Guest Post by Valerie Gettings, CISSN
Naturopathic medical students from across North America came together in New Orleans, LA, in January as part of the Naturopathic Medical Student Association (NMSA) Winter Workshop to shape the future of the NMSA, and create value and unity for naturopathic medical students.
“The focus and talent of this year’s board is unmatched,” said Valerie Gettings, NMSA President, and fourth-year naturopathic medical student at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine. “I am extremely proud of what our board has been able to achieve in a short amount of time. Our combined efforts have transformed the NMSA into a strong, agile and fun force, which supports naturopathic medical students so they can excel in school, gain professional development, and avoid burnout.”
During the three-day event, students created shared solutions for their chapters, engaged in strategic planning, focused on diversity and inclusion efforts, learned social media strategy, voted on key budget items, and participated in goal setting workshop, among others. Students were also able to learn from Jonci Jensen, ND, one of the founding NMSA members about the original vision for the organization and see the massive progress and growth the NMSA has created today. The team also worked diligently on conference planning for the upcoming American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)/NMSA co-located conference in Denver, CO, July 9-11, 2020.
“The winter workshop is necessary on so many levels,” said Brian Trainor, NMSA Chapter President, Bastyr University California, and fourth-year naturopathic medical student. “The student body within the naturopathic profession has never been as unified as it is now, in large part thanks to meetings and planning sessions such as this one that are geared towards us coming together.”
The NMSA international executive board, supported by executive director, Stephanie Fogelson, is made up of 16 student leaders, including nine chapter presidents, who oversee NMSA local boards at each school. The local boards put on community events and foster personal and professional development for students at each school.
“We are so honored to serve over 2,300 students across North America, “ said Fogelson. “We have determined that there are five key initiatives that will best serve the student experience, thus resulting in healthy, inspired, and well-supported physicians to change our world.”
The NMSA is a 501(c)3 non-profit that is a unified, diverse, sustainable, ethical and professional voice for naturopathic medical students across North America. The NMSA advocates for naturopathic physicians-in-training, and inspires educational and community building initiatives that prepare naturopathic medical students with tools, experiences and connections necessary to become successful physicians. The NMSA creates over 180 events yearly, provides over 14,000 in fellowships, travel grants, and scholarships, and serves over 2,300 students across nine chapters across North America. The NMSA operates on the core values of empowerment, community, impact, and integrity.
About the Author
Valerie Gettings, CISSN is a fourth-year naturopathic medical student at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine and the President of the Naturopathic Medical Student Association (NMSA). She is also a traditional naturopathic doctor graduate from Trinity School of Natural Health. Prior to her path in naturopathic medicine, Valerie was a public affairs specialist and director for community outreach for U.S. Navy Medicine. Valerie received her B.A. in public communication and international relations from American University, Washington, D.C.