draws naturopathic students, physicians and leaders from across North America. Attendees participate in lectures, small group discussions and a variety of social activities designed to foster fellowship, as well as mentoring between seasoned NDs and naturopathic medicine students.
Often, attending a “Gathering” is the highlight of a naturopathic medical student’s time in school. NUHS student Shaon Hines says: “I went to the Gathering in Toronto last year, and I’m really looking forward to ours. It’s a very empowering experience to talk to NDs who have been in practice over a decade, and to have access to their knowledge.”
One of the students organizing this year’s Gathering is NUHS’ Tim Ammons:
“Actually, our campus was selected as this year’s host by a vote at last year’s Gathering. It was a tremendous honor to be selected, and also a tremendous responsibility for our student organizers to conceptualize, plan and bring all the components together to open our home here at NUHS for our fellow ND students from other schools.”
In addition to the naturopathic medicine degree, NUHS offers several other medical degree programs on the same campus. Its aim is to provide an atmosphere where ND students can work and study alongside students in chiropractic, acupuncture and oriental medicine programs. The goal is that in the future, they will be better able to work with professionals from other medical specialties as colleagues, rather than competitors.
Tim says, “I’m excited to show our naturopathic colleagues from the other schools the true spirit of integration on our campus. Our students are in class together from ‘day one’ regardless of their professional program. It helps build a sense of cooperation, camaraderie and loyalty. A great example of this is the fact that our school elected a Naturopathic student body president at a time when ND students only represent about 12% of the student population.”
Tim is also one of the event planners. He says that in addition to a few special surprises, the opening ceremony will offer drums and dancers, and an opportunity for each visiting naturopathic university to present a special wreath made from willow branches to signify their participation in this year’s Gathering. Later, in between key speakers and small group discussions, there will be yoga, meditation, tai chi and qi gong sessions.
In addition to hearing from “elders” – experienced ND physicians and leaders – this year’s Gathering will also feature keynote speaker Dr. Guru Sandesh Singh Khalsa, president of Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in Vancouver.
On Saturday night, there will be a party with live music from the band “Reckless” at the nearby Crowne Plaza in Glen Ellyn. “We will have a rolling buffet with plenty of whole nutritious foods, including vegetarian and vegan options, as well as gluten-free options,” says Tim.
Joshua Burns, who is president of the Naturopathic Medical Student Association at National University, says: “This is an opportunity for naturopathic medical students from all over North America to return to the roots of the naturopathic movement in the United States in the same area which Henry Lindlahr M.D., one of the early pioneers of naturopathic medicine, established his practice and school. NUHS students are excited to be hosting the approximately 200 students who will be attending the event.”