Exciting New Developments at SCNM!

Regenerative Medicine Center Opens

The Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences cut the ribbon for the opening of the new Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine on November 15th. This affiliation between SCNM and Dr. Riordan, a research leader in stem cell therapy, will accelerate the development of this safe and innovative option for the treatment of acute, chronic pain. The Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine catapults SCNM into being national and international leaders in the field of regenerative medicine and makes SCNM a household name in the world of pain management. It will vastly broaden the scope of our educational opportunities for our naturopathic doctorial level students, which will now offer an Honors Track specifically designed to take advantage of this exciting new center. The Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine is an expertly staffed clinical facility, built from a patient-centered design to promote healing, located within SCNM’s LEED Platinum certified Community Commons.

Stem cell therapy, an example of regenerative medicine, injects a patient’s own stem cells to promote healing, reduce inflammation and stimulate tissue repair.  Elite athletes, people with chronic pain and those who experience a lessened quality of life overall due to physical discomfort find treatment through stem cell therapy accelerates healing and reduces pain.  Another benefit is pain management without the use of opioids.

About our donor: Neil Riordan, PA, PhD, is a pioneer in the field of applied Stem Cell research.  In addition to collaboration with major universities in the United States, research and patient care is currently being conducted at Dr. Riordan’s other laboratories and clinics in Dallas, Texas and Panama City, Panama.  He is an author of more than seventy peer-reviewed medical research publications that explore Stem Cell Therapy’s potential in treating Autism, Cerebral Palsy, Multiple Sclerosis, Osteoarthritis and spinal cord injuries. Dr. Riordan is also the author of two books on stem cell therapy: “Stem Cell Therapy: A Rising Tide – How Stem Cells are Disrupting Medicine and Changing Lives” and “MSC (Mesenchymal Stem Cells): Clinical Evidence Leading Medicine’s Next Frontier.”

Doctors, Faculty and Students Making News

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine has earned quite a bit of attention in the media lately, especially with a chance to share so many new and time-tested projects and treatments.  Some examples of news breakers are Dr. Miriam Wheeler (pictured at left), who gained public interest with a recent appearance on one of Phoenix’s major news programs, Channel 3, and Dr. Taylor Arnold who has been asked to write a regular response column in the popular magazine, Cooking Light.  SCNM doctors, students and faculty have also been featured on MSN, Prevention Magazine, The Huffington Post, Elite Daily, and the Arizona Capital Times. In order to provide the public much more information about naturopathic medicine, SCNM continues to elevate the level of knowledge of its amazing scope.

SCNM invites everyone to explore the field of naturopathic medicine through events such as Discovery Day, Research Night, Student for a Day and other opportunities. Feel free to reach out to our admissions team with any questions or comments.

Research Continues to Grow as a Major Component of SCNM’s Opportunities

Examples of some of the research projects students and faculty are working on right now include:

  1. Students who are improving the efficacy of botanicals against Gram negative bacteria (Salmonella, Escherichia, Shigella, Klebsiella) by the addition of permeabilizing agents.
  2. Identifying botanicals with efficacy against Borrelia burgdorferi, the causative agent of Lyme disease and another focusing on deciphering the secrets of Echinacea purpurea: testing the antiviral and immune regulation of different parts of the plant extracted under different methods
  3. Characterization of the anticancer properties of various botanicals and mushrooms
  4. Characterization the synergistic activity of antibacterial clays
  5. Characterizing the antimicrobial activity of the volatile (gaseous) components of essential oils
  6. Projects overseen by Dr. Langland
  7. Characterization of botanicals with activity against herpes viruses
  8. The activity of the carnivorous botanical, Sarracenia purpurea, against viruses (including human papilloma virus) and squamous cell carcinoma
  9. Botanicals for the treatment of emerging viral infections: Ebola and Zika viruses

Stay tuned for exciting news regarding significant growth to the SCNM research program! You may keep tabs on all that’s happening by following SCNM on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn and YouTube

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!

Our Favorite Herbs to Stay Healthy

Herbal medicine has been used for centuries. Join Patricia Gaines, ND, RH (AHG) Chair of Botanical Medicine at SCNM to find out why!

