Dr. Erik Nelson – SCNM

“I believe that in order to think critically to solve any medical problem you need to have not only an open-mind, but also flexibility in your decision-making to treat the patient’s individual health puzzle. Naturopathic medicine allows you to see all the pieces and the big picture without having to risk missing out on an entire part of the picture.”

Laying the groundwork to become an ND

Immediately following the completion of his undergraduate degree from the University of New England, Dr. Erik O. Nelson followed his calling in medicine and headed West to Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine and Health Sciences. “Once I toured SCNM I knew it was the right path for me. The campus is amazing and the staff and faculty go out of their way to make your naturopathic medical education individualized and make you feel like more than just a student, you feel a part of a community.” Furthermore, Dr. Nelson was drawn to the cutting edge scope including regenerative injection therapies and the Pain Relief Center (now known as the Neil Riordan Center for Regenerative Medicine).

SCNM as a springboard

“As a student at SCNM, I had the opportunity to use the full scope of naturopathic practice during my clinical training and experience evidence-based naturopathic medicine during clinical shifts. I am very thankful for my time and experiences working under Dr. Jeffrey Langland in the amazing research department at SCNM. The ability to be a part of research, to publish research papers and to acquire the skills to critically examine research and extrapolate clinically relevant information is paramount to being an excellent physician.”

Dr. Nelson credits SCNM for preparing him for his career not only in medicine, but also in business. Business courses are a part of the SCNM curriculum. Students learn what to look for in a potential employer and how to start up their own practice with lessons in marketing to help it succeed.

“Living the dream” after graduation

It was never a question as to where Dr. Nelson saw himself after graduation. His heart would always belong in his home state of New Hampshire. With a little help from SCNM’s job link website, he was able to connect with a clinic just minutes from his hometown.

After establishing himself at Seacoast Spine and Sports Injuries Clinic, Dr. Nelson joined the New Hampshire Association of Naturopathic Doctors (NHAND). Through NHAND, Dr. Nelson heard about an opportunity with the New Hampshire Board of Naturopathic Examiners for an ND with experience in injection and parental therapies. With his experience from the SCNM Medical Center and Integrative Pain Relief Center, Dr. Nelson was appointed in 2018.

Finding fulfillment as an ND

“I love the flexibility in my medical approach and that I can tailor my treatment strategy to the individual patient. Every patient is unique and therefore every treatment should also be just as unique. I believe that in order to think critically to solve any medical problem you need to have not only an open-mind, but also flexibility in your decision-making to treat the patient’s individual health puzzle. Naturopathic medicine allows you to see all the pieces and the big picture without having to risk missing out on an entire part of the picture. “

The flexibility in Dr. Nelson’s career extends outside of the office and into the field. As a naturopathic doctor for a spine and sports injury clinic, he has the opportunity to serve on the sidelines as a team doctor for two local high school teams. “It is this kind of career flexibility and out-of-the office work experience that I love about naturopathic medicine.”

When not seeing patients, Dr. Nelson enjoys coaching varsity boy’s soccer and is a member of an integrative team doctors at Kingswood Regional High School.

Advice for aspiring NDs

Dr. Nelson recommends to begin by asking yourself what you kind of doctor you want to be. If you don’t know, explore your options, spend time in clinics to develop your own medical philosophy, develop yourself as person by becoming involved in your community. “When setting up your own practice or getting your name out to the public, a positive presence in your community and a willingness to help others goes further than a small fortune spent on marketing ever could.”

Learn more about Dr. Nelson:

Website

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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

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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

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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.