In order to continue to ensure that students graduate with a complete set of business skills to succeed in today’s health care marketplace, National University recently redesigned the business curriculum in the naturopathic medicine program. The courses were implemented during the spring 2021 trimester.
The new courses are designed to build off each other, beginning with business planning, followed by the other steps required to eventually open the doors of a practice. Overall, the curriculum will cover the various scopes of practice naturopathic doctors can pursue in their career, along with more nuanced business functions like how to create a budget, understand a balance sheet and read a lease agreement.
“Our focus on core business and practice management skills remains strong, and the skills students learn will also be valuable in a group practice, not just a solo practice,” said Fraser Smith, ND, MATD, Assistant Dean of NUHS Naturopathic Medicine program.
Dr. Smith added that even at a larger organization like a hospital, knowing the way a business operates can help a graduate understand that certain functions like a budget are essential to the survival of the organization, the employment of the many people who work there and, ultimately, the fulfillment of its mission.
“Understanding the financial report and business goals of a larger practice can help a graduate become a working part of it, and have insight into the operations, which can lead to more contributions,” he said.
The curriculum will continue to evolve to further address business functions specific to naturopathic practices. In the near future, the ND program is considering additional coursework to further strengthen this skill set.
NUHS students take part in new homeopathy rotation
Since NUHS announced a new homeopathy rotation in 2019, several naturopathic medicine students have already benefited from the opportunity. At the Center for Integral Health (CIH) in Lombard, students are able to gain experience diagnosing and prescribing homeopathy remedies while working alongside Timothy Fior, MD, Joel Sheppard, MD, and NUHS alum, Lisa Krebs, ND.
Tolulola Bayode, ND, a recent graduate who participated in the clerkship last fall, said the clinic has a diverse patient base that allowed her to address a variety of ailments. In addition to case-taking and homeopathic repertorization, she was able to participate in telephone conferencing with patients, grafting of remedies, triaging, monitoring vitals and performing an ear, nose and throat (ENT) exam.
“For students interested in homeopathy, there is no greater training than this,” Dr. Bayode said. “The environment at CIH is intimate and encourages scholarship of learning without judgment. The doctors are fabulous mentors and friends, and see the student interns as colleagues.”
During the clerkship, interns are able to learn from multiple health perspectives. Crystal Sciarini, ND, who also participated in the opportunity last fall, said one of the great things about the rotation is the ability to experience three different styles of practice.
“Each doctor at CIH has their own unique style of intake and review, so it was always interesting,” she said. “I enjoyed every minute.”
Naturopathic students continue to thrive with both in-person and virtual learning
In response to the pandemic, NUHS is currently utilizing a combination of online and in-person lecture for the naturopathic medicine program. Laboratory and clinical education is being conducted primarily in person.
Although in-person patient care resumed in July with all indicated safety measures, and the clinic is as busy as ever, the use of telehealth has continued. ND interns started offering telehealth visits in the spring 2020 trimester when the pandemic quarantine first began. The visits are conducted via Zoom, a secure, video chat application available on a smartphone, tablet or computer (equipped with a camera and microphone).
Grand Rounds also continues to be conducted online in a virtual format via Zoom meetings. The virtual Grand Rounds allows interns to discuss recent patient cases as well as take questions from fellow interns as they would during in-person sessions. For many students, this new format is not only safer, but more convenient.
Grand Rounds feature presentations by interns, faculty or guest speakers that explore a clinical question and focus on direct application of research information to patient care. The sessions are open to NUHS students in other specialties including chiropractic, acupuncture and oriental medicine programs so they may learn about naturopathic perspectives on patient care.
The new virtual format has led to more attendance due to increased accessibility. As a result, there are plans to continue the same format into the future.
For more information on the exciting developments at NUHS please contact the admissions department.