There are a number of qualities that have been attributed to success as a physician and health care provider. When you look across the caregiving professions, while the expression of practice may differ, there is common ground in many of the core competencies needed as a successful practitioner. The naturopathic medical colleges promote these qualities in each of their graduates. But don’t take our word for it, read it in our graduates’ own words.
Compassion—Dr. Rick Bhim
“While visiting a friend at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM), I was intrigued by the principles of naturopathic medicine. I had recently finished my MD degree and was between externships and residency applications. When I read more about the program, I realized that the way naturopathic doctors practice medicine is how I always envisioned myself practicing – having time to sit with patients, really getting to know them as individuals and making a real connection with the people I am trying to help. In medical school I was not fully satisfied with the quick 15-minute visits. It was not how I wanted to practice and see patients. When I learned about naturopathic medicine it was like a breath of fresh air. Naturopathic medicine has allowed me to do what I set out to do: to truly get to know my patients, learn about the cause of their illness and health concerns and help them obtain their health goals through lifestyle changes.”
Learn more about Dr. Bhim at CCNM Integrative Cancer Center.
Empathy—Dr. Trevor Cates
“I’ve always had finicky, sensitive skin. I had bumps, hives, and eczema as a child, acne as a teenager, and rosacea in my 30s. You name a skin issue, and I’ve probably had it. The itching and discomfort I experienced as a child was awful, but what really hurt was the hit to my self-esteem. I was embarrassed by my skin and never felt like a normal kid. I tried so many medications, which made me feel worse, and I developed allergies to a lot of them. But, after years of antibiotics, antihistamines, and topical steroids my parents introduced me to a natural, holistic approach that changed everything. As if by magic, my infections, allergic reactions, and itchy skin rashes disappeared. My skin cleared up, and I finally found some relief, both physically and emotionally. This journey led me to becoming a naturopathic physician.”
Learn more about Dr. Cates here.
Honesty—Dr. Anthony Balduzzi
“Growing up, I watched my father struggle with his health and pass away at 42 years young. After my dad died, I studied everything I could about health, nutrition, and exercise. I became obsessed with healthy living, and, over the next decade, that passion for health radically transformed my entire life. In undergrad, I studied nutrition, psychology, and neuroscience. Upon graduating, I planned on pursuing a PhD in Nutrition, but my mom suggested I explore naturopathic medicine instead. I deeply connected with the guiding principles of naturopathic medicine, because they mirrored my direct life experience. I knew them to be true, and I wanted to learn to practice medicine in a way that aligned with truth.”
Competence—Dr. Jessica Schule
“I choose to be a primary care provider, to educate and empower individuals about their health. I love to share the research about the science and biology of the human body, and to explain the root cause of their health concerns. Balancing everything has its challenges, however my work-life balance is rewarding and reaffirming that my career choice is the right path as I serve my community.”
Learn more about Dr. Schule here.
Commitment—Dr. Rachel Marynowski
“As the saying goes, you don’t necessarily seek out naturopathic medicine, but rather… it finds you. I don’t know how else to explain it, other than I was completely smitten and fully intrigued by naturopathy from the get-go. It’s a field of such potential and such support for health maintenance and optimization, for all people.”
Humanity—Dr. Eli Andersen
Dr. Andersen recognized his calling while serving as a medical care advocate for his dying grandfather. He says the last earthly gift his grandfather gave him was the courage to pursue a career in naturopathic medicine. With the support of his family and community, Dr. Andersen began naturopathic medical school at the age of 29.
Learn more about Dr. Andersen here.
Courage—Dr. Meghan Walker
“Get clear on why you want to pursue naturopathic medicine. Your purpose and clarity around your why will see you through the tough times. Succeeding in this, or any career will require that you step outside your comfort zone. If you are not connected to your why, your fear will win.”
Learn more about Dr. Walker’s business.
Respect—Dr. Tracy Wooten
“I encourage you not to chase after money or fame, but after a respectable reputation. When you provide the best care to your patients, your reward will soon follow.”
Learn more about Dr. Wooten here.
Optimism—Dr. Lindsey Wells
“My favorite part about being an ND is being able to truly make a difference in the lives of families and to bring hope. I’m passionate about being able to provide safe and effective treatment options for my patients particularly through the use of herbal medicine, homeopathy, and nutrition.”
Learn more about Dr. Wells here.
Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in October 2020 and has been completely revamped and updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.