Dr. JoAnn Yanez, Executive Director of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (right), joins KCAAs “On the Brink” hosts, Erin Brinker (left) and Tobin Brinker (middle) to discuss back to school tips and tricks for staying well and eating healthy this school year.
Full Transcript of Interview Below.
Healthy lunches, snacks and meals for on the go lifestyles
Natural remedies for lice
How to stay healthy this school year
Dairy and its impact on some people’s immune system
Healthy alternatives to ice cream
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Good morning, folks. How are you?
Erin: Doing great. Doing great. Tobin started his regular school year started yesterday or Monday.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: I know, I have seen all the back to school pictures from folks.
Tobin: So, now I’m sleep deprived.
Erin: So, I know that this is one of the topics that you have in your blog, back to school survival guide. Can you talk about that?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: We sure can! So, I think folks who are affiliated with either teachers or work with schools or have kids, this is a really busy time of year, and lots of things are on the brain. How do we stay healthy? I know my friends and I who all have school-aged children, while we love this time of year because the kids get back and get active again with all the things of school, they also start to get sick. So folks get nervous about all the cooties and the germs that come with the start of the school year. So at AANMC, we address some of that and we talk about healthy lunches, snacks and meals that you can do on the go as well as how to stay healthy and not get those cooties that start to get spread around and what to do if you start noticing some sniffles or you get the dreaded lice call.
Erin: Oh. We remember. I think every child in elementary school has … their parents have gotten this call, and I remember we had to shave our son. He had this thick blonde hair and, of course, it’s hard to see nits on blonde hair. So we ended up having to shave his head, poor kid.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Oh gosh.
Tobin: So he didn’t feel so bad, I shaved mine as well. We had a Chinese exchange student with us at the time, a male exchange student. So he decided to shave his. So all three of us shaved our heads.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Oh my goodness.
Tobin: We all kind of looked like low-key cancer victims. It was bad. It was bad.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Well, what I will say is there are definitely natural remedies. Lots of folks are concerned about the chemicals for the lice treatments. So we actually had the dreaded lice call a couple years ago and found nits and had to deal with that. My son is always had skin reactions to chemicals and creams. So I was nervous for a few reasons. A) not to put the chemicals on young skin, and B) that on top of the lice, we would have to now be dealing with a full on blown rash from the cream. So I went the natural route. Different types of oils will suffocate the lice and possibly make it more difficult for new ones to adhere to the hair. So what I did was I doused his head in olive oil. He smelled like a salad.
Erin: Gee, I’m standing next to this kid. Why am I hungry?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Why am I hungry? And preventatively, he has really long, curly hair, and I didn’t want to have to do the shave method of getting rid of it. So we just did the olive oil method. Put it up in a ponytail. Combed out everything, and that did the trick. I know that lots of naturopathic families have that same method of using some sort of a real strong oil to basically suffocate them out, and then you go by hand. And thank goodness for technology. I don’t know what our parents did before iPads, but that definitely was helpful at keeping a squirmy kid still for a couple hours while we worked through it.
Erin: Oh, wow. So you had to go through and comb his hair to get rid of all of the nits. With those very, very fine tooth combs. What was that like?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: I could think of better ways to spend my time.
Erin: As any new teacher will tell you, well, actually any teacher, the first few years of teaching, you get one cold after another. I’m sure the kids, especially the little ones, when they’re first starting kindergarten, they’re sick a lot in the in beginning too. So how do you keep your kid healthy when you’re exposed to so many germs during the day?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: It is really a challenge. I think just some of the basics, the hygiene. Don’t share drinks, limit the physical content, wash those hands as frequently as possible. We would have a little strip down routine as soon as we got home. Get off all the clothes, put them in the washing machine, shake off the shoes, wash the hands, get ourselves cleaned up. Lots of immune boosting foods. Lots of good sleep, and just making sure that all of the general immune boosting types of things that you do. Keep the stress at a minimum to make sure that your body has all it can to fight it off. You’re not going to avoid every germ and sickness, and some folks immune systems are just stronger built than others. But we do our best to keep those down. Limit dairy, limit sugar, and lots of good immune boosting soups are helpful as well.
