Before graduating, National University students have access to a vast array of rotation opportunities that allow them to explore the many unique specialties within complementary and alternative medicine.
At the Center for Integral Health (CIH) in Lombard, students gain experience diagnosing and prescribing homeopathic remedies while working alongside Timothy Fior, MD, Joel Sheppard, MD, NUHS alum, Lisa Krebs, ND and others.
Tolulola Bayode, ND, a recent graduate who participated in the rotation last fall, said the clinic has a diverse patient base from infants to the elderly, which allowed her to address a long list of ailments using a variety of methods.
During the rotation, she learned to treat the individual, not the symptom. In one case involving severe back pain, the remedy was not to address only the back pain but the individual’s fear of retirement/death.
“For students interested in homeopathy, there is no greater training than this,” Dr. Bayode said. “The environment at CIH is intimate and encourages scholarship of learning without judgment. The doctors are fabulous mentors and friends and see the student interns as colleagues.”
As part of the rotation, students are eligible to earn primary hours, where they are directly involved in patient care, such as conducting intakes and follow-ups with patients. Students are also able to earn secondary hours, observing the management of acute and chronic homeopathic cases. The rotation takes place twice a week over four months.
In addition to case-taking and homeopathic repertorization, Dr. Bayode said she was able to participate in telephone conferencing with patients, grafting of remedies, triaging, monitoring vitals and performing an ear, nose and throat (ENT) exam. She currently plans to continue her training in homeopathy through an internship with a homeopathic physician in Quebec.
Crystal Sciarini, ND, a recent NUHS graduate who also participated in the CIH opportunity last fall said one of the great things about the rotation is the ability to work with three homeopathic practitioners and experience three different styles of practice.
“Each doctor at CIH has their own unique style of intake and review, so it was always interesting,” she said. “I enjoyed every minute and am grateful for the opportunity.”
Dr. Sciarini was able to participate in homeopathic intakes or updates of 6-10 patients each shift. She handled cases involving autism, urinary track infection, COVID-19, anxiety, arthritis, stye issues and more. During the rotation, Dr. Scarini said she gained a better understanding of the homeopathic materia medica, which indexes the symptoms with the associated remedies.
“To help patients find their remedy, it takes knowing the peculiarities of each remedy,” she said. The rotation helped her gain the necessary first-hand experience.
Once she opens her own practice focused on gastrointestinal issues, she plans to use the modality with her own patients.
James Morton, ND, another recent graduate who participated in the rotation, said the experience helped him increase his expertise by learning a different approach to naturopathic care for patients. He got the chance to treat medical doctors, surgeons, children with autism and adults with mental disorders like schizophrenia.
Dr. Morton is currently preparing for his medical boards and plans to work for a Veteran Administration hospital. As a published research scientist, he plans to establish a research laboratory that will focus on various botanical and homeopathy remedies and investigate how they benefit the body. He decided to pursue homeopathy because of the testimonies from patients and from his own successful experience.
“Homeopathy is one of the most fascinating, unique, interesting, and effective modalities I’ve ever had the pleasure to learn about,” he said. “It’s a modality that is completely individualized in relation to the characteristics of the patient, in addition to the problematic health condition.”
For those considering the rotation, he said to be patient and maintain an open mind to learn new approaches.
“To enhance your learning experience, try to engage with other clinicians when given the opportunity,” he said. “It’s important to obtain different perspectives to possible diagnosis and treatment plans for patients.”
In addition to the rotation at the Center for Intregral Health, NUHS provides various other internship opportunities for students interested in gaining first-hand clinic experience. To learn more about the importance of hands-on experience within the naturopathic medicine field visit the NUHS blog.