Dr. Preety Shah is an instructor of clinical sciences at National University of Health Sciences (NUHS). Dr. Shah earned her chiropractic degree from NUHS, and her naturopathic medical degree from Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM).
Why did you choose naturopathic medicine?
“As a child, my Dadi (grandmother) treated me with homeopathy and home remedies. Even to this day, my Dadi often calls to tell me about a home remedy she read about and experimented with. I always thought I wanted to be an allopathic doctor, but when I shadowed various MDs, I realized it was not the medicine for me. Shortly after, the universe brought me in contact with a person who had been treated for melanoma using only naturopathic treatments. He led me to SCNM, where I fell in love with what I knew from my childhood. I loved the use of natural therapeutics such as nutrition, herbs, homeopathy, acupuncture and water treatments to strengthen the body’s vitality. The principles of the medicine went hand in hand with my spiritual belief, that the body is a genius work of art; made by an all-knowing, intelligent creator. Given the right environment, the body has the ability to heal itself. In our anatomy class, I remember being in awe of the human body when we dissected cadavers; and even more so when we learned how numerous biochemical reactions alter the physiology of the body. Understanding not only the normal physiology but also the compensatory mechanisms helps understand why a particular person is in a state of dis-ease versus a state of health.”
What can students learn from you?
“I was fortunate enough to be an instructor for the first graduating class of the naturopathic program at NUHS in 2006. I have taught various courses through the years such as Foundations of Naturopathic medicine 1 & 2, Advanced Nutrition and functional medicine, Biochemistry and Pharmacology. Currently, I teach Naturopathic Management of Special Populations, Applied Naturopathic Clinical Theory, Intravenous Therapeutics and Clinic Internship I, II and III, Clinic Observation and Hydrotherapy Clinic Rotation.
Students can expect to learn how to work through patient cases using the principles of naturopathic medicine. Conversations with students often consist of understanding the determinants of health, obstacles to cure, engaged organ systems, differential diagnosis and using the least force necessary for stimulating health. Each day my goal is to transfer my passion for the medicine and guide my students on what it means to stay true to the profession.”
Finding fulfillment as an ND and educator
“Students bring energy, enthusiasm and a curious mind. I appreciate how intelligent students are and how they keep up with the latest research. I learn something new from my students all the time. It is especially fulfilling when they see naturopathic treatments change the lives of people they treat and how homeopathy, nutritional counseling and botanical medicine are effective in bringing about the conditions of health.”
As a naturopathic doctor, “I love how I am able to be a part of someone’s life journey and connect at such a deep level. This medicine is unique in that it empowers people to take their health in their own hands and not feel like they are a victim of their disease. Naturopathic medicine utilizes biochemistry, empirical evidence, as well as current research to treat health. I feel grateful that I get to be and continue to be a student of this incredible human body.”
What advice do you have for prospective ND students?
“Be ready to work hard and to fully commit to naturopathic medical school. It is a rigorous program. You are learning everything allopathic doctors learn plus the various natural modalities.” Dr. Shah adds that curiosity, attentiveness, and respectfulness are all qualities that make a strong ND student.