Erin: So limiting dairy, that’s interesting. Does dairy impact the immune system?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Well, dairy for a lot of folks and not everybody but for many people dairy can be mucus forming and can have some mild sensitivity reactions. People of African American descent, Hispanic descent have traditionally higher proportions of dairy allergies or sensitivities. So that’s just something to keep in the back of your mind. Many folks can eat dairy with no issues, but lots of people can’t. So if you are one of those folks where dairy is a minor sensitivity, I say avoid it.
Erin: Huh. Well, that makes perfect sense. If your child likes ice cream, there are wonderful ice creams made out of coconut milk, for example.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: There are lots of non-dairy alternatives now. Back in the old days, olden days of me growing up as a kid, you didn’t have all the options. But now, yeah. One of the things I tell folks and it’s really economical, you can buy an ice cream maker at home and make your own non-dairy, however you want to do it for a dollar or two for what would cost you in a store seven or eight. So for the cost of the machine, which is between $30 and $40, it pays for itself after a few uses.
Erin: I know that my husband is now very interested in that. We may be getting one of those.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: So I often made coconut based ice creams and lots of different types of things that you can put all sorts of different confections in there and you don’t have to use sugar. You can use Stevia and make it pretty tasty treat.
Erin: So we only have about 90 seconds left. So is there anything upcoming that you want the public to know at the AANMC?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: Know about our regular webinar series. So we have webinars we host once a month. Actually, yesterday was a webinar for business tips on your social media presence. So we’ve got our YouTube up on that. If you want to check out how to have a really solid media presence, Erin, did you know that 96% of recruiters check your social media? So I think that’s something really we want folks to know about. But we’ve got healthy herbs coming up next month and suicide and depression reduction in October.
Dr. JoAnn Yanez: So hope your folks can tune in and lots of cool things coming up our way.
Erin: Wow. Well, that is awesome. So how do people find you and follow you and learn more about the AANMC?
Dr. JoAnn Yanez:AANMC.org. We also have LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram all the social media places you can find us at. So hope you can tune in, and thank you Erin and Tobin so much for chatting this morning.
Erin: So it’s always a treat to talk with you. You always have so much to share with everyone. Thank you so much for joining us.
Welcome back to your weekly dose of healthy kitchen tips! Each week we explore a new herb and its health benefits. Today we’ll discuss one of the most common grains that you’ll be sure to come across in almost any kitchen—oats. Let’s get started!
Sometimes referred to as Avena (from the Latin name, Avena Sativa), oats are one of the most popular breakfast foods. Walk into almost any breakfast restaurant and you’ll likely see some variation of oatmeal on the menu. To be clear though, the kind of oats that you eat are important, as the glycemic index can vary depending on how much they are processed and how they are prepared. In general, steel-cut oats have the lowest impact on blood sugar while instant or quick oats have the highest. Also, since grains are less nutrient-dense than other whole vegetables, it’s best to eat them in moderation.
Medicinally, the health benefits can vary depending on the part of the oat plant in use.
Oatmeal (made from the hulled kernel) is the breakfast food we’ve discussed so far. Oatmeal can also be used in an herbal bath for eczema or hives.
Oatstraw refers to the entire plant (both the tops and the stems). It also can be used as a food and may provide calming effects to the nervous system, with uses in both stress and insomnia.
Milky oats or milky green oats refer to the oat tops, and are picked fresh at the height of the season.
Where do oats come from? Where can I find them?
Despite their popularity today, oats were actually one of the last of the major grains to be domesticated—roughly 3000 years ago in Europe. This is likely due to the fact that they have a higher amount of natural fats and fat dissolving enzymes that make them go rancid quickly. It is these fats that give oats some of their health boosting effects.
Walk down the cereal aisle of any grocery store and you’ll likely find a container of oatmeal. When shopping for oats, choose steel-cut or rolled oats instead of the instant variety. A frequent question that comes up is whether oats are gluten-free. Oats themselves are completely gluten-free, however the machines that process oats are often used for processing wheat as well. Unless the container specifically says “gluten free” the oats may contain trace amounts of wheat.
How do oats help my health?
Oats are an excellent source of fiber. Because of this, they can help keep you regular while adding protection for the colon.1 They’ve also been shown to reduce cholesterol, blood pressure and even regulate the immune system.2,3.4
What medical conditions/symptoms are oats good for?
