Make the Dream a Reality! How to Become an ND

Looking for a career that’s not just a job, but a passion and a calling? Do you have questions about affording ND school, how to apply, how others have made it work? Then join Shannon Svingen- Jones – Dean of Student Affairs at Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine and Eve Adams – Director of Admissions at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine for a free and inspiring information session on how to make your dream of becoming a naturopathic doctor a reality.

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About the Presenters – Eve Adams

A long-time advocate of naturopathic medicine, Eve Adams is proud to be a member of the SCNM community. Prior to joining SCNM, she worked at Valley of the Sun United Way in development. Eve graduated from Arizona State University with a bachelor’s degree in communication and nonprofit management. She is actively involved with a number of community and non-profit organizations. In her spare time she enjoys practicing yoga, hiking and exploring the beautiful state of Arizona.

It’s so rewarding to help students fulfill their dreams of being the kind of doctor that will truly change a patient’s life!


About the Presenters – Shannon Svingen- Jones

Shannon Svingen-Jones has over 15 years of academic leadership experience in post secondary educational settings. As Dean of Student Services her primary role is to respond to students needs and offer quality programming that is committed to student success both academically and personally. Shannon is part of the senior leadership team that is responsible for the high quality of student life on campus and she acts as a liaison between the college administrators and student organizations.


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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 .

Dr. Andrea Maxim – CCNM

“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 - CCNM graduateDr. 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, [and] 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.”

Learn more about Dr. Andrea Maxim:
Instagram: @AndreaMaximND

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.


Don’t miss out on the next ND Experience!
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Never Too Late To Follow Your Passion… and Become an ND

Do you remember what it was like in elementary and middle school? Your teacher would ask you what you wanted to do with your life and you probably came up with a goal like “cowboy” or “astronaut.” But most of us assumed when we came up with a job, that was it. Our career path would be set in stone and that would be our job for the rest of our lives. It doesn’t have to be that way. Many people are finding they want a new direction in life and are choosing a new career in their 30s, 40s, 50s, and even later. And one of those career paths that is attracting many people is the exciting field of naturopathic medicine.

Here’s Your Sign

Sometimes in life we are looking for a sign that we are on the right path. Most of us, however, would not consider this to be an actual, physical sign. But that’s exactly what happened with Dr. Dennis Godby, who was looking for a new direction in life when he literally saw a road sign pointing him towards a naturopathic medical school. For Dr. Godby, naturopathic medicine fit in perfectly with his interest in social justice as it gave him the opportunity to help others and foster a sense of volunteerism. For many people who are seeking a new direction in life, it is no longer about the drudgery of a 9 to 5 job. They are looking for something to truly let them follow something they feel strongly and passionately about.

Bring the Best of Your Past into Your Future

Entering a new proposition in life usually presents a few fears that you’re making the wrong decision. But as with many things in life, the end result greatly outweighs any of the negatives. Dr. Tawainna Houston had already earned a master’s degree in divinity from Princeton and was working as a social worker when she realized that she was being called to something else. For Dr. Houston, the hardest part was having to go back to school and “start from scratch” which is also a scary proposition for many of those considering such a career change. Being an ND requires years of training and clinical experience. But what many people don’t realize is that their life experience will likely make it easier. For Dr. Houston, her prior background in the business world simplified starting her own naturopathic practice. Each person has a unique set of experiences they bring to the table, success often follows when you harness and optimize those personal strengths.

You are never too old to follow your passion or to find your path in life. For many, the opportunity to learn about naturopathic medicine comes later in life and now they have a chance to follow that path into a successful career.