Tips from a Naturopathic Medical Student

Join the AANMC and President of the Naturopathic Medical Student Association – Blake Langley for an informative session on what it takes to thrive as an ND student!

Here’s what you can expect to learn:
-A day in the life of a naturopathic medical student
-What to expect from naturopathic medical school
-How to balance school and life responsibilities
-How to build your resume and experience as a student to prepare for a career you will love
-Advice for prospective students

*Webinar does not qualify for CE

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To view the archive of past webinar recordings, please click here.

About the Presenter

Blake Langley is in his sixth and final year of studies in naturopathic and Chinese medicine at the National University of Natural Medicine. Hailing from the southeastern United States, he was raised in an area of the country underserved by naturopathic medicine. He serves as President of the Naturopathic Medical Student Association and represents the voice of naturopathic students at the Integrative Health Policy Consortium and the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians. He additionally serves as the Founding Co-Chair of the Student Committee of the American Society of Acupuncturists. With his passion for students, advocacy, and administration, Blake hopes to integrate these into the next journey in his career as a physician.

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*The information you submit in this registration will be used to inform you of updates to this event and will enroll you in the AANMC newsletter. The AANMC values your privacy. Please see how we protect your data in our privacy policy .

The Future is Bright for Naturopathic Medical Students

Guest post by Valerie A. Gettings, CNHP, NMSA president-elect, 3rd year naturopathic medical student, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Toronto, Ontario

Naturopathic medical students across North America came together earlier this month in Austin, Texas, for the annual Naturopathic Medical Student Association (NMSA) winter workshop. During this event, student NMSA leaders representing nine schools across North America, met to conduct strategic planning, find common solutions, conduct conference planning, and further community building for the upcoming year.

“I am incredibly proud of my amazing board of directors this year,” said Blake Langley, NMSA President, and 6th-year naturopathic and Chinese medicine student, National University of Natural Medicine, Portland, OR. “Their drive and motivation to organize impactful events for naturopathic medical students at each of their schools is astounding. I am proud to say that, as an organization, we have recently increased the number of travel grants to 72 annual travel grants (over $14,000 in value), over four competitive fellowships (over $10,000 in value), and have put forth further investment into a truly collaborative environment with other organizations in the naturopathic profession. The future is bright!”

During the three-day event, students shared their chapter updates, helped each other to find solutions at each of their schools, and were able to gain additional leadership training. The team also worked diligently on conference planning for the upcoming American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP)/NMSA co-located conference in Portland, OR, August 15-17, 2019 at the Oregon Convention Center.

This year’s NMSA Winter Workshop also allowed students to see the oldest naturopathic depository of books in the United States, housed in Austin, TX, at the Stark Center Library.

“I was so incredibly inspired and motivated after attending this year’s NMSA winter workshop,” said Sydney Freggiaro, NMSA VP communications, 4th year naturopathic medical student, Bastyr University, Kenmore, WA. “It’s been such a fulfilling experience to get to mentor each chapter president, watch them step into their roles, and be the voice of other naturopathic medical students at their schools.”

The NMSA international executive board, supported by executive director, Stephanie Fogelson, is made up of 16 student leaders, including nine chapter presidents, who oversee NMSA local boards at each school. The local boards put on local and community events and foster personal and professional development for students at each school.

The NMSA is a 501(c)3 non-profit that is a unified, sustainable, ethical and professional voice for naturopathic medical students across North America. The NMSA advocates for naturopathic physicians-in-training, and inspires educational and community building initiatives that prepare naturopathic medical students with tools, experiences and connections necessary to become successful physicians. The NMSA operates on the core values of empowerment, community, impact, and integrity. The NMSA serves to create opportunity, support, and represent the diversity of naturopathic medical students.

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

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A Day in the Life of an ND: What’s the ND Experience All About?

AANMC - ND Experience 2018

Alumni panel pictured (L to R): Drs Carrie Louise Daenell, Lilian Au, Adrienne Stewart, Arianna Staruch and Safiya McCarter.

By Valerie A. Kremer, CNHP, 3rd year, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine

Want to find out what the journey to becoming a naturopathic doctor is all about? The ND Experience is the perfect place to get all of your questions answered!

The ND Experience is an interactive event for prospective students and their families to learn more about naturopathic medicine. Participants have the opportunity to speak with current ND students and admissions representatives from the accredited schools of naturopathic medicine to learn tips to thrive in naturopathic medical school. In addition, they hear from alumni panel of NDs  to discover all of the career opportunities available to graduates of naturopathic medicine.