Summer is coming to a close and school is right around the corner. If you are a parent, you are probably cherishing the peace and calm from having your kids at home all summer looking to be entertained. But one of the more challenging things as a parent is coming up with healthy and nutritious snacks on the go for your children – that they’ll eat. We teach children about making healthy choices, and that should also be reflected in lunch and after school snacks.
Here are some healthy and tasty foods for the kiddos this school year.
There are quite a few traditional snacks that you can try with your kids. “Ants on a log” has always been an old standby, so grab some celery and top it with almond or peanut butter and raisins. Also, chopped vegetables including carrots, celery, cucumber, jicama, or bell peppers (green or red) are good choices, especially if you add in a vegetable dip, such as hummus. You can also use hummus with pretzels, whole grain crackers or pita chips. Skip the microwave popcorn with lots of synthetic butter and instead use lightly salted air-popped popcorn. Lightly salted pistachios can be a hit and help with fine motor development. Finally, fresh fruits such as apple slices, grapes, and oranges are always a good standby.
Turkey and Cheese Swords
Roll up a small piece of nitrate free, organic turkey with an organic sliced cheese of your choice and skewer it with a pretzel stick. Easy, and the kids will get a kick out of their turkey and cheese ‘swords’.
Avocado Chocolate “Pudding”
Most kids love chocolate pudding, but those pudding cups are full of processed ingredients and sugar. Instead, take two large avocados, pit and peel them, and then chop them into small cubes. Put these in a blender with a quarter cup of maple syrup and a half a cup of unsweetened cocoa powder, along with 1/3 of a cup of coconut milk, two teaspoons of vanilla, and a pinch of cinnamon. Blend these until the whole mixture is smooth and then refrigerate it until it gets that “pudding” consistency and serve.
Banana “Ice Cream”
For this healthy version of banana ice cream, you need to peel several overripe bananas. After peeling, cut them into one-inch pieces and then freeze them in a Ziploc bag until they are solid. Then, you can run them through a juicer or blender to create a “fake out” ice cream. (Be sure to serve this as soon as you take it out of the blender/juicer.) If you want to make this a special treat, try adding berries or carob powder to the blender. You can also try topping it off with fruits or nuts.
Fudge you say? This three ingredient treat is tasty and will keep their blood sugar more even than any traditional candy/fudge.
Combine 1/2 cup almond butter OR allergy-friendly alternative, 2 1/2 tbsp virgin coconut oil (25g), add optional 2 1/2 tbsp liquid sweetener of choice) and a few drops maple extract. Combine the almond butter and coconut oil or coconut butter, and gently warm until the nut butter is easily stir-able and the coconut oil is liquid. Stir in the sweetener if desired, then spoon into a plastic container or candy molds. Freeze a few hours until solid, and store leftovers in the freezer.
Thanks to chocolatecoveredkatie.com for this one.
Fruit and Cheese Kabobs
Wash organic grapes and strawberries, and alternate on small skewers with organic cubed cheese.
These are a naturopathic favorite. You can load them up with lots of nutrients, vitamins and protein, and the sky’s the limit on how tasty they can be. They also make a great ‘on the go’ breakfast or after school snack. The new school year will be bringing a lot of challenges when it comes to schedules and staying healthy. But with these inventive options, your kids can still get quick and easy snacks that are good for them. For starters, try out this delicious banana almond flaxseed smoothie.
You’ve heard us say it before, healthy living starts in the kitchen. Many people find that cooking can be somewhat bland when first starting out, however, that need not be the case! Through this series, discover how to make cooking fun and healthy. This week we discuss everything you want to know about flaxseed!
In the quest for more dietary fiber, flax has gained popularity. You have likely come across flaxseeds in some form another. Flaxseeds (also known as linseed) are small gold, tan, or brown colored seeds that come from the common flax plant. Compared to other herbs/grains we’ve talked about, flaxseed has gained a lot of notoriety as a health food. Its packaging label will likely highlight health claims such as “high omega-3” and “high fiber.” But do these claims hold their weight?
Where does flax come from? Where can I find it?
Flaxseed is one of the oldest known cultivated crops. It dates back as far as 5000 years and its Latin name, Linum usitatissimum, means “very useful.” Flaxseed was introduced to the US by early colonists, and was used to make paper, fabric, and clothing. Flaxseed was also used to feed livestock due to its health boosting properties.
