“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, 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.”