Before starting the naturopathic and chiropractic medicine programs at NUHS, I was initially a pre-med major preparing to become a traditional medical doctor. At the time, I wasn’t sure I wanted to work in a hospital setting or if I liked the largely drug-based practice style that a lot of doctors had.
When I basically stumbled upon naturopathic medicine and its tenets online, it was a perfect blend of health care focused on nature with more one-on-one time with patients. Chiropractic medicine shared many similar principles too.
I quickly realized the important role these fields would play in an industry that is shifting toward more holistic, integrated care. Here are some of the reasons why I chose to pursue chiropractic and naturopathic medicine as the best possible care for my future patients.
I can spend more time with patients
As a pre-med major in undergrad, I shadowed my OB/GYN, an OB nurse, an anesthesiologist, and a nurse anesthetist. One of the things that stood out the most was how much time my OB/GYN would spend with her patients. She genuinely cared about each person and had their best interests at heart. She inquired about their lives and things unrelated to their health concerns and was always very engaging and down-to-earth.
When I learned about naturopathic medicine and talked with her about it, she expressed her wish to have learned about this medicine years ago and encouraged me to pursue it. I’m so glad I did.
I will be able to provide holistic care needed by today’s patients
Now that I have begun my clinic internship I am even more certain that I chose the right profession. With millions suffering from chronic illnesses like diabetes and heart disease, today’s typical medical model clearly isn’t working for a lot of people. I believe holistic medicine can help fill the void in health care needed to help these people.
I appreciate the ability to understand and treat both musculoskeletal and internal concerns, and having a wide variety of tools in my medical toolbox will be extremely useful in my future practice.
I will have a more diversified skill set
While one of the biggest factors was the nearness to home (in Michigan), when my mom and I came to Campus Visit Day, we both just knew that NUHS was the right fit for me. The dual-degree opportunity, which allows students to complete two degree programs in less time, was a huge plus that other schools could not offer. I really enjoy the diversity in my coursework—we cover a wide variety of health concerns and therapeutic modalities.
On the chiropractic side, I enjoy implementing manipulation, soft tissue work and Kinesiotape. In terms of naturopathic care, I want to provide my patients an individualized approach that focuses on the root cause of illness rather than merely treating symptoms. I also intend to educate people on lifestyle management and offer nutritional counseling.
Naturopathic and chiropractic medicine are unique because their therapies have few side-effects, can be individualized to each patient, and are more holistic approaches to treating a variety of health conditions. For these reasons, it is also the type of integrated health care that the many Americans suffering from chronic illnesses need today.
Upon graduation, I intend to start my own practice as a family care doctor and continue with my research endeavors in some way. While I am still unsure which state I would like to practice long-term, I know I want to be a trusted health care professional who assists patients in creating both healthy and sustainable lifestyles.