Today, flaxseed is easily found in almost every major grocery chain. You’ll find it either as whole seed or pre-ground. It used to be thought that once the seeds were ground they needed to be consumed quickly so the oils inside would not go rancid. Research has shown that once ground, flaxseed is shelf-stable at room temperature for up to 10 months without loss of omega-3 or ALA content. Though it is still best to keep it cool and away from light.1
How does flax help my health?
Because of its high omega-3 content, flaxseed is great at tackling inflammation-based conditions.2 Due to its high lignan and fiber content it is great for constipation, can lower cholesterol, prevent heart disease, and possibly even has cancer protective properties.3
What medical conditions/symptoms is flax good for?
This year is a special one for the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) as we celebrate our 40th anniversary. That’s four decades of educating NDs, delivering high-quality clinical care, and advancing our profession in Canada and beyond.
At our convocation ceremony in May, we honoured our history and looked to our future by welcoming 136 graduates to an evolving and growing profession. Our alumni may end up in different parts of the world, but they’re always part of CCNM’s family.
Walking through our past
Our most recent report to the community features a timeline of significant events and stories from our alumni and faculty. Through our research, we unearthed many fun facts. For example: in the early 80s, the College was located in two former art galleries; we published its first book, an anthology of common illnesses and their naturopathic treatment, in 1998; and we considered 77 potential sites before we moved to our current location, at the intersection of Sheppard Avenue and Leslie Street in Toronto, in 1999.
Student involvement in research
We created the Student Innovation Fund to foster a strong culture of research here at the College. Our students actively participate in research studies and we’re proud of the contribution they’re making to naturopathic medicine’s evidence base.
One such study, a collaboration between CCNM students and faculty, is a case report examining the effects of Arnica oil massage, therapeutic ultrasound, and acupuncture on chronic osteoarthritis pain. The results were published in Alternative and Complementary Therapies in April.In January, we hosted our second annual Research Day to showcase and celebrate the high-quality research work from students, faculty and the research department over the past year. In total, 17 research posters were on display in CCNM’s lobby and winners were announced in the top scientific and people’s choice categories by the judging committee.
Conference abstracts were published in the journal Undergraduate Research in Natural and Clinical Science and Technology.
The Integrated Cancer Centre (ICC) opens at CCNM
Led by Class of 2006 graduate Dr. Dan Lander, ND, the ICC provides integrative cancer treatment and support using a team-based approach. The centre is located within the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic (RSNC), our teaching clinic at the College. Students will have the opportunity to learn how to practise in an interdisciplinary setting with other health-care providers and deliver naturopathic cancer care to patients.
We also opened a new shift at the Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities, an external community health-care clinic (CHC) in the east end of Toronto. CCNM provides clinical care in CHCs located throughout Toronto, giving student interns exposure to health concerns that they don’t normally see at the RSNC. The shift is supervised by Dr. Ehab Mohammed, ND, a Class of 2015 graduate who was also trained as a medical doctor in his native Egypt.
Online prerequisite science courses (PSCs) available at CCNM
For applicants who want to become a naturopathic doctor but are missing some of the necessary prerequisites required for entry into our Doctor of Naturopathy degree program, we’ve developed a series of PSC courses that can be completed online.
The PSCs are offered throughout the year and include two chemistry courses, biology, physiology, and psychology. They combine online self-study modules with a weekly interactive tutorial session with the course instructor.
“I can sit across from a patient now and can see that they’re hiding the “real” reason they booked in, and give them a healing space to expose that, and start the healing process. “
Dr. Andrea Maxim enjoys being able to help her patients know they aren’t alone and “to be one of the first people to witness their wounds for what they really are.” It is this ability to truly touch the lives of patients, bringing them out of their shells and addressing their problems that helps to make her practice a success.
For Dr. Maxim, success doesn’t stop at the office door. With her knowledge and skills, she can share all of this “with people on Facebook, Instagram, Facebook Live, YouTube and touch a whole other demographic of people.” By sharing her skills through social media, she is helping to redefine naturopathic medicine.
