Dr Rachel Klein - NUHS Graduate, Klein Natural Health and Wellness“I knew that I was looking for a career in the healthcare field and believed that doing things in the most natural way possible lead to the best health. Naturopathic Medicine combined these two elements, so it felt right for me.”

For Dr. Rachel Klein, being a great doctor is a part of a family tradition. Her father, who attended National University of Health Sciences (NUHS), inspired her to seek out the same educational opportunities. Growing up in Hawaii, she loved the area and planned to return home after graduation. “I knew that my time in Illinois was limited,” she says. So she sought to get as much education as she could, both in school and during weekend seminars. In addition, she took night classes at NUHS to get her certificate in massage therapy and worked weekends as a massage therapist to get extra experience with patient contact. It was the latter experience that gave her the opportunity to practice not only her palpation skills, but also her patient interaction. To help pass on this information, she tutored students to not only assist them but also to “solidify the information I was learning in the various classes.”

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

Dr. Klein began her path to become an ND by attending NUHS where she was studying for her Doctor of Chiropractic degree. “I…had joint classes with students who were in the Naturopathic Medical program. It was through getting to know these students and some of the overlapping subject matter that I first learned about naturopathic medicine.” After some time, Dr. Klein came to the realization that if she truly wanted to serve her patients more comprehensively, then she needed to have more tools at her disposal, including advanced knowledge of naturopathic medicine. This led her to pursue the Doctor of Naturopathic medicine degree so she could “become the best doctor that I could be.”

NUHS as a springboard

Dr. Klein came to NUHS with a bit of family history. Her father was a graduate of the program, so this obviously influenced her to want to become the second generation to earn her degree from the school so that she could “be as good of a doctor as he is.” She was also drawn to the school because of its programs. “I was really impressed by the facilities for and strength of the basic sciences division of the school. I knew that it was important to begin by learning the sciences well in order to be a good clinician in the end.” After she received her chiropractic degree, Dr. Klein decided to stay at NUHS because of her respect for the knowledgeable faculty, adding that “I knew that I would be in good hands there.”

When it comes to explaining what she received from her time at NUHS, the answer is quite complex. “I gained, of course, the skills and knowledge that help [me to] be a good doctor for my patients.” But she adds, “I got so much more out of my experience…I gained confidence, friends, [and] a network of colleagues.” What is more, she says that, “I gained the sense that I can do anything I put my mind to, difficult though it may seem at first.”

“Living the dream” after graduation

After she graduated from NUHS for the last time, she took the second part of the NPLEX and then treated herself to a long vacation. “I went to Brazil for a month to unwind from the many years I’d just spent in school.” She adds, “I think this relaxation was really important for me to be able to begin my practice life feeling fresh and ready to work hard.”

Today she lives in her hometown in Hawaii and practices five days a week on a schedule that she gets to set for herself. What she really enjoys is that, while she spends a few hours everyday doing paperwork and business management, she gets to spend the rest of her work hours seeing patients. “I practice with two other graduates from NUHS, which is wonderful because we can each take time off when needed and know that our patients will be well cared for while we are away.”

Finding fulfillment as an ND

One area Dr. Klein is most passionate about is working with patients and their neurological conditions. As part of this, she is also interested in regenerative injection therapy as a way of helping her patients. But ultimately, “any time you can make an impact on a patient’s life, especially when using simple interventions, it makes a big difference. Seeing the difference I can make in my patients’ lives is the most rewarding thing about this profession.”

She also finds fulfillment as an ND enjoying the flexibility her schedule brings. She attributes this to the fact that she does a lot of business management. “Not everyone would enjoy running a business, but because I do, I am allowed a great deal of flexibility in managing my own time. This is great for me because it allows me rest when I need it and enjoyment of my hobbies outside of my work life.”

Advice for aspiring NDs

Dr. Klein has straightforward advice for those hoping to enter the field as NDs: “Be prepared to face doubt,” she says. “Some people will never accept or respect the type of work that we do.” But she goes on to add that this negativity “doesn’t matter; the patient’s that we help do.” She also reminds aspiring NDs they should “understand that it is a difficult path to choose, but a very rewarding one. If you are looking for fame or fortune, this might not be the path for you. But if you are looking to help people and lead a balanced life, then this might be just what you are looking for.”