“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.

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