Top Herbs Everyone Needs to Know About

The presentation covers:

-Common medicinal herbs along with their safety and use indication

  • Centella asiatica – Gotu kola
  • Matricaria recutita/Matricaria chamomilla –Chamomile
  • Crataegus spp. – Hawthorn
  • Urtica dioica – Stinging nettle

-Top conditions treated with botanical medicine
-Supporting research in the field of botanical medicine
-Patient case study
-Resources for those wanting to know more about the field of botanical medicine

Want to learn more about herbal medicine? Check out The Naturopathic Kitchen  where we explore the use of food as medicine.

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!

ND Success Series: Social Media Tips From the Trenches

Thinking about how you’ll succeed as an ND? Hear from Dr. JoAnn Yanez, executive director of the AANMC on how to begin thinking like a successful ND.

ND Success Series: Social Media Tips from the Trenches

The presentation covers:

  • Finding your passion and highlighting your strengths
  • What 96% of recruiters check for
  • Starters for a strong and effective social media presence
  • How to make social media work for you
  • How to avoid the bumps and scrapes of rookie mistakes
  • Time management tips to make a big impact through social/online marketing

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

Receive information from the accredited schools of your choice located across North America!

Presenter Spotlight: JoAnn Yanez, ND, MPH, CAE

Thinking about how you’ll succeed as an ND? Hear from Dr. JoAnn Yanez, AANMC executive director, on how to begin thinking like a successful ND in our webinar recording of ND Success Series: Social Media Tips From the Trenches. Dr. Yanez covers:
  • Finding your passion and highlighting your strengths
  • Starters for a strong and effective social media presence
  • How to avoid some of the bumps and scrapes from rookie mistakes
  • Time management tips to make a big impact through social/online marketing

Tell us about your schooling/education prior to ND school?

I earned a BS in psychology, with dual minors in chemistry and biology at the University of Miami. I completed my doctorate in naturopathic medicine at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine including a residency in family practice. After ND school I earned a Master’s in Public Health and a Certificate in Association Management.

Dr. JoAnn Yanez - AANMC

JoAnn Yanez, ND, MPH, CAE

Why did you decide to pursue naturopathic medicine? 

My father was diagnosed with cancer when my mom was pregnant with me. My early years were spent in hospitals watching his disease progress. Traditional therapies were brutal, and the more gentle treatments he did with nutrition and supplementation brought about remission and better quality of life/management of side effects. While I always wanted to be a doctor, a part of me knew there were other treatments that had the potential for strong patient outcomes. I tried to piece together the conventional model to be a doctor that addressed mind, body, nutrition, exercise and physical medicine, but in the conventional model I would have been looking at decades of additional schooling after medicine. Naturopathic Medical Education provided all of this knowledge in a concise and complete academic program.

How did you know SCNM was the right college for you?

Prior to starting ND school I was misdiagnosed with Raynaud’s Disease. There were three schools in the US at the time and the climate at SCNM was best to not aggravate the Raynaud’s. I have to credit the staff at the SCNM clinic with helping me identify what was wrong with me, and in helping me implement the lifestyle changes that would provide lasting relief for the symptoms I was experiencing at the time.

How did you prepare to be a strong applicant for ND school?

I was already a pre-med track student and had been preparing to enter medical school. From high school on, I amassed extra curricular activities including volunteering on a teen suicide hotline, serving in leadership and mentorship programs and achieving honor society induction for both the general student and Greek student populations. I took on leadership roles with campus organizations and conducted research at the local medical school psychiatry department and the college psychology department. I tried to ensure that work I did was related somehow to medicine and worked the reception desk for the campus psychology clinic.

What were some challenges you faced on your path? How did you overcome them?

I think we all have issues that arise to help steer us in the direction we are intended to travel. It’s up to us to pay attention to the signs and make the changes. During college and afterwards, there were personal health challenges and family issues that strengthened my resolve toward naturopathic medicine. I would have loved guidance earlier on to avoid learning things the hard way. But I learned not to give up on my dreams and to pay attention to the lessons from obstacles and perceived failure. I embodied the phrase, “when you lose, don’t lose the lesson.”

What advice do you have for folks interested in pursuing a career in naturopathic medicine?

