A common theme through each phase of the ND program is a steep learning curve.
I remember when I started the program, Phase I, Tri 1, the amount of information to learn was overwhelming. I didn’t have a strong science background from my Bachelor’s degree (I majored in Spanish), and some classes were way over my head! Having over 20 credit hours (I was on the 5-term flex track) of really tough material was a whole new ballpark for me. The volume and pace of material presented was more than I had ever experienced. I don’t think there is anything that can prepare you for it. In Tri 1, aside from all the information presented in classes, the learning curve was to strategize and optimize studying time and learn to be okay with the fact that it’s impossible to know everything. Using pneumonics, attending tutoring sessions, and logging many hours at the library became a new way of life.
In Phase II, the learning curve wasn’t as bad. The material was more directly applicable to what I’ll be doing as a naturopathic doctor, and it was more enjoyable in general.
Now that I’m in Phase III doing my clinic internship, another learning curve is happening…I’m learning to take all of the facts from the books and apply them clinically. It’s exciting, but nerve wracking; a lot of effort goes into researching medical conditions, possible treatment options, and sorting through what will be best for the individual patient. Last week was a long week! Abnormal lab results came back for a few of my patients, so I had to hit the books and figure out a course of action, including what supplements would be beneficial. A lot of my time was spent in the dispensary looking at different brands and calculating the most cost-effective way to reach therapeutic levels of the nutrients and botanicals.
Taking one day at a time and using every opportunity to learn is the only way to get over learning curves!