The University of Bridgeport, College of Naturopathic Medicine is committed to training physicians for the 21st century: doctors who are leaders in the emerging paradigm of healthcare, blending research and innovative technologies with the art of healing and natural therapeutics to provide patient-centered care.
The Long Island Sound is the backdrop for UBCNM’s campus, which abuts beautiful Seaside Park, 325 acres of waterfront preserved for the people of Bridgeport by flamboyant entrepreneur and philanthropist P.T. Barnum.
In an intimate setting of small class size and experienced faculty, students are challenged to bridge tradition with innovation while being mentored to explore the healer they are becoming.
Getting Our Feet Wet
On February 2nd, 2017, students, faculty, and staff took a cold plunge into the waters of the Long Island Sound. The beaches of Long Island Sound are just a stone’s throw from our Health Sciences Center, but it’s rare that we host a school activity that involves bathing suits—especially in the dead of winter! In 2016, UBCNM professor John Furlong, ND, floated the idea of a cold water plunge in honor of World Wetlands Day. Now an annual event, the Plunge brings together students, faculty members, and administrators for a cold and salty moment of communion with our oceans. More than a dozen people plunged, and even more showed up to cheer them on and warm them up with ginger tea and extra towels. The City of Bridgeport provided an ambulance crew and a lifeguard, and Channel 12 came by to catch some footage. We’re happy to report that everyone emerged invigorated and smiling—even the students who had to return to classes for exams that afternoon!
Serving Our Heroes
In 2016, UBCNM initiated an outreach to veterans and active duty military personnel in our community. Spearheaded by a student who is a retired army veteran, the outreach extended discounted visits to local service members. We look forward to repeating this service in 2017 and beyond.
UBCNM students who are retired and active U.S. service members representing the Coast Guard, the Army, and the National Guard were part of the founding committee to create an on-campus haven for military students at University of Bridgeport. The project is led by students and assisted by administrators and faculty from across the university.
Doctors as Entrepreneurs
In collaboration with University of Bridgeport’s award-winning Trefz School of Business, UBCNM launched “Fundamentals of Entrepreneurship,” an elective course that gave students the tools to bring their visions to life in the modern marketplace. Professor Elena Cahill taught the course, which also broke ground as UBCNM’s first hybrid course, with hours divided between in-person class meetings and online discussions and work. Students produced descriptions of their business or product, practiced pitching a business to investors, and researched regulations for startups in Connecticut and the New York metropolitan area. UBCNM students experienced cross-disciplinary collaboration as they worked side-by-side with students from University of Bridgeport College of Chiropractic and the business school.
This year, UB also opened the Student Entrepreneur Center, with services available to any student from any program who plans to start a new business. The Center is staffed by local entrepreneurs and provides advice and state-of-the-art workstations to students. Several UBCNM students have already taken advantage of the center, even entering local and national contests for student entrepreneurs.
Learning by Doing
In 2016, St. John’s Family Center, a local shelter, contacted UBCNM with an unusual request: they were looking for someone to teach cooking classes to their clients. They had a kitchen, and would provide the ingredients, but came to us asking for an instructor. We saw a unique learning opportunity, and under the direction of Dr. Kulveen Virdee, the Nutrition IV class was assigned to develop and present cooking lessons at St. John’s. Two weekly courses were offered, one for children in elementary school and the other for adults. Students chose their topics, researched inexpensive and readily available nutritional options, developed recipes, and went to St. John’s in small groups to teach their courses. Students were immersed in the real-life work of helping an underserved population make healthy and sustainable choices, and developed their teaching and presentation skills. Our relationship with St. John’s continues, and the teaching opportunities will now be open to every student in their clinical years as part of our public speaking and community outreach requirement.
Steeped in traditional healing practices, naturopathic medicine emphasizes holistic, preventive care. By focusing on prevention, optimal health and wellness, and diet and lifestyle as first-line interventions, naturopathic physicians educate and empower patients to take responsibility for their health.
As a naturopathic physician and graduate of UBCNM, you will not only help people optimize their health, you will change the way they think about health – for themselves, their families, and the planet.
Keep up with the latest news on UBCNM’s offerings and other noteworthy developments by visiting their website.