MD to ND: Changing Careers From One Rich Medical Paradigm to Another

Are you considering a career switch to naturopathic medicine? Join the AANMC, Drs. Shehab El-Hashemy and Dohn Kruschwitz and hear about the journey two MDs chose to follow their passion and become successful naturopathic doctors.

During this webinar you will:
-Learn why two MDs pursued a career in naturopathic medicine and how they blended their degrees
-Hear about advanced standing options
-Discover the similarities and differences between conventional and naturopathic medicine
-Understand how conventional and naturopathic medicine compliment each other
-Gather advice for prospective students considering a career change

*Webinar does not qualify for CE

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

About the Presenters

Shehab El-Hashemy, BSc, HBSc, MBChB, ND, MEd(cand.) is a practicing primary care physician, didactic lecturer, clinical supervisor and Dean of the College of Naturopathic Medicine at National University of Natural Medicine (NUNM) in Portland, Oregon. He is an experienced academic administrator, associate professor, as well as the author of two popular books on naturopathic and integrative primary care. Prior to NUNM, Dr. El-Hashemy was associate dean of academic delivery at Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (CCNM) in Toronto, where he was responsible for establishing and maintaining academic quality standards meeting the stringent assessment of accrediting agencies and helping its students excel professionally.

Dr. El-Hashemy received his Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery degrees from the Faculty of Medicine at Cairo University in Egypt, where he completed the core medical curriculum -MBChB I. He received his Doctor of Naturopathic Medicine degree from CCNM and completed a two-year residency program prior to his 14 years of private practice. Most recently, Dr. El-Hashemy completed a Master of Education degree in 2017 at the University of Toronto, specializing in Health Professional Education. A seasoned primary care trainer with focused expertise in pediatrics, he is the author of Family Medicine & Integrative Primary Care and Naturopathic Standards of Primary Care. Dr. El-Hashemy also served for 10 years in the Canadian Forces Navy as a commissioned officer and seaman.

Dohn Kruschwitz, MD, ND received his conventional medical degree from the University of Iowa College of Medicine in 1966, followed by a Family Practice residency. After practicing for two years in a mission hospital in Puerto Rico, he  returned to Iowa and spent the next 16 years in family practice, during which time he became interested in alternative medicine as a possible way to help patients that were not responding to conventional therapies.

After practicing emergency medicine full-time in Iowa, Colorado, and Wyoming from 1986 to1995, he began studying naturopathic medicine at the National College of Natural Medicine (now NUNM). He obtained his ND degree in 1997, followed by an NUNM residency for one year. He became a full time Associate Professor of Academic and Clinical Medicine at NUNM in 1998. In addition to teaching courses in minor surgery and clinical medicine, he supervised third and fourth year students in teaching clinics until the fall of 2015, at which time he retired from clinical practice. Since that time he has continued at NUNM as an adjunct academic professor, teaching the Dermatology/Minor Surgery course.

Dr. Kruschwitz has held the positions of Chief Medical Officer and Associate Dean of the Department of Naturopathic Medicine for many years. He was in charge of the NUNM residency program from 1997 – 2003 and was instrumental in helping the NUNM residency become the first fully accredited naturopathic program in North America. He has been a continuous member of the Oregon Board of Naturopathic Medical Examiners Formulary Committee since 1998.

Register Now!

*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 .

Mindfulness Meditation

At the root of naturopathic medicine is the ability to listen to and be in tune with your body to allow it to reach its optimal state. There is an increasing body of scientific evidence supporting gratitude, resilience and positivity on long-term outcomes of illness and quality of life. Conditions like pain, anxiety and depression can all benefit from a whole-person, mind-body approach. One practice that can have a resounding impact on mental health and overall well-being is the art of being present through mindfulness. When we are fully present and in tune with our body, we can identify and correct an imbalance before it becomes a major issue.

What is Mindfulness?

Mindfulness is learned tool of self-awareness, self-care and empowerment that can be practiced anytime and anywhere. It is a non-judgmental, passive awareness of your present experience.

Why is Mindfulness so Powerful?

