Archive for tag: career

Two Fellow Interns

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 interview.

2013-07-09_ndumbi _bautista
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.