Laying the groundwork to become an ND
As a way to prepare for her future as an ND, Dr. Maxim “went to every business class at CCNM in 3rd and 4th year.” It was this business grounding that helped add to her experience at CCNM and find success when she left naturopathic medical school. She went so far as to “learn as much as I could about managing the front desk and patient retention.”
In addition to her grounding in the business side of the field, Dr. Maxim also attended “as many courses and seminars/live trainings that I could in the first year.” By doing this, she was able to get information about what other practitioners were doing to be successful so that she could learn from their experiences.
CCNM as a springboard
Dr. Maxim chose CCNM for practical reasons—at the time “it was the only naturopathic college in Canada and the location was perfect for me.” Before she attended the school, she got to take part in the Discover CCNM Day and was sold on the college because of the energy she felt coming from the school and its people. While at CCNM, the faculty’s knowledge and expertise gave her the capability to “stand on my own as a new graduate.” She adds that even now, she reflects on what she learned from CCNM and it’s helpful with her treatment protocols. She especially credits the internship experience as having helped her to become a successful ND as well as the school’s ability to “make changes to improve our skills and efficiency.”
“Living the dream” after graduation
Since becoming an ND, Dr. Maxim has put in a great deal of work to build her practice. She also knew that she wanted more than anything to be her own boss, so she started her own practice. The best part about that is the flexibility “that it provides with changing my work schedule as needed.” In addition, Dr. Maxim has been able to expand on her practice and innovate as needed because of the freedom of running her own practice. She utilizes her creativity to “create new promotions, new programs, offer flash sales and market myself in new ways.” This has helped her become a success in her field.
Finding fulfillment as an ND
As a starting ND, Dr. Maxim put in 16-hour days, six days a week. But all of that was to get her practice started and working properly. Now that she’s established, she gets to find personal and professional fulfillment from “learning, implementing, [and] growing outside of the office.” Her philosophy is that you cannot allow yourself to rest and get complacent if you want to remain successful in the business. But now that her business is settled, she works “four days in clinic and has more down time outside of the office.” She jokingly adds that there are some days she doesn’t even open her laptop to do any work.
Advice for aspiring NDs
Dr. Maxim’s top piece of advice for NDs is to learn how to be an entrepreneur as well as a practitioner. She says to be practical and realize that you will not be flooded with patients, but instead you have to have the drive to grow your practice and bring in clients. She adds that we are “in our pioneer phases” as a profession and that you will be faced with many patients and potential patients who have no concept of what naturopathic medicine is and what it entails. She believes that what you learn in school will help you to be a competent ND, but if you want to be successful, you “have to be ready to hit the pavement from the start.”
Welcome to your weekly dose of naturopathic medicine! Each week we discuss a different herb and learn about how these delicious and common culinary finds can be good for our health. This week is all about a plant you’re more likely to come across in your yard before you even make it to the grocery store: Dandelion!
When most people think of dandelion they think of the weed growing wildly in their yard that flowers into brilliant yellow flowers. But, interestingly, the whole plant has many health benefits that vary depending on which part of the plant is used. The word ‘dandelion’ comes from the French ‘dent de lion’ or, lion’s tooth because of the serrated shape of the leaves.
Where does dandelion come from? Where can I find it?
Since dandelions grow almost anywhere in the world, tending to pop up in disturbed areas like roadsides and concrete cracks, they are considered a weed. The leaves can even be harvested from the wild for use in things like salads and stir-fries, and the roots can be boiled to make an alternative to coffee. Just be sure the area hasn’t been sprayed with herbicide or insecticides before harvesting! Many health food stores now stock dandelion greens as they have become more popular. Also easy to find is dandelion tea which confers many of the same health benefits as eating the plant. The tea is particularly useful in aiding in digestion.
Did you know that the yellow flower of the dandelion is what directly turns into the fluffy white spheres that kids love to blow into the wind?
How does dandelion help my health?
As mentioned above, different parts of the dandelion plant afford different health benefits. The leaves are well known to be restorative and protective of the liver, but the medicinal properties of the root have powerful systemic effects as well. Research has shown that dandelion can help for issues such as: high cholesterol and triglycerides, obesity, various cancers, infections, oxidative stress, and indigestion.1,2,3
What medical conditions/symptoms is Dandelion good for?