Mindfulness allows us to fully engage and focus on the opportunities in front of us. In doing so, it minimizes the stress that comes with the ‘what ifs’ in life. By embracing our power in the here and now, we minimize the stress that comes from worrying about the future or the past. Our focus on the present allows for better connection with our mind, body and environment.

6 Short Mindfulness Exercises

1) Two mindful bites – For the first two bites of any meal or snack you eat, pay attention to the sensory experiences – the texture, taste, smell and appearance of food and the sounds it makes. This practice is also helpful to raise awareness of eating on the go or emotional food behavior.

2) What one breath feels like – Feel the sensations of one breath flowing into and out from your body. Notice the sensations in your nostrils, your shoulders, your rib cage, your belly and connect with your breath to ground yourself

3) Take a mindful moment to give your brain a break – Instead of checking your email or social media in the five minutes between meetings try looking out your window and focusing on nature. Use mindfulness to give your brain a break rather than filling up every tiny space in your day by automatically reaching for technology.

4) Air on exposed skin – Pay attention to the feeling of air on your skin for 10-60 seconds. This is best done when wearing short sleeves or with some skin exposed. Why: You’re practicing being in experiential processing mode (as opposed to evaluative “judging” mode, which is our default).

5) Scan your body – This can be done in bed before going to sleep – and can even aid in relaxation for a better night’s rest. Start by getting in a comfortable and relaxed position. Slowly scan your body from top to toe for any sensations of discomfort or tension. Attempt to soften to the sensations of discomfort without judgment on why the tension is there or if you are successful in doing so. Next, scan your body for any sensations of comfort or ease.

6) Do one action mindfully – Pick something you do at the same time every day and plan to do that one thing mindfully. For example, putting on clothes in the morning can be done, focusing on each component and how the clothes feel on your skin.

Mindfulness is like a muscle, the more you practice, the easier it gets.


Beddoe, A. & Murphy, S. (2004). Does Mindfulness Decrease Stress and Foster Empathy Among Nursing Students? Journal of Nursing Education, 43(7), 305-312. 13.

Chapman, S.G. (2012) The Five Keys to Mindful Communication. Boston: Shambhala.

Davidson, R., et al. (2003). Alterations in Brain and Immune Function Produced by Mindfulness Meditation. Psychosomatic Medicine, 65, 564-570. Hanh, T.N. (1987) The Miracle of Mindfulness. Boston: Beacon.

Kabat-Zinn, J. (1994) . Paying Attention in a Particular Way: On Purpose, in the Present Moment, and Nonjudgmentally, 4.

Lazar, S., et al. (2005). Meditation Experience is Associated with Increased Cortical Thickness. NeuroReport, 16(17), 1893-1897.

Lutz, A., et al. (2008). Regulation of the Neural Circuitry of Emotion by Compassion Meditation: Effects of Meditative Expertise. PLoS One, 3(3), 1-10.

Ricard, M. (2006) Happiness: A Guide to Developing Life’s Most Important Skill. New York: Little, Brown.

Semple, R., Reid, E., & Miller, L. (2005). Treating Anxiety with Mindfulness: An Open Trial of Mindfulness Training for Anxious Children. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 19(4), 379-392.

Shapiro, S., et al. (2005). Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction for Health Care Professionals: Results from a Randomized Trial. International Journal of Stress Management, 12(2), 164-176.

Become the Doctor You'd Like to Have

Learn more about becoming a naturopathic doctor. Receive information from one of our 8 accredited schools across the U.S. & Canada.

Naturopathic Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes

Join Dr. Ryan Bradley for a provocative presentation focused on naturopathic approaches to type 2 diabetes prevention and management.

Naturopathic Therapies for Type 2 Diabetes

Here’s what you can expect to learn from this webinar:
– Statistics on diabetes care in the United States
– Evidence regarding naturopathic concepts of disease in diabetes
– Example of evidence-based clinical nutrition, herbal medicine and general naturopathic treatment protocols
– Patient example of evidence-based management of type 2 diabetes

Click here to learn more about naturopathic approaches to diabetes management.

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Click below to receive information from the seven accredited naturopathic medical schools across eight North American campuses!

