Breaking new ground for naturopathic medicine is nothing new for National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM), now celebrating its 61st year as the “Mothership” of North American naturopathic medicine. The roots of the profession are deep and growing in Portland, Oregon, the land of bicycles, brew pubs, sustainable living, and progressive thinking. NUNM’s rigorous education, with its extensive real-world clinical experience and faculty-mentored research projects, explains its longevity and longstanding reputation as a top-choice medical school for naturopathic students.
Location, Location, Location
NUNM’s historic urban campus, a short drive from the Pacific Ocean or the beautiful Cascade Mountains, sits right in the middle of one of the most dynamic healthcare and educational centers in America. NUNM is bordered by an array of hospitals, clinics, medical schools, and other institutions of higher education that have long collaborated with the university on interdisciplinary classes, clinical shifts, and residency opportunities. Oregon Health & Science University, the state’s largest medical school, not only employs NUNM graduates, but also works with NUNM cardiology professors and students in its advanced cardio-simulation lab.
Making a Difference in the World
NUNM is known throughout the country for its scholarship and clinical training. It’s also recognized for research excellence. NUNM’s Helfgott Research Institute, with medical collaborators such as Johns Hopkins Medical School, has been the recipient of a number of NIH grants over the years. Most recently, NUNM received funding for two grants totaling $3.2 million for studies on multiple sclerosis patients and a multidisciplinary, collaborative cross-training project with conventional medical researchers at the University of Washington.
Dr. Gene Bowman (’04), MPH, parlayed his education at NUNM in naturopathic medicine and integrative medicine research into an exciting research career. He’s now an assistant professor of neurology at the world-renowned Oregon Health & Science University, and head of aging and cognitive health at the Nestle Institute of Health Science. Dr. Bowman is leading interdisciplinary teams of researchers in studying the role of diet and nutrition in aging brains—groundbreaking work that is resulting in real-time improvements in people all over the world who suffer from dementia and Alzheimer’s.
For most NUNM students, their first passion is healing. Many opportunities have opened to our graduates as licensed NDs are increasingly recognized as clinically-trained primary care physicians. This has paid off in real dividends for students.
NUNM has earned an excellent reputation with regional health departments. NUNM Health Centers have received state certification as top-tier Patient-Centered Primary Care Homes. NUNM also has earned the support of the Oregon Health Authority and Washington County Health Department, both of which awarded NUNM large grants to support clinic operations for “safety-net” patients.
Healing for Those with No Access to Care
Dr. Amanda Watters (’15), now in her second year of residency at NUNM, is the lead physician for the $110,400 “Soy Sano/I’m Healthy” grant from Oregon Health Authority, which helps provide access to medical care for uninsured pediatric patients—children from families with little or no ability to pay for health care. For nearly 40 years, NUNM has provided lifelines to patients like these through a network of community teaching clinics where our students develop clinical skills working with a wide range of health conditions that they would otherwise not be able to experience.
Scholarship: NUNM Library and the Benedict Lust Collection
Student scholarship is something NUNM prizes, with a student NPLEX pass rate of 92 percent. An important contributor to this success is the NUNM Library. It’s a vital adjunct to the learning experience students receive in the classroom, lab, and clinic. The NUNM Library contains the largest collection of books on natural medicine in the nation, and one of the largest in the world. The library holds more than 21,300 volumes, including more than 2,000 books stored in the Rare Book Room, which began with a 1985 donation from the estate of the “Father of Naturopathy,” Dr. Benedict Lust. This collection, with some volumes dating back to the 1600s, provides invaluable knowledge to new generations of medical scholars and practitioners.
Keep in Touch
National University of Natural Medicine’s history and dynamic impact advances every day through the contributions of its renowned faculty and graduates, ambitious students, and dedicated staff. Learn what’s new by visiting the NUNM website or sign up for more information here.
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