“Thank you again for a wonderful, uplifting, and inspiring experience! I am so ready to continue on this path after spending time at Bastyr and attending the conference. Unforgettable!” -Brittany M.

Bastyr University, San Diego hosted the 2018 ND Experience. Harlan Patterson, President of Bastyr University, provided the introductory welcome to prospective students and their families. Dr. JoAnn Yanez, AANMC Executive Director, gave an overview of naturopathic medicine and Terrance Peterson, Bastyr Admissions Counselor, gave an overview of the admissions process and how to prepare yourself to be a strong ND candidate. Prospective students had the opportunity to ask questions about topics that mattered to them such as school stress, finances, academic workload, work/life balance, and career viability as a naturopathic doctor.

AANMC - ND Experience 2018

Dr. JoAnn Yanez discusses ND career opportunities in an overview of naturopathic medicine.

Bonus: Experience the AANP/NMSA Conference!

In addition to meeting students, school reps and current NDs at Bastyr, the ND Experience grants free access for prospective students to attend the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) and Naturopathic Medical Student Association (NMSA) annual conference. During this incredible opportunity, prospective students may learn about the latest research, hot topics, and clinical applications in naturopathic medicine. In addition, prospective students will also have access to the vendor hall to see the latest and greatest products in integrative medicine with a chance to win vendor prizes.

ND Experience participants also have the opportunity to watch the final round of the NMSA Cup, an intense trivia competition between all seven accredited naturopathic medical schools across North America. The final round of the NMSA Cup is between the last two schools vying for first place and title/bragging rights. The competition tests students on the basic/biomedical sciences, clinical sciences, naturopathic philosophy, and clinical therapeutic modalities.


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Continued Growth and Strong Leadership – Bastyr Update

Bastyr University

With a vision to lead innovation in natural health education, Bastyr University finishes off its 2017-18 academic year and reflects on its exciting milestones in the field of naturopathic medicine. We look forward to continued growth and strong leadership under the University’s new president, Harlan Patterson, MBA.

Students Advocate for more Access to Naturopathic Health Care at DC FLI

On April 21-23, 58 Bastyr naturopathic medical students attended the Federal Legislative Initiative (FLI) on Capitol Hill. DC FLI is an annual event hosted by the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) in Washington, DC, where naturopathic doctors, students and advocates from across the country lobby on behalf of expanding national access to naturopathic health care. DC FLI trains ND students to hone their advocacy and leadership skills, increase their lobbying effectiveness and explore involvement in state professional associations.

Bastyr University’s ND Mini Camp Offers a Full Immersion Experience Within the Field of Naturopathic Medicine

On July 22-27, 2018, students interested in exploring a career in naturopathic medicine are invited to attend ND Mini Camp. This five-day program follows major themes of the naturopathic medicine curriculum including wellness, disease and diagnosis, tools for restoring health and patient care. Campers will interact will several distinguished faculty and experience a taste of life as a Bastyr ND student. Registration to ND Mini Camp is open to all.

NMSA Hosts Leadership Panel for Students

NMSAA completely sold-out room of 150 students, practitioners and Bastyr faculty and staff listened to a panel focused on the topic of leadership. Panelists included local leaders representing various disciplines within the health care field. Their accomplishments included leading both state-wide and national organizations, serving on the Bastyr Board of Trustees and writing foundational books on naturopathic medicine, as well as training generations of graduates through ND residency programs. The students were thrilled by the opportunity to learn from the panel and to connect with the local NDs in attendance. The panel is hosted annually by the Naturopathic Medical Student Association (NMSA), Bastyr Chapter.

Bastyr San Diego Recognized as a Live Well Partner

This spring, San Diego County officials designated Bastyr University as a Live Well San Diego (LWSD) recognized partner. As a recognized LWSD Live Well San Diegopartner, Bastyr University joins a network of over 300 organizations that are working together through committees, initiatives and events to support the vision of a region that is Building Better Health, Living Safely and Thriving. In celebration of this honor, the California campus hosted an afternoon community event that included presentations from special guests Dr. Nick Yphantides, San Diego County Chief Medical Officer, and Dr. Joe Pizzorno, Bastyr University co-founder. Bastyr was presented with a proclamation from the office of the County Supervisor to denote the new partnership.

Expanded Wellness Partnerships

In 2018, Bastyr Center for Natural Health, the University’s teaching clinic, also forged wellness partnerships with Seattle Musicians Access to Sustainable Healthcare (SMASH) and Meredith Corporation’s Seattle office. This expanded collaborative network brings the University one step closer to realizing Bastyr’s vision of transforming the health and well-being of the human community.

