2019 Year in Review

A Year of Academics, Scholarship and Community Outreach

Each and every year, the field of naturopathic medical education advances significantly. We are proud to recap the advances our seven accredited naturopathic medical schools made in academics, scholarship and community outreach during 2019. Looking ahead, there is a lot to be excited for as well!

Click the tabs above to read messages from each of the schools.

A Year of Inclusion and Equity

Bastyr University
Campuses in San Diego, California & Seattle, Washington

As Bastyr University concludes its 41st year, we reflect on some of the milestones and achievements that have furthered our mission to create a more healthful world for all:

Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Training. Bastyr welcomed Dr. Kortet Mensah as the inaugural Associate Vice President for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI). Starting in fall quarter of 2019, all faculty, staff and students at the Kenmore campus participated in DEI trainings, which included community-based conversations about levels of oppression, factors that contribute to and derail oppression, and strategies to advance inclusive diversity and equity at Bastyr and beyond. DEI training at Bastyr University California will begin in winter quarter of 2020.

Health Equity Speaker Series. The Center for Social Justice and Diversity also launched a Health Equity Speaker Series this fall, with its first topic titled “What is Health? The Need for Health Equity.” Students who helped facilitate this event are a part of the Center’s Student Leadership Certificate Program, designed to support students in developing skills in the areas of professional leadership, social justice, and cultural humility. The one-year program complements existing degree programs through its focus on practical and engaged leadership skills

Support for Susan G. Komen. On November 3, the Bastyr University California Sports Medicine Club provided services in the survivor tent at the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. Students practiced physical medicine modalities such as light massage and stretching, taping, icing, trigger point therapy and cupping. In addition, ND students and residents provided health screenings in the main event area for the 9,000 participants. Students enjoyed giving back to the local community and educating participants about Bastyr University Clinic’s integrative oncology services.

2019 marked 100 years of licensure in the United States — a milestone achieved through the tireless efforts of many individuals. Our 141 newest ND graduates join this great community and look forward to bringing more innovations in naturopathic medicine into the new decade!

To learn more about Bastyr, click here.

A Year of Commitment and Excellence

Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine
Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada

The Boucher Institute would like to once again congratulate its students for outperforming the average NPLEX results by a healthy margin. We credit the ability and commitment of our faculty that continue to be second to none in terms of preparing our students to become excellent, compassionate doctors.  BINM would also like to congratulate the school’s team of students who once again, came first at the NMSA cup competition in Portland, OR last August.

Our academic team will be expanding in order to support the school’s growth and new programs. Additionally, we have invested in developing new and exciting fundraising sources to benefit students and ensure that our tuition costs remain as steady as possible over the longer term.

New programs are being built to ensure continued graduate success and employment opportunities for BINM graduates. Our core program will continue to teach our students the benefits of practicing collaborative medicine, and we are in process of creating relationships with other higher education institutions to broaden student opportunities in areas like research and recruitment. Boucher graduates are grounded in the roots of the naturopathic medicine and its supporting science, because it represents the soundest form of sustainable medicine. We look forward to what will be an exciting 2020.

To learn more about BINM, click here.

A Year of Research and Innovation

Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine
Toronto, Ontario, Canada

For CCNM, 2019 can be characterized by the terrific strides the College has made in research and innovation. Our efforts this year focused on a few key areas.

The microbiome. More than just a buzzword, the microbiome plays a significant role in maintaining our health and preventing disease. CCNM embarked in a landmark study to explore the interplay between our environment and the microbiome in mothers and newborns; particularly, how exposure to pharmaceutical drugs and environmental toxins affect health outcomes during pregnancy.

Lab testing. CCNM launched a high-quality, evidence-informed webinar series in September to examine the value of laboratory testing in clinical practice, and support NDs and other health-care practitioners in diagnostic decision-making. The first two webinars are on the topics of hematology, kidney and urinalysis.

Student scholarship. Now in its second year, the Student Innovation Fund is a grant competition that nurtures student-led research at CCNM. This year’s winners are currently assessing the impact of naturopathic care being provided to patients with fibromyalgia at the Robert Schad Naturopathic Clinic, CCNM’s academic medical centre.

It’s no surprise that CCNM is considered a hub of naturopathic research. We look forward to even more discovery in 2020!

To learn more about CCNM, click here.

A Year of New Opportunities

National University of Health Sciences
Chicago, Illinois

National University of Health Sciences continues to expand its Clinical Clerkship program for naturopathic medicine students. Throughout 2019, NUHS added three new clinical opportunities. These internships at the Aurora Clinic, Salvation Army Clinic in Chicago and the Center for Integral Health in Lombard have unique patient populations that can help students prepare for various types of practice and provide hands-on, real-world experience for our student clinicians. They also have the added benefit of being located in the Chicago area near campus.