4 pounds dandelion greens, tough (lower) parts of stems discarded and leaves cut crosswise into 2-inch pieces 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus additional for drizzling 2 tablespoons unsalted butter 2 large onions, halved and thinly sliced 4 large garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 1 fresh hot Italian cherry pepper, seeded and minced, or 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Cook greens in 2 batches in an 8-quart pot of well-salted boiling water, uncovered, until ribs are tender, about 10 minutes per batch. Scoop out each batch of greens as cooked with a skimmer or slotted spoon into a colander, then rinse under cold water to stop cooking. Drain well, gently pressing out excess water, and transfer to a bowl.
Heat oil and butter in cleaned pot over medium heat until foam subsides, then cook onions with garlic, cherry pepper, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper, covered, stirring occasionally, until pale golden, about 8 minutes. Add greens and cook, covered, stirring occasionally, until onions are tender, 4 to 6 minutes. Transfer dandelion green mixture with a slotted spoon to a serving bowl and drizzle with additional oil.
Cooks’ notes: Dandelion greens can be washed, dried, and cut 2 days ahead and chilled in sealable bags lined with damp paper towels. Dandelion greens (with onions) can be cooked 2 hours ahead and kept at room temperature. Reheat over low heat or in a microwave.
Thank you to Epicurious.com for this recipe and notes.
3/4 cup unsalted hulled (green) pumpkin seeds 3 garlic cloves, minced 1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan 1 bunch dandelion greens (about 2 cups, loosely packed) 1 tablespoon lemon juice 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt Black pepper, to taste
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Pour the pumpkin seeds onto a shallow-rimmed baking sheet and roast until just fragrant, about 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
Pulse the garlic and pumpkin seeds together in the bowl of a food processor until very finely chopped.
Add Parmesan cheese, dandelion greens, and lemon juice and process continuously until combined. Stop the processor every now and again to scrape down the sides of the bowl. The pesto will be very thick and difficult to process after awhile — that’s ok.
With the blade running, slowly pour in the olive oil and process until the pesto is smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Thank you to theKitchn.com for this wonderful recipe!
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 Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine including a residency in family practice. After ND school I earned a Master’s in Public Health and a Certificate in Association Management.
JoAnn Yanez, ND, MPH, CAE
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 SCNM 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 SCNM was best to not aggravate the Raynaud’s. I have to credit the staff at the SCNM 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.
It’s the age of technology and life should be easier than ever before. With all the social media platforms are you really helping yourself or making more work for yourself by having to manage your reputation online? Social media isn’t just about personal reputation though, it’s about personal and professional recognition, reach and establishing relationships. Let’s look at how you can make social media work for you and/or your business.
Why Should You Care About Social Media?
Maybe the easier question to answer is why shouldn’t you? Social media is yet another mode to create communication, establish rapport and a professional or personal brand. Employers use social media to keep tabs on current employees and review the quality of applicants. What you say online matters! People can tell a lot about you from what you share, retweet, or post. Make sure you are aware of your audience to ensure you are representing yourself the way you would want potential future employers or clients to view you. Social media is another way for patients and prospective patients to reach you, find out more about your credentials, read reviews, and gain a greater understanding of your practice mission and goals.
Being your Own Personal Manager
Keeping tabs on your personal and professional accounts is extremely important. Not only do you need to consider what you post, you also need to consider what other people may do with the information you share. Is that how you want to be represented? Think about how others may interpret your posts. Would you have trouble defending statements if taken out of context? Have you Googled yourself or your business lately? If not, take a moment or so to do that now. Do you like what you see? If you don’t, think about how you can improve your online reputation.
Make Social Media Work for You!
It is key to remember that social media is SOCIAL! You need to know your audience. Who visits your sites? If it’s mostly prospective patients, share success stories from other patients. Tell the story about your practice and the type of treatments you offer. Engage in conversation with your audience. If they leave a review or tweet about your practice, respond as soon as possible to show that their feedback is important and encourage that relationship. Use your marketing tools and visuals – show off your logo, share images of your office and happy patients (with consent only), or maybe an introductory video of the services you offer and the value associated with them. The advertising of your brand creates recognition that they learn to associate with trust and then value following a successful patient-client relationship. Link your posts and blogs back to your website so readers may obtain more information.