New Integrative Oncology Services Now Offered at Bastyr University Clinic in San Diego

Bastyr University Clinic, the teaching clinic of Bastyr University California, recently launched two new shifts that focus on the integrative medicine efforts and collaborations vital to the success of the California campus; Integrative Urgent Care and Integrative Oncology Services. Two new clinical faculty members have been hired to deliver expanded medical training opportunities to naturopathic medical students at the California campus and to enhance the health care offerings delivered by the clinic to the San Diego community.

Arianna Staruch, ND, Named Dean of the School of Naturopathic Medicine

Arianna Staruch, NDAfter much search and deliberation, Bastyr University has found its new Dean of Naturopathic Medicine! Dr. Staruch received her Doctorate of Naturopathic Medicine in 1998 from National University of Natural Medicine in Portland Ore., and also holds a bachelor of science in laboratory animal technology from Quinnipiac College in New York. Prior to arriving at Bastyr University in 2011 as an Associate Professor of Clinical Studies, Dr. Staruch was the Academic Dean and a Professor of Health Sciences at the American College of Health Sciences; she was also a primary care provider in Portland. Dr. Staruch brings extensive knowledge to the position with her history on the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education, past Institutional Board Member, (2012-2015) and site team evaluator (ongoing). Dr. Staruch is also a designated institutional voting member for the Council of Chief Academic and Clinical Officers of the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges (AANMC) since 2012 and was co-chair from 2014-2016. She also holds membership in both the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP) and Washington Association of Naturopathic Physicians (WANP), bringing a broad external presence to the Dean’s position.

What is the NMSA?


Written by: Blake Langley, NMSA President, 2018-19

It was four years ago that I first became involved with the Naturopathic Medical Student Association. One day, the Chapter President of NUNM notified me that I was nominated for and voted into the position of Social Events Coordinator – all without truly understanding what that meant. In my first year of leadership… we will just say I failed miserably. The learning curve was great, I was unfamiliar with the vision of the NMSA, and school was my top priority. It wasn’t until I helped get the first annual Black Tie for the FLI fundraiser event going that I was caught – hook, line, and sinker. The NMSA was where students could get together to enjoy their community outside of the study area or classroom.

Onto the next years, I rose in leadership positions from NUNM Chapter Secretary to International CAO to International President-Elect, and I now serve as NMSA International President. My understanding of what the NMSA is and does has dramatically changed as I have become more involved in the organization. At its very root, the NMSA holds to the values of Empowerment, Community, Impact, and Integrity which influence our every decision. With representation from each CNME-accredited naturopathic medical school in North America, the NMSA becomes the unified voice of naturopathic medical students at the planning tables of the profession while bringing educational and revitalizing events to the individual campuses. More than anything, the NMSA creates a space where students can join and collaborate on what most affects them: receiving quality education, developing leadership skills, and gaining access to opportunities that will aid them in their future practice.

Simply put, the NMSA offers travel grants, scholarships, Fellowships, intercollegiate competitions, exciting Naturopathic Medicine Week events, and a professional annual conference in conjunction with our national partner organizations. Access to these opportunities is what NMSA members appreciate most: the ability to further develop their skills and education of their own accord. On an organizational level, the International Board of Directors seeks out opportunities for the student voice to be heard, such as with the Integrative Health Policy Consortium (IHPC), American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), Institute for Natural Medicine (INM), state associations, and more. With many of these organizations, the NMSA holds a position within their Board of Directors to provide feedback and input into the directives of the organizations our student members will be members and leaders of in the next 4-6 years. For those willing and able to serve on the Board of Directors at a local or international level, they will receive extensive training on the inner workings of a 501(c)3 non-profit, what the legal and developmental aspects of things like contract and grant writing look like, and standard code of conduct of professional organizations. As students, most do not have this opportunity and the NMSA promotes the cultivation of those leadership skills.

Without a doubt, the NMSA thrives on the diversity of student voice. A Board of Directors from an array of school sizes and educational practices, and with a multi-generational, multi-racial, multi-gendered, and multi-talented team, the NMSA strives and achieves representing the diverse population of naturopathic medical students in a way that is unique and valuable. In the coming years, the NMSA plans to further advance scholarship access, expand representation within more organizations, and develop member benefit development to ensure our students graduate from school with the best possible toolkit and with the confidence in their ability to lead, teach, and heal. The NMSA is always looking for feedback and recommendations from students and we urge you to contact or to contact me at