As part of a homeopathic rotation at the Center for Integral Health in Lombard, students are able to work alongside Timothy Fior, MD, who is also a lecturer in Clinical Sciences at NUHS and Lisa Krebs, ND, an NUHS alumnae. “Students will come away with the confidence and skills to accurately use this important modality in practice,” Dr. Krebs said.

At the NUHS Whole Health Center in Aurora, NUHS has added a ND faculty clinician who will attend shifts at the clinic each week with ND interns. NUHS also added an ND faculty clinician to supervise students at the Salvation Army clinic in Chicago. This supervision allows interns to provide more naturopathic modalities at the clinic such as basic bloodwork and constitutional hydrotherapy treatments.

Faculty members look forward to working with students as they continue to take advantage of these opportunities in 2020. For more information about clinical internship opportunities visit the NUHS website.

To learn more about NUHS, click here.

A Year of New Leadership and Advancement

National University of Natural Medicine
Portland, Oregon

NUNM welcomed our new president Dr. Christine Girard, a 1997 NUNM graduate who is already building on NUNM’s history of thinking and healing holistically. She’s excited about NUNM’s role in the intersection between naturopathic medicine and public health, and recently shared an update in AANMC’s November newsletter.

Through our 2019 acquisition of IPSL Institute for Global Learning, we have expanded the opportunities for students to participate in service-learning programs as part of their education. We also now offer two international master’s programs, giving current and future students greater opportunities to become advocates for social justice. We’re very excited for what this new partnership has in store for 2020!

Next year, we look forward to our students continuing to bring integrative health care to our local communities through programs at our academic health centers. NUNM’s new shared clinical rotations allow students studying in both the ND and Chinese medicine programs to mix the two approaches in practice, providing patients with more integrative tracks to health. Our newest sites, opening in 2020, will be located in residential facilities in the Portland metro area where access to holistic care is less available. This model of integration has proven to be effective at maintaining patients’ engagement with their care regimens, and we’re excited to enhance patient outcomes and student learning through these new sites!

To learn more about NUNM, click here.

A Year of Transformation and Innovation

Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine
Phoenix, Arizona

In Fall of 2019, SCNM announced plans to launch two 100% online Master of Science in Nutrition degrees – the Master of Science in Clinical Nutrition (MSCN) and the Master of Science in Nutrition Business Leadership (MSNBL). Both programs will seat their first class in April of 2020. The MSCN will educate and inspire the next generation of leaders and practitioners in the field of clinical nutrition and the MSNBL will educate and inspire current and future leaders to grow the global natural products industry. Both programs will equip graduates with evidence-based and sustainable practices that safely, ethically, and effectively enhance the health and well-being of the people and communities they serve.

Additionally, SCNM is in the early building stages of The Ric Scalzo Institute for Botanical Research. This state-of-the-art molecular biology and phytochemistry laboratory will work in collaboration with the natural products industry and other academic institutions to develop new products and improve existing botanical therapeutics through scientific exploration grounded in herbalism’s rich tradition. Scheduled to open in 2020, the Institute will conduct analytical testing, cellular and molecular biology assays, and metabolomic testing. Furthermore, the Ric Scalzo Institute for Botanical Research will expand research opportunities for students.

To learn more about SCNM, click here.

A Year of Change and Celebration

University of Bridgeport School of Naturopathic Medicine
Bridgeport, Connecticut

In October, the College of Health Sciences hosted more than 150 statewide experts and healthcare leaders for its inaugural symposium, Building Bridges: Implementing Healthcare Solutions to Prevent Opioid Addiction and Chronic Pain in Connecticut.

In March 2019 the University of Bridgeport announced that the School of Naturopathic Medicine will be closing its doors, based on a wide variety of factors, including a restructure of the University. The students enrolled as of the spring semester will complete the teach-out, with the last class graduating in May 2022.  In the meantime, however, we are celebrating every success and appreciating all the little things that are often taken for granted. Each event, including the Back to School Barbeque, Philosophy Day, and the Thanksgiving Pot Luck takes on new meaning.  We have had so many folks reaching out and helping us to champion our profession and the level of achievement that we have reached in the last few years.

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It’s Okay to Change Your Mind: Changing Careers to Pursue Your Calling

Do what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life. We’ve heard it all before, and maybe there’s some truth to it. But it’s not always easy to “do what you love,” is it? This is particularly true when you haven’t found what you love until later in life, or when you’ve already invested time and energy into another career.

While there are people who go their whole lives knowing their true calling, most experience a career trajectory that’s slightly more jagged.

Take, for example, these three naturopathic doctors, all of whom have chosen to shift careers because they discovered a passion, balance, and fulfillment in naturopathic medicine.

I had classmates who had either just started their first career, or were way into their original careers, who took the leap and made the change to a new profession. I think it’s a testament to the strength of naturopathic medicine that people are willing to take this leap and make that change.