Explore all the career options as an ND. Begin networking early and thinking about how you will use this incredible investment in yourself and your future. Successful students often develop their plan early on and seek out mentors to help them along their path.

What are your hopes for the future of naturopathic medicine?

We are all working toward increased public awareness and recognition for naturopathic medicine. My hope is to broaden the population who thinks about choosing an ND as their first line of treatment.

Why should people sign up for your social media tips webinar?

It’s never too early to begin your business plan and thinking about your professional brand.

Dr. Steven Sorr – SCNM


“I am passionate about connecting people with their health. I love being the person to demystify a patient’s medical concerns to help them understand what is going on and what to do in the most logical way. In that, ‘doctor as teacher’ and the ‘treat the root cause’ are always my favorite guiding principles.”

Dr. Steven Sorr is emphatic in his opinions of naturopathic medicine.  “This profession is amazing,” he says, “and has allowed me to help people in such deep and profound ways, all the way to the simplest easy fixes.”  He feels that the multidisciplinary approach of naturopathic medicine is what sets it apart from conventional medicine. This approach gives NDs the flexibility to treat the entire person instead of merely treating the presenting symptoms.

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

Dr. Sorr took an unusual path to becoming a naturopathic doctor.  He actually started with two different career paths—as a Yoga instructor and a pastry chef trained at Le Cordon Bleu. Both professions provided him with a background of service to others with the goal of helping them maintain a healthy lifestyle. As Dr. Sorr attests, his culinary skills “[benefit my] patients who need simple solutions in the kitchen for making delicious and healthy meals, although desserts are something I typically steer away from these days.”

Dr. Sorr decided to expand these skills and train as a naturopathic doctor because “it offered a wider variety of therapeutic modalities.”  He was also intrigued by the rigorous medical education that exposed him to traditional and naturopathic methodologies.  He chose to pursue his medical training at SCNM because of the highly praised faculty. Furthermore, the AANMC phrase “mind of a doctor, heart of healer” stuck in his mind and sold him on the naturopathic philosophy.

SCNM as a springboard

Dr. Sorr was drawn to SCNM because of its curriculum. He went from being an advocate to a leader in naturopathic medicine.  One of the strongest aspects of the curriculum is that it taught him how to read and interpret research without “cherry-picking” the data.  SCNM has also provided him with a network of colleagues across the U.S. and Canada that he can turn to for advice or mentoring.

Part of what has led to Dr. Sorr’s success is the fact that he has maintained a business plan since before he even entered SCNM.  He was able to not only gain the medical background that he needed to survive, but he was able to pair that with a business acumen that helped him hit the ground running and flourish.

 “Living the dream” after graduation

After completing all of his classes and board examination, Dr. Sorr realized he was about to begin a voyage that would be “the most arduous in [his] whole life.”  As such, he treated himself to a nice vacation.  But even before he graduated, Dr. Sorr began to scout locations for his clinic. Once he was back from his post-graduation break, he broke ground on the Source of Health in Scottsdale, AZ.  While the first year is known to be the toughest, he was already turning his practice into a success within just a few months.

Finding fulfillment as an ND

When asked about his life and a sense of personal fulfillment, Dr. Sorr states that “work and life balance is the key to my sanity.”  He makes sure to practice what he preaches, utilizing diet, exercise and rest to stay healthy and centered.  Even though he is expanding his business, he makes sure to leave his work to spend time with his friends and family and to enjoy his new home.

“Becoming a naturopathic doctor has given me the most incredible gift,” adds Dr. Sorr.  He finds personal fulfillment in being able to take the time to “truly listen to a patient and properly identify, diagnose and treat accordingly.”  It’s the ability to ease patient’s frustration when a health problem is not diagnosed, that provides him with the strongest feeling of success.

Advice for aspiring NDs

Dr. Sorr offers one key piece of advice for aspiring naturopathic doctors: “Focus and niche down on what you wish to treat.”  Finding your specialty will set you apart and will help you to become more successful.  In addition, specializing helps you to find greater fulfillment in your work.  Many students think they will graduate and get a job, when, in fact, you must create your job by helping others in a unique manner.”  That is why it is so important to develop a business model early on to craft your vision of what you want your practice to be.

Learn more about Dr. Steven Sorr: