Dr. Lisa Ghent – BINM

“I thrive on helping people feel better, not just for a few months, but for the rest of their lives. Often it’s about helping people to discover what is most important to them and showing them ways they can prioritize differently.”

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

Frustrated with the lack of help she was receiving from conventional medicine, Dr. Lisa Ghent discovered naturopathic medicine as a patient struggling with fertility. With a background in the medical field, she saw medicine in a new light, and was inspired by the holistic approach to patient care. “Considering everything about a patient – mind, body, soul –  was so different than what I had previously been exposed to. Something just felt right about naturopathic medicine.”

BINM as a springboard

Following her gut instinct, Dr. Ghent took the leap of faith and completed her naturopathic medical degree at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, while working full-time and having three kids throughout the program. “The experienced and caring faculty took an interest in helping me hone my skills. I wouldn’t be where I am today without them.”

Following graduation, Dr. Ghent opened a small private practice where she saw patients on evenings and weekends while working a corporate day job. She admits that it was challenging to balance family, school, and a full-time job, however her determination and hard work paid off after two years when her patient base was established enough to allow her to practice full-time.

Dr. Ghent opened a clinic earlier this year, offering family-focused and community-oriented care. “For me, running a business has always been about staying true to my core values. It’s always been incredibly important to me to provide practical and affordable healthcare. I am blessed to work with other like-minded local health care practitioners and I can’t wait to see what the future holds.”

Finding fulfillment as an ND

As a naturopathic doctor, “I thrive on helping people feel better, not just for a few months, but for the rest of their lives. Often it’s about helping people to discover what is most important to them and showing them ways they can prioritize differently.”

As a mother of three, and the wife of a pilot, career flexibility was big component to pursuing naturopathic medicine. “When things with my kids are really important, I can be there, and that is important to me.”

Advice for aspiring NDs

“This is a profession that requires you to be all in if you want to be successful, so your why has to be meaningful.” Pursue your passion by taking time to shadow or interview a local naturopathic doctor, and visit the naturopathic medical schools you are interested in to determine the best fit for you!

Learn more about Dr. Ghent

www.drlisaghent.com

www.collaborativewellness.ca

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!

Dr. Spice Lussier – SCNM

“I love being a part of the transformations I see in my patients’ lives with the improvement of their health.”

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

With a love for science and a passion to provide person-centered holistic care, Dr. Spice Lussier discovered naturopathic medicine while pursuing a career in allopathic medicine. As a medical receptionist, she felt there had to be more to medicine than spending ten minutes with a patient and writing a prescription.  Feeling discouraged with her future in allopathic medicine, she took the advice of a friend and went to Discovery Day at the  “natural school” in town – Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM).  “I still remember walking in to SCNM and reading the naturopathic philosophy banners for the first time – they were exactly what I thought medicine should be! “

SCNM as a springboard

With its convenient location and warm weather, Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine was the best fit for Dr. Lussier. “I had a great educational experience at SCNM.  I enjoyed the challenge of didactic and the early integration of patient interactions.  I was very active in the community medicine program and enjoyed providing naturopathic care to the underserved while putting my clinical skills to practice.”

As a student, Dr. Lussier took shifts with local practices to gain experience and to network with other doctors.  Because of these experiences and connections, she received opportunities prior to graduation.

Following graduation, Dr. Lussier took a full-time position as a physician with a startup company. As the first employee, she had the unique opportunity to build a successful practice from the ground up. This experience helped her realize her love for business.

Today, Dr. Lussier runs a thriving practice, Desert Wellness Center and recently launched ND Catalyst, a consulting business in which she works with other doctors to ensure successful naturopathic businesses.

Finding fulfillment as an ND

“I am grateful for the privilege of being a naturopathic doctor. I love being a part of the transformations I see in my patients’ lives with the improvement of their health.”

A big advantage of a degree in naturopathic medicine is the variety of career paths. “I have a balanced 40-hour week schedule of seeing patients, running a practice, and growing my consulting business.  I am also a contributing author, lecturer, and teacher. As a mother of two, I love the flexibility of being my own boss and setting my own schedule so I am able to spend my evenings and weekends with my family.  I am so grateful for the ability to have an amazing career and be there for all the special moments.”

Advice for aspiring NDs

Dr. Lussier encourages prospective students to interview or shadow a local naturopathic doctor. Furthermore, if you have the means, visit the naturopathic medical schools you are interested in to determine the best fit for you! Each of the schools has a unique culture, location, and feel.

Learn more about Dr. Lussier

Website

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!

Dr. Radley Ramdhan – UBSNM

“The experience of serving in the military has provided me with a deeper appreciation for life, a stronger desire to help others, the flexibility of thinking outside the box, and has shown me the importance of patience and humility, all of which helped me through medical school and now in practice. Often times, I am able to draw on military experiences to relate to patients, and as a result, I can help them more effectively. Resiliency, flexibility, and adaptability are some qualities from the military that have made me a stronger naturopathic doctor.”

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

Radley Ramdhan’s childhood dreams were to be a pilot and serve in the United States Army – never did he dream of becoming a doctor. It wasn’t until later in high school when his grandfather was dying, that Dr. Ramdhan recognized his calling, “I saw how the health care system in Trinidad and Tobago was lacking, and decided I wanted to pursue a career in medicine to help fill that void and make a difference.” Dr. Ramdhan describes his grandfather’s treatment as “a pill for every ill.” At last it was determined that his continuous decline was due to the amount of medication he was on. Unfortunately, by that point, his kidneys and liver were damaged, and he was addicted to sleep medication. Dr. Ramdhan was determined to become a doctor who could offer patients pharmaceutical and non-pharmaceutical options, educate them on both and then make a mutual decision on the best course of treatment for their unique case.

Balancing the military and naturopathic medical school

Recognizing that the principles of naturopathic medicine aligned with his personal beliefs, Dr. Ramdhan pursued his naturopathic medical education at the University of Bridgeport School of Naturopathic Medicine. Following his childhood dream of serving in the US Army, he completed Army Basic Training during his first summer break.

When school started up again, he struggled to balance military duty and school. “It wasn’t always easy to balance both, sometimes between weekend classes, clinic, seminars, and military obligations I would go a month without having any days off. It boiled down to some of our military teachings of adapting and overcoming, never quitting, and Army values being applied to my daily life.” As a result, he decreased his course load to part-time. “After some time and hard work, I was able to balance both, returned to being a full-time student and decided to push myself to complete a dual-degree in naturopathic medicine and acupuncture. Support from family, and friends both in school and the military helped with motivation especially when I felt overwhelmed.”

Dr. Ramdhan and his unit were deployed to the Middle East during what was supposed to be his final year of medical school. With prior knowledge of the possibility of deployment, he worked ahead to complete courses and exams prior to his deployment and leave of absence.

“The experience of serving in the military has provided me with a deeper appreciation for life, a stronger desire to help others, the flexibility of thinking outside the box, and has shown me the importance of patience and humility, all of which helped me through medical school and now in practice. Often times, I am able to draw on military experiences to relate to patients, and as a result, I can help them more effectively. Resiliency, flexibility, and adaptability are some qualities from the military that have made me a stronger naturopathic doctor.”

Finding fulfillment as an ND

Following graduation, Dr. Ramdhan returned to Trinidad and started a naturopathic medicine and acupuncture practice. “I network and integrate with other health care providers to ensure the best options, care, and results for my patients.” Dr. Ramdhan describes his passion as uncovering the root cause with his patients and teaching them to become independent.

Dr. Ramdhan also presents free lectures and workshops on various topics in health. In his free time, he enjoys playing cricket and being involved in the community.

Advice for aspiring NDs

“People are becoming more aware of their health and are trying to take control of it, so now more than ever naturopathic medicine has its time to shine. There are several career opportunities in naturopathic medicine and the future career outlook is great, but we need more people to join the profession and spread the knowledge. I would advise anyone with an interest in naturopathic medicine to not only talk to NDs and patients, but also attend events such as Lobby Day or DC Federal Legislative Initiative (FLI) as they give you a different perspective and inspiration about the potential for our medicine. Like all great things in life, it is not an easy road, but if you have the passion, drive, and a why for choosing naturopathic medicine, you will be successful.”

Dr. Ramdhan continues, “There shouldn’t be any us versus them mentality; we are in a paradigm that allows medicine to be integrated to provide the best patient care. Start building your network from day one as a student and support your classmates along the way. Remember the principles of naturopathic medicine as you go along your path of growth, for the deeper rooted a tree, the stronger it can withstand any storm.”

CLICK HERE to watch Dr. Ramdhan’s PTSD and the Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine webinar on demand!

Learn more about Dr. Ramdhan

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!

Dr. Kaley Burns – NUHS

“There is magic in medicine that does not derive solely from technology or diagnostic aptitude; but rather from our interactions with patients.”

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

Like many naturopathic doctors, Dr. Kaley Burns discovered her passion through her own healing journey. After visiting multiple physicians and specialists with no success, Dr. Burns’ mother suggested she see a naturopathic doctor. Accustomed to conventional medicine, she was aware of naturopathic medicine misconceptions, but also believed that medicine could provide more. Naturopathic medicine gave her the healing results that she long desired. A then-physical therapy aide with dreams of becoming a physical therapist, Dr. Burns changed career paths and applied to naturopathic medical school, supported by the mentorship of her naturopathic doctor.

“Naturopathic training has helped me transform into a uniquely talented individual with experience, understanding, and strengths.”

NUHS as a springboard

With roots in Minnesota and an undergraduate degree from Wisconsin, Dr. Burns is a self-proclaimed “Midwest girl at heart.” She was attracted to National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) for its location in Illinois, and the collaborative programs. Throughout her schooling, she worked alongside chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and other health professionals to expand her knowledge and open doors to integrative care.

Since NUHS is in a pre-licensed state, the limitations in the naturopathic medical scope of practice inspire ND students to develop additional skills for patient care. “I sought training in IV and regenerative injection therapy. Additionally, I contacted clinics and medical professionals for preceptor and observation opportunities to gain an understanding of how I wanted to structure my practice. Furthermore, I worked to advocate for myself, my colleagues and the profession as a whole, with intentions to advance our training and opportunities.”

Dr. Burns also participated in a medical brigade to bring the healing power of naturopathic medicine to an underserved population in Nicaragua. Furthermore, she describes her NUHS clinic rotation at the clinic where she is currently practicing as an integral part of her growth as a naturopathic doctor.

“I am fortunate once again to be part of a comprehensive team, who are all dedicated to bringing the utmost care to patients in the community.”

Finding fulfillment as an ND

Following graduation, Dr. Burns took some time off to reconnect with her loved ones before making the move to her first job at an integrative clinic in Connecticut. Since then, Dr. Burns has moved to Montana and practices full-time at a naturopathic primary care clinic.

“I am passionate about regenerative therapies, specifically injection therapies. As much as we know about the human body, mysteries remain. Moreover, the connections between mind and body become ever more prevalent in medicine. There is vulnerability when someone seeks help. Patients will share things about themselves; as doctors we must listen with open hearts and minds. There is magic in medicine that does not derive solely from technology or diagnostic aptitude; but rather from our interactions with patients.”

Dr. Burns enjoys spending time with family and friends as well as building connections in the community. She also values an active lifestyle and recently summited Mount Kilimanjaro.

Advice for aspiring NDs

Naturopathic medicine is rewarding career with many paths. “I encourage prospective students to embark on this journey because you believe whole-heartedly that there is a better way to help patients, a better method of healthcare. The infinite tools and meticulous training of naturopathic physicians allow us to truly treat each patient uniquely.” To learn more about career paths in naturopathic medicine, click here.

Learn more about Dr. Burns:

Website
Blog

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!

Blake Langley – ND Student

“NUNM changed my life. The person I was six years ago is very different from the man and clinician that I am today.”

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

Hailing from southeast United States, Blake Langley, Naturopathic Medical Student Association President and ND student, knew medicine was his calling since middle school.

“Realizing there was a significant lack of focus on prevention and chronic disease management other than polypharmacy, I began researching holistic healthcare professions. That’s when naturopathic medicine fell into my lap. At my first site visit, I felt like I was home.”

Blake’s first step to pursuing his naturopathic medical education was meeting with the National University of Natural Medicine admissions team in to discuss his transcript and career goals as they aligned with the science, history, and philosophy of naturopathic medicine. “The pathway to true health and wellness comes from comprehensive care. Naturopathic medicine has a focus on each patient’s whole health, including prevention of disease and minimizing risk factors. The idea of using lower intensity interventions when safe and appropriate was so novel to me compared to the quick administration of drugs and surgery, that I knew I’d never be able to go back.”

NUNM as a springboard

“NUNM provided a safe space for me to express my opinions, study other healing modalities on top of my naturopathic medical studies, take part in a close-knit community, and live in an area of the country that has a diverse set of natural areas.”

“I discovered a year or two into my education, that the naturopathic profession has varying views on our core identity; however, the diversity of thought at NUNM provided a space for colorful discussion. I found it important to study real primary care medicine while adhering to core naturopathic philosophy and becoming an efficient and competent clinician.”