Robert Kachko, ND, LAc

Graduate, University of Bridgeport School of Naturopathic Medicine

Social Work to Naturopathic Medicine

Prior to pursuing her passion in naturopathic medicine, Dr. Tawainna Houston spent several years in social work. She made a career out of helping others, including spending time as a case worker for homeless unemployment readiness services.

“We used to provide sugary snacks, and I’d see behavior changes as we handed out candy bars,” she said. “Clients became more aggressive in their approach toward staff, and I really wanted to know more about why … I wanted to be able to help them in all aspects of their lives.”

At the time that Dr. Houston conducted her search, she wasn’t aware that naturopathic medical schools even existed. Her search led her to the National University of Health Sciences in Chicago.

“I was pretty stable in my life, so I took a few years to wrap my head around the level of commitment I was making. I was taking a risk into something I believe I was being called into: an opportunity for greater service to people.”

Dr. Houston admits that going back to school was a humbling experience after so many years as a professional in a different career.

“It was just another thing I had to deal with as a second career student. I was older. I was in a different field, and working through the challenges of what that meant, of starting something new when I had mastered what I had been doing my whole life.”

While Dr. Houston had to “start from scratch” in some instances, she also discovered that her previous career experiences provided her with the business tools necessary to start and manage a successful medical practice.

Tawainna Houston, ND, MDiv

Graduate, National University of Health Sciences

Marketing Professional to Naturopathic Doctor

At 37, Dr. Barbara Weiss had established a successful senior level marketing career when she decided to pursue a career change in naturopathic medicine at the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine.

“For me it was about passion. I just wasn’t satisfied. I was accomplished, but the work itself didn’t interest me.” She feared that if she stayed in her current career, she would lose a sense of self. One thing was holding her back . . . the financial fears of a career change.

Dr. Weiss’ naturopathic doctor, Dr. Anthony Godfrey encouraged her by saying, “You’re never too old to do something that’s more in line with your passion.” He was older than Dr. Weiss when he changed careers from veterinary to naturopathic medicine.

Was it a big financial and time investment to go back to school? Yes, of course it was.

“But do I look back on it and regret it? Not at all.”

Barbara Weiss, ND

Graduate, Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine

Restaurant Entrepreneur to Naturopathic Doctor

Dr. Brian Crouse spent over 20 years in the food service industry (including owning a restaurant in Long Island, NY) before changing careers to naturopathic medicine.

Prior to his career in food service, Dr. Crouse was in school to become a chiropractor. He ended up leaving chiropractic school to provide for his family. Although he had great success owning his restaurant, Dr. Crouse made a promise to himself that he would continue his education at some point.

As he got older, he realized that a career as a chiropractor – including the physical demands – was no longer ideal. His lifelong passion for helping others resulted in one of life’s strange turns leading him straight to naturopathic medicine.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, Dr. Crouse visited New Orleans to feed volunteers for three weeks. When he returned home, he developed a strange virus and bacteria he couldn’t relieve through conventional methods. Naturopathic medicine helped him revive his immune system.

After some more soul searching and research, he was ready to commit to the University of Bridgeport School of Naturopathic Medicine. Both of his children were in college. Now was the time to take the plunge. He sold his business, which provided a cushion to survive on, but he still experienced the “fear of the unknown” that many students feel as they begin their journeys.

“I just had faith that it’d work out. I knew the timing was right,” he said.

He, too, relied on his lifelong experiences to get him through school and through owning his own practice.

“I’d been through rough times. I knew I could run a business,” he said. “A lot of people coming out of school don’t have that, and I know what it takes to succeed.”

Brian Crouse, ND, MS, LAc

Graduate, University of Bridgeport School of Naturopathic Medicine

request-info-naturopathic-doctor-collegeNaturopathic Medicine Success Stories

Who better to offer you input and advice about a career in naturopathic medicine than past and current students? Learn about the paths many of these doctors took to change careers to naturopathic medicine.

Read More

In the wise words of the late Dr. Anthony Godfrey, “You’re never too old to do something that’s more in line with your passion.” If you have an interest in naturopathic medicine, explore it and reach out to people who can help you along your path. The AANMC and the accredited member schools are here to help you make your dream of becoming a naturopathic doctor a reality.

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

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

Breaking Down Silos: University of Bridgeport Leading the Way in Team-based Care

The University of Bridgeport School of Naturopathic Medicine has undergone a number of changes during the 2018-2019 academic year.  With the new president came the restructuring of 14 university programs into three colleges, with encouragement from university and college leadership to enhance collaboration among the schools within each of the colleges. Administrators in the recently formed College of Health Sciences (CHS) now meet regularly to create, develop, and complete projects as one consolidated unit, rather than isolated efforts that have sometimes produced redundant results. One example is the current review of the Integrative Clinic, a collaborative effort of the faculty and students within the College of Health Sciences. The University of Bridgeport’s Naturopathic Medicine Clinic offers team-based medical care with a focus on patient education and the use of natural and preventative therapeutics.

