Presenter Spotlight: JoAnn Yanez, ND, MPH, CAE

Dr. JoAnn Yanez - AANMC
Thinking about how you’ll succeed as an ND? Hear from Dr. JoAnn Yanez, AANMC executive director, on how to begin thinking like a successful ND in our webinar recording of ND Success Series: Social Media Tips From the Trenches. Dr. Yanez covers:
  • Finding your passion and highlighting your strengths
  • Starters for a strong and effective social media presence
  • How to avoid some of the bumps and scrapes from rookie mistakes
  • Time management tips to make a big impact through social/online marketing

Tell us about your schooling/education prior to ND school?

I earned a BS in psychology, with dual minors in chemistry and biology at the University of Miami. I completed my doctorate in naturopathic medicine at the Sonoran University of Health Sciences including a residency in family practice. After ND school I earned a Master’s in Public Health and a Certificate in Association Management.

Why did you decide to pursue naturopathic medicine? 

My father was diagnosed with cancer when my mom was pregnant with me. My early years were spent in hospitals watching his disease progress. Traditional therapies were brutal, and the more gentle treatments he did with nutrition and supplementation brought about remission and better quality of life/management of side effects. While I always wanted to be a doctor, a part of me knew there were other treatments that had the potential for strong patient outcomes. I tried to piece together the conventional model to be a doctor that addressed mind, body, nutrition, exercise and physical medicine, but in the conventional model I would have been looking at decades of additional schooling after medicine. Naturopathic Medical Education provided all of this knowledge in a concise and complete academic program.

How did you know Sonoran University was the right college for you?

Prior to starting ND school I was misdiagnosed with Raynaud’s Disease. There were three schools in the US at the time and the climate at Sonoran University was best to not aggravate the Raynaud’s. I have to credit the staff at the Sonoran University clinic with helping me identify what was wrong with me, and in helping me implement the lifestyle changes that would provide lasting relief for the symptoms I was experiencing at the time.

How did you prepare to be a strong applicant for ND school?

I was already a pre-med track student and had been preparing to enter medical school. From high school on, I amassed extra curricular activities including volunteering on a teen suicide hotline, serving in leadership and mentorship programs and achieving honor society induction for both the general student and Greek student populations. I took on leadership roles with campus organizations and conducted research at the local medical school psychiatry department and the college psychology department. I tried to ensure that work I did was related somehow to medicine and worked the reception desk for the campus psychology clinic.

What were some challenges you faced on your path? How did you overcome them?

I think we all have issues that arise to help steer us in the direction we are intended to travel. It’s up to us to pay attention to the signs and make the changes. During college and afterwards, there were personal health challenges and family issues that strengthened my resolve toward naturopathic medicine. I would have loved guidance earlier on to avoid learning things the hard way. But I learned not to give up on my dreams and to pay attention to the lessons from obstacles and perceived failure. I embodied the phrase, “when you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”

What advice do you have for folks interested in pursuing a career in naturopathic medicine?

Explore all the career options as an ND. Begin networking early and thinking about how you will use this incredible investment in yourself and your future. Successful students often develop their plan early on and seek out mentors to help them along their path.

What are your hopes for the future of naturopathic medicine?

We are all working toward increased public awareness and recognition for naturopathic medicine. My hope is to broaden the population who thinks about choosing an ND as their first line of treatment.

Why should people sign up for your social media tips webinar?

It’s never too early to begin your business plan and thinking about your professional brand.


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