“NUNM urged me to pursue other areas of study like acupuncture and massage therapy, which will greatly increase my possible future job opportunities. I received my LMT during my time at NUNM, and practiced massage outside of my clinical experience at the school and during preceptorship.”

Furthermore, the NUNM campus’ unique old elementary school setting offered charm that the other schools could not compete with. “With easy public transit and pedestrian access, the urban setting is distinctly offset by stunning views of Mt. Saint Helens and Mt. Hood on sunny days. Within two hours, students can have access to Oregon coastlines, river beaches, mountains, deep forests, and even high desert settings. With much-needed escapes from the didactic settings of medical school, I knew NUNM was the best place for me.”

“There are so many lessons I’ve learned throughout my time at NUNM. In my personal life, I’ve learned how to only bring things into my life that bring me joy; I’ve learned how to recognize when my body, mind, and spirit need restoration; I’ve learned how to communicate better with myself, my peers, my superiors, and those outside of the realm of naturopathic medicine. However, in my professional life, almost everything has changed. I have discovered how to efficiently learn on the fly, how to manage my time and investments, how to respect the interests and approach to medicine that others have, and what it means to provide patient-centered healthcare. NUNM changed my life. The person I was six years ago is very different from the man and clinician that I am today.”

“In school, I probably volunteered a little too much of my time sitting on the Honor Council, serving as Student Ambassador, representing on additional committees, working in multiple capacities with the Naturopathic Medical Student Association, American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, Integrative Health Policy Consortium, and more. However, it is through my work on these projects that I have found exactly where I will thrive in my future practice.”

Work-Life Balance as an ND student

I have always loved organization and facilitation of others’ clarity and efficiency. Over the last four years, I have invested an average of 30 hours per week into representing students on a national level in advocacy, training, education, and opportunity development through the Naturopathic Medical Student Association. I eat, breathe, and live the NMSA at this point in my life and it augments my clinical and didactic education in a way that keeps me passionate about what we do and teach. From my volunteerism with the other organizations in the profession, I’ve found my niche – as much as I love direct patient care, I know I will continue to be involved in administration throughout my career.

Furthermore, “I find that I have greater career flexibility from adding a second degree, receiving another license (LMT), and gaining training in organizational management from the NMSA. Because my focus remains in areas of high concentration of pre-licensed states, I’m very glad to have included the Masters of Science in Oriental Medicine during my time at NUNM. I can practice in any state in the country with both licenses. Additionally, this gives me the opportunity to influence parts of the healthcare entity that may not be open to NDs right now. Most medical providers have an idea of what acupuncture is and how it works. Using my LAc to work alongside these providers and introducing them to naturopathic medicine over time can build trust, long-standing relationships, and opportunities for future naturopathic doctors to receive gainful employment throughout the levels of the healthcare system in the future.”

Future Goals

“I’m currently working toward a residency; however, my hopes for a paradigm shift in the southeast United States remains a constant urge in the back of my mind. My goals are to move into healthcare administration and use my acupuncture license to move into areas of the healthcare system currently uncharted by naturopathic doctors. There is significant room for development within systems like the Veteran’s Administration where, if people are able to become credentialed, work, and build trust in the systems pre-existing structure, facilitating ND entrance can be more easily conducted.”

“The parts of naturopathic medicine that I have developed a great passion for are in advocacy and administration. During my time with the NMSA, I’ve learned that, as much as I love providing care to patients, I need a break to work in legislation and organizations that help the background of the profession. Most come into naturopathic medicine to provide for patients, but I’ve learned that I’m a better facilitator. I plan to work on state and federal levels for naturopathic medicine, acupuncture, and integrative health and wellness to bring naturopathic physicians into systems throughout the United States for a foundational shift in the wellness of our country.”

Advice for aspiring NDs

“The greatest advice I can provide to those considering naturopathic medicine – or medicine in general – is to remain humble and open to other philosophies. In naturopathic medicine, we have the opportunity to learn from an array of lineages to promote diversity of thought and practice. As individual as our patients are, the physicians in our profession are similarly diverse. Even if you don’t agree with or understand certain practices (most commonly homeopathy or vaccination), you should train yourself to think critically for yourself without having to force any belief on another individual. Medical school is a time to explore not only your capability of gaining knowledge, providing patient care, and how you may want to practice in the future; it is also a time to understand how you work best, what your personal limits are, and challenge yourself to understand what you know and what you don’t know. I’ve seen classmates let their ego get ahead of them and create false preconceptions regarding subjects (which naturopathic medicine already has a challenge with to some extent with other parts of the healthcare community) and it has left them cynical and jaded. However, the classmates who challenge themselves to think critically and openly have noted their patient interactions are easier, their ability and willingness to learn is accelerated, and they graduate as healthier, happier individuals.”

Follow Blake Langley on Social Media:

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!

Dr. Carrie Baldwin-Sayre – NUNM

“It just made sense to find the root cause of illness rather than just put a band-aid on it, and use whatever natural means were effective FIRST, before elevating to riskier or side-effect ridden therapies.”

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

Dr. Carrie Baldwin-Sayre knew she wanted to be a doctor since elementary school, but it wasn’t until later in life that she found her calling in naturopathic medicine. As a young student she had never heard of medical systems outside of the conventional, Western model. As a pre-med student, she didn’t enjoy the level of competitiveness among students and what seemed to be financial motivations for pursuing a career in medicine. In an effort to stay true to her values, she changed paths and pursued a bachelor’s degree in sociology at UCLA. After graduation, she developed chronic non-seasonal rhinitis for which she was prescribed a steroid nasal spray with no explanation of the cause of the condition or use of the drug. The steroid spray didn’t work so she began her own research and discovered the now-classic book “Our Bodies, Ourselves.” The book contained a full chapter on alternative medicine which covered diet, herbs, and mind-body and referenced National College of Naturopathic Medicine (now National University of Natural Medicine) in Portland, OR. Dr. Baldwin-Sayre requested more information and was hooked. “It just made sense to find the root cause of illness rather than just put a band-aid on it, and use whatever natural means were effective FIRST, before elevating to riskier or side-effect ridden therapies.”

With her heart set on becoming a naturopathic doctor, she and her husband packed their bags and moved to Portland. While her husband attended law school, she worked full time and completed her pre-requisites at night. Seven years later, she made the transition from a lucrative career in high-tech public relations to a full-time naturopathic medical student. “As soon as I started studying the physiology, biochemistry, and mechanisms of action of nutrients and herbs, it just made perfect sense.”

NUNM as a springboard

Dr. Baldwin-Sayre describes her time at NUNM as turning point in which she found a community of students and faculty who were dedicated to an alternative healthcare approach. “That passion was important to me, and made me realize that I not only wanted to help individual patients, but also to introduce to a much wider audience the idea that we could do things differently in health care and have great success in the process. We all had different spins on how we wanted to do that, but we were absolutely united in that underlying goal.” Dr. Baldwin-Sayre’s former classmates are now her colleagues with whom she continues to work with, meet up with at conferences and consults regularly about tough patient cases.

“Living the dream” after graduation

After completing her residency in general practice and cardiovascular medicine at the Center for Natural Medicine and the (then) NCNM Health Centers, Dr. Baldwin-Sayre stayed on as an independent contractor at NCNM and then pursued a career in private practice.

“I was motivated to change my focus from private practice because of my work on the Board of Directors at the Oregon Association of Naturopathic Physicians (OANP) which subtly shifted my perspective from individual patients to naturopathic medicine as a whole. I realized the importance of helping to grow the profession and protect our rights as physicians. As the Associate Dean of Clinical Education at NUNM, I am now in a better position to do that than I ever was before.” Dr. Baldwin-Sayre currently serves as the President of the OANP.

Finding fulfillment as an ND

“I love supporting the profession in its growth and evolution. I am passionate about educating the community about naturopathic medicine and how it is changing the healthcare landscape. I really love introducing and advocating for our medicine to legislators, insurers, researchers, policymakers, other healthcare providers and just about anyone who could advance the profession and help open up opportunities for our graduates. “

Advice for aspiring NDs

Reflecting on her success, Dr. Baldwin-Sayre recalls the significance of residency in offering better opportunities for practice. Furthermore, she credits external preceptorships that helped her network with NDs in the Portland community. Many of those physicians remain important mentors in her life today.

Dr. Baldwin-Sayre advises prospective naturopathic medical students to *visit a local ND to gain a better understanding of naturopathic practice. **There is diversity in the practice of naturopathic medicine so it is important to keep an open mind with others’ approaches to treatment. She also encourages prospective students to establish a financial plan and take out the minimum student loans that you need to pursue your education. Work hard and set up opportunities to expose yourself to different types of practices to set yourself up to be the best doctor you can be!

*Find a naturopathic doctor near you in the United States and Canada.

**The scope of naturopathic medicine varies by state. To learn about the scope of practice in your state or province, visit the state affiliates of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians website or the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors.

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!