The naturopathic medicine degree program at National University of Health Sciences (NUHS) in Illinois is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. The program has increasingly thrived since opening its doors to the first class of ND students in 2006.
At its multidisciplinary campus, ND students now hold key offices in student organizations.
An ND student has twice been elected president of the NUHS Student Council.
ND students helped launch new campus organizations such as a homeopathy club, a naturopathic fraternity, a healer’s circle, an ND sports medicine club and an extremely active chapter of the Naturopathic Medical Student’s Association.
Its student-managed botanical herb garden, planted in 2010, has since doubled in size and now boasts 60 species of medicinal plants. In another fantastic student effort, NUHS proudly hosted the Naturopathic Gathering for the first time in 2012.
The ND Curriculum at NUHS
The ND curriculum has also evolved in the last decade, with more emphasis on endocrinology, women’s health, emergency procedures, additional hours in botanical medicine, and enhanced instruction in physical medicine. NUHS has also begun to offer more instruction regarding certain aspects of IV therapeutics. Yet, the university still maintains a full and rich program steeped in traditional naturopathic philosophy.
The number of supervising clinicians for ND students has grown considerably, and the university has added a homeopathic medicine rotation on campus, as well as a rotation for every ND intern at its Salvation Army clinic program. NUHS also provides the opportunity for an observational rotation at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America’ Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Zion, Illinois.
National University’s participation in the naturopathic profession is continuing to grow. The campus hosted the first three annual conferences of the Illinois Association for Naturopathic Physicians (ILANP), and many faculty, as well as new graduates, hold leadership and board positions within the ILANP.
In fact, current faculty member, Dr. Kristina Conner, is president of the ILANP. This year, National University and the ILANP hosted influential legislators for tours of its campus to learn more about naturopathic medicine and help advocate for state licensure.
Making an impact in the naturopathic profession
NUHS is also achieving landmarks for the naturopathic profession as a whole. For example in 2015 student Phylicia Hammonds became the first ND student to receive The Albert Schweitzer Fellowship, placing ND students on par for future consideration along with MD, DC and other health care degree programs.
Dr. Fraser Smith, assistant dean for naturopathic medicine, not only authored the textbook Introduction to Principles and Practices of Naturopathic Medicine, but also released three additional books aimed at educating the public about nutrition and wellness. Two homeopathic medicine faculty also released an e-textbook, titled “Essentials of Homeopathic Medicine.”
Because of the university’s integrative medicine environment, many ND students take advantage of the university’s streamlined process for earning a second degree in the DC, MSAc or MSOM program. ND students often meet students from other disciplines on campus and join as partners to start integrative practices together when they graduate.
After an exciting first decade, National University of Health Sciences celebrates its dynamic body of students, alumni and faculty who have helped build it into the strong naturopathic medicine program it is today.