Celebrating a remarkable year at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM)

Celebrating a remarkable year at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM)

It’s been a year of incredible achievement at CCNM. The College continues to break new ground in naturopathic research, forging partnerships that will contribute to the growing evidence base for naturopathic medicine; is advancing the delivery of our naturopathic program; and provides the highest quality of clinical care to patients at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic (RSNC), CCNM’s on-site teaching clinic, with specialized programs that cater to our patient’s needs.

Research Excellence

CCNM continues to break new ground in research that speaks to the safety and efficacy of naturopathic treatments. This past year, we embarked on new research partnerships that will help open the door to how naturopathic and conventional medicine can work together to better health outcomes.

Highlights include:

A collaborative approach to treating diabetes

– CCNM, the William Osler Health System and the Wise Elephant Family Health Team were awarded a $418,000 grant to evaluate the health outcomes of adjunctive naturopathic care for type 2 diabetes. The unique demographics of the catchment area – approximately 15 per cent of the 10,000+ patient population present with type 2 diabetes – will allow researchers to collect and compare data related to specific ethnic and cultural groups.

Partnering across the border to learn more about cancer

– A $3 million research grant was awarded to the Ottawa Integrative Cancer Centre (OICC) – an arm of CCNM – and the Bastyr University Research Institute in Washington State, USA. The grant will fund the Canadian/US Integrative Oncology Study (CUSIOS), the largest-ever North American observational study to assess the effectiveness of advanced integrative oncology (AIO) treatments for patients with late stage cancer.

Connecting with other academic institutions

– CCNM and Dalhousie University began a randomized controlled study on the use of a tropical natural cream in the treatment of osteoarthritis knee pain. The study is a partnership with Delivra Inc. and is funded in part through an industry innovation grant awarded by the Atlantic Canada Opportunities Agency (ACOA).

The global impact of naturopathic medicine

– A study focussing on the use of selenium supplementation in HIV+ patients in Rwanda was published in AIDS, the official journal of the International AIDS Society. The two-year randomized controlled trial was conducted by medical professionals in Africa and was guided by researchers associated with the College. The study concluded that selenium supplementation can delay progression of the infection.

Keeping our partners informed

– The results of a systematic review of the research on prostate cancer and fish oil were presented at the Canadian Association of Naturopathic Doctors (CAND) conference.  This study was funded by a Canadian Institute of Health Research Knowledge Synthesis Grant and involved a partnership with researchers from the OICC, University of Toronto, Ottawa Hospital, McMaster University and the Ottawa Research Institute.

As the profession continues to grow, CCNM’s department of research remains committed to being a world-wide leader in advancing the understanding of complementary and naturopathic medicine as a viable, sustainable health-care system and building a solid evidence base to further the profession.

Academic Innovation

The first of its kind

With more of CCNM’s students developing an interest in naturopathic cancer care, Class of 2006 graduate Dr. Dan Lander, ND, spearheaded and created the first online, ‘outside-of-the-classroom’ elective course that is open to all of the College’s fourth-year students.

Dan, who teaches naturopathic oncology and supervises interns at the RSNC’s cancer care clinic, wanted to design a course that any of the fourth-year students could take (whether they were pursuing naturopathic oncology or not).

“As far as I know, CCNM is the only naturopathic college to offer a course like this,” says Dan.

The course is structured around weekly interactive online modules which combine assigned readings, recorded audio, video, PowerPoint presentations and active learning exercises. Weekly discussions and case-based learning, either in-person or online, help to enhance the subject matter. Taking into account the students’ busy schedules, the course can also be accessed at any time.

Celebrating a historic moment

The first group of International Medical Graduates (IMGs) graduated in May after completing the intensive bridge delivery of CCNM’s naturopathic medical program.

Made up of the clinical competencies of the four-year, full-time program while taking into account previous medical experience and education and the unique needs inherent to an IMG cohort, the two-year bridge delivery is the first of its kind in North America.

Many foreign trained medical doctors feel that the nature of an ND’s practice is much closer to their experience as a medical doctor. The College developed the bridge delivery as an opportunity for IMGs to further their health care careers in Canada.

High Quality Clinical Care 

CCNM’s on-site teaching clinic, the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic (RSNC), is the largest naturopathic clinic in North America, conducting over 27,000 patient visits every year. The clinic uses a team-based naturopathic approach to treat a wide range of health concerns for all ages.

For the past 10 years, the RSNC has been helping those struggling with their weight through Be Your Best Self (BYBS), a healthy lifestyle and weight management program. Created by CCNM alumni and faculty member Dr. Afsoun Khalili, ND, the program focuses on educating patients on healthy eating and lifestyle and provides the tools patients need to maintain their healthy lifestyle changes.

“Running the program has been an incredible experience for me. I have a much better understanding of the challenges that people face when wanting to lose weight. I also feel very privileged to be in a position to listen to patients and to work with them to find solutions to the challenges that present themselves when trying to lose weight,” says Khalili. “By far the best part of my job is when someone reaches their weight goals. Seeing the pride, the smiles and the contentment that achieving one’s goals brings to a person is priceless!”


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