Dr. Corina Dunlap – NUNM

“I didn’t want to be one of many clinicians shuffled through the system. I wanted to feel like I was, and am a pioneer in a field that is truly guiding the way of the future.”

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

Dr. Corina Dunlap’s journey to becoming a naturopathic physician has taken her around the world. From her start at Smith College where she studied Medical Anthropology and International Relations to sabbaticals abroad in India, Australia and New Zealand, each step has guided her on her path to naturopathic medicine. Her endeavors as a mountaineer, rock climbing guide, yoga instructor and entrepreneur of an outdoor apparel business, further developed her love of nature, natural medicine, botanical medicine and nutrition.

As an adventurer and world traveler, Dr. Dunlap faced health challenges of her own. She credits naturopathic and ayurvedic medicine for helping her learn to live a more healthy, full life without the intervention of pharmaceuticals. “Through this self-reflective time, I realized that my passion was for naturopathic medicine and evidence-based natural solutions, and that it was what I wanted to do for a career.” Dr. Dunlap believes in the naturopathic philosophy of treating the whole person and focusing on the root problem, not just diagnosis and symptom management of conventional medicine.

NUNM as a springboard

Dr. Dunlap was drawn to NUNM for its quality education in the heart of Portland. “I loved all of the community clinics throughout Portland and the surrounding areas because it felt very grassroots and I knew I would get exposed to a diverse demographic.” The non-profit natural medicine research opportunities at Helfgott Research Institute were cutting edge and attractive to a young researcher who was just starting out. Dr. Dunlap was so inspired that she completed a masters in integrative medical research in addition to a doctorate in naturopathic medicine.

After receiving her degrees, Dr. Dunlap completed a two-year accredited women’s health residency with rotations in gynecology, general endocrinology, and reproductive endocrinology. In addition, she also completed a two-year postdoctoral research fellowship, followed by a research and adjunctive faculty placement at the School of Research & Graduate Studies at Helfgott Research Institute and NUNM. While there, she mentored research students and taught courses such as Gynecology & Infertility, Women’s Health Research, and Medical Anthropology.

“Living the dream” after graduation

From an early age Dr. Dunlap has been driven by her undying passion and commitment to naturopathic medicine. Even as her life has changed and her family has grown, she works hard to maintain a work-life balance.

“I LOVE what I get to do every day. It’s a dream job! It’s so creative and multi-faceted.” Dr. Dunlap operates two private practices in Portland, ME (coming soon) and Portland, OR. She offers one-on-one virtual education consultations to source articles and contacts in an effort to make resources and information available to women everywhere. Her research focuses on preconception and infertility in men and women, HPV, cervical dysplasia, and interstitial cystitis. Dr. Dunlap is published in medical journals such as Integrative Medicine: A Clinician’s Journal, Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing, Journal of Ayurveda and Integrative Medicine, Mental Health & Prevention, Naturopathic Doctor News and Review, and Townsend Letter. She is also often asked to speak to medically trained audiences on topics such as women’s health, preconception, and fertility. In addition,  she is a medical advisor and research consultant to LOLA, the first lifelong brand for women, and Real Beauty Food, a natural food and beverage skincare company.

Finding fulfillment as an ND

“It is the most satisfying thing to be able to offer hope and healthy outcomes for people by getting to the root cause of their concerns and helping to create fulfilling, lasting change. The medicine and the philosophy together are powerful beyond measure.”

Every day Dr. Dunlap practices with philosophy that aligns with her values for healing and health: the healing power of nature; first, do no harm; doctor as teacher; treat the whole person; focus on prevention; and treat the root cause!

“My diagnostic skills compare to any MD, and now I have the most incredibly expansive toolbox of treatment modalities, including pharmaceutical when I have to use them as last resort.”

Advice for aspiring NDs

Dr. Dunlap encourages prospective students to follow your passion, work hard and do the leg work to set yourself up for success. Your journey to becoming an ND starts with an interest – pursue that interest by interviewing or shadowing practicing naturopathic doctors, visit the accredited schools and ask questions. Immerse yourself in opportunities to grow as a business professional. Do not think of naturopathic medicine as an easier approach to healthcare, “if anything, studying a larger variety of treatment modalities while still trained in primary care makes it harder at times.” Be prepared to stand up for the challenge and reap the benefits of a lifetime of learning.

Learn more about Dr. Dunlap
Instagram: @drcorinadunlap
Linked In:

Naturopathic Medical Students Receive Loan Forgiveness

Oregon Grants Forgiveness Loans to NUNM Naturopathic Graduates

Long recognized by the State of Oregon for its programs and naturopathic doctors, NUNM is thrilled to be the recipient of the Scholars for a Healthy Oregon—Naturopathic Physicians Opportunities (SHONPO) Scholarship. The Oregon Health Authority (OHA) has awarded NUNM $250,000 in student scholarships through 2020, with the possibility of a renewal in funding. NUNM is the only natural medicine university to be offered state support in the form of tuition loan forgiveness funds for naturopathic students with grants up to $35,000 in tuition reimbursement per student each year. The State of Oregon has historically been on the leading-edge of healthcare innovation. NUNM is grateful to receive the ongoing confidence in the quality of our medical education and training from state and other local health authorities.

How to Qualify

NUNM third- and fourth-year naturopathic students are eligible to apply for the SHONPO Scholarship. Scholarship recipients must commit to providing healthcare services to Medicaid patients in rural and under-served areas of Oregon for a minimum of three years in exchange for a tax-free award that amounts to 50% of a student’s tuition loan balance—up to $35,000 per year. Part-time providers also qualify with a three-year service commitment in exchange for 25% of their qualifying tuition loan balance—up to $25,000 per year.

High Demand for Health Professionals in Oregon

There are few guarantees in life, but this may qualify as one of them. “In Oregon, more than half of our state is designated as having a health professional shortage, covering more than 40% of our population,” said Marc Overbeck, OHA’s Primary Care Office director. “These incentives attract more providers to Oregon and help establish providers in the communities that need them the most.” The need for primary care medicine is substantial, and there has never been a better time to directly impact healthcare disparity than by providing naturopathic medicine to those in need.

More Money, More Research Possibilities

Since 2013, NUNM has received over $3 million in funding from the National Institutes of Health (NIH), making it the #1 recipient of NIH grants in natural medicine in the United States. NUNM has built a strong and respected reputation for research through funding by the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health at the National Institutes of Health. That support has helped NUNM become a leader in complementary and integrative health research, as well as a pioneer in relationship-building within the integrative medicine community. In addition, the rigorous science and deep philosophy employed in the studies conducted at NUNM’s Helfgott Research Institute has set a standard for integrative medicine research the world over. NUNM has formed research collaborations at major regional medical research centers like Oregon Health & Science University and the University of Washington. Through its clinical trials and observational studies, NUNM is building a compelling evidence-based research database from study protocols that can be adapted to different research questions, thus helping drive integrative medicine research forward while continuing to hone excellent patient-care—the ultimate result of well-designed research.

State Credentialed, Patient-Centered Primary Care Homes

Widely recognized for research, on-site clinic and curriculum, NUNM is carving out new frontiers within the healthcare system. The Lair Hill and Beaverton Health Centers are Tier 4 Patient-Centered Primary Care Homes (PCPCH), a prestigious recognition of excellence in medical care, which sets them apart from other naturopathic medical schools. This means that NUNM clinics are accessible, accountable, comprehensive, continuous, and patient- and family-centered. NUNM students enter clinics in an observational capacity and begin preceptorships within their first year of school.

NUNM is proud to offer primary care with a heart, serving the under-served in our urban university clinics. It’s also something that makes NUNM graduates unique and special. Graduating naturopathic physicians enter practice stronger and more prepared, having worked with patients presenting a wide variety of chronic and acute conditions. Students and doctors provide a holistic approach to health by working in unison with MDs and other medical practitioners, including specialists, behavioral and mental health providers, and a large community of partners. At NUNM we believe the future of health care is working together.

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Click below to receive information from the seven accredited naturopathic medical schools across eight North American campuses!