Pictured below: Naturopathic medical students take the oath at the white coat ceremony.

Collaborating to offer integrative health care

The programs within the College, including the Acupuncture Institute, Fones School of Dental Hygiene, the School of Chiropractic, and the School of Naturopathic Medicine, are in a unique position to collaborate and offer patients and students a fully integrative approach to health care, with the inclusion of these four distinct disciplines providing patient assessment and services as one functioning unit.  Student teams, with representatives from each discipline, meet with each patient, followed by a collaborative discussion of their findings, under the supervision of their respective, experienced clinicians.  Patients recognize the benefits of this collaborative work, and follow up with the team of student clinicians in the Integrative Clinic, and individually, with selected disciplines, as indicated.

UBSNM is currently exploring strategies to improve tracking and analysis of the outcomes for this collaborative work – both from the perspective of patient and student outcomes.  Pre- and post-surveys of participating students have revealed growth in their understanding and in their competencies in working collaboratively, while enhancing their understanding and appreciation of the other disciplines involved in the Integrative Clinic.

With the addition of the School of Nursing and the Physician’s Assistant Institute to the University in recent years, we are exploring expansion of opportunities for both patients and students in all of these disciplines in the Integrative Clinic. Another component of integration is sharing space, and the Naturopathic Medicine Clinic and the Chiropractic Clinic are about to embark on sharing clinic space, with the start of the upcoming academic year.  We have all moved around a bit, and are looking forward to this increased opportunity to learn from one another!

Curriculum changes

With input from students, faculty members, and administrative staff, we completed an assessment of the program and the curriculum the Fall term of the 2018-2019 academic year, and developed the plan for the upcoming years in January of 2019.  We explored the concerns regarding the number of hours in the classroom, information redundancy, and the desire for more time to prepare for patient visits.  The resulting changes include more opportunities for collaboration, course consolidation, shifting courses to semesters that provide enhanced preparation for clinical rotations, and reduced seat hours!  We are all looking forward to the implementation of these improvements starting in the 2019 Fall term.

Pictured below: Every February, the UBSNM community honors World Wetlands Day with a courageous winter dash into our very own waterfront: The Long Island Sound. It was only 10 degrees. Note the ice on the sand!

Increasing clinical opportunities

The clinical opportunities for third and fourth year students have continued to expand.  The rotation at one of the local YMCA’s residential facilities was so successful that we expanded to two more YMCA facilities in Bridgeport.  More students can participate in these settings, and gain experience with a wider range of populations and pathologies, in a setting that is convenient for patients – in their own residential facility. The clinical rotations in Generative Medicine have moved over to the UB Naturopathic Clinic.  With this physical move, we are working to better integrate this approach to health care with the rest of the clinical opportunities, through collaboration and cross-referrals.

Excellence endures

The most talked about news regarding the UB School of Naturopathic Medicine, and of which many of you are already aware, the university has decided to close the program.  We will complete a teach-out program over the next three years, closing with the last graduating class in May 2022.  We are all enormously sad and disappointed about the closure, but plan to keep our focus steady, continue with the high standards that we have come to meet in recent years, and celebrate throughout this time, with each event, each student, continuing to build relationships with those in the naturopathic profession.

Learn More About Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor

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PTSD and the Six Principles of Naturopathic Medicine

Join Radley Ramdhan, ND, MsAc, former Specialist in the United States Army Corp of Engineers, New York Army National Guard for an informative session on naturopathic approaches to PTSD. Hear about his firsthand journey as a doctor and veteran in navigating traumatic issues with patients.

*Webinar does not qualify for CE

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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 .

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


About the Presenter

Radley Ramdhan, ND, MsAc completed his Bachelor of Science in Biology at Barry University in Miami, Florida. He earned his Master of Science in Acupuncture and Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the University of Bridgeport School of Naturopathic Medicine (UBSNM) in Bridgeport, Connecticut. While pursuing his studies, he served as a Specialist in the United States Army Corp of Engineers, New York Army National Guard for six years. It was through his military experience that he developed a special interest in working with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) patients, and as a result completed his thesis on understanding and treating PTSD using a naturopathic approach. Dr. Radley served one deployment in support of Operation Inherent Resolve in Kuwait and Iraq.

He has co-authored two articles published by Naturopathic Doctor News and Review :

PTSD: Using a Naturopathic Approach to Understand & Treat the Disorder
Traumatic Brain Injury: Clinical Applications & Plausible Interventions

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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 .

Tips for Eating Mindfully

Did you know that 1 in 3 Americans can’t eat without their phone? Distracted eating can lead to eating up to 50% more! Our choices of what, when, why and where we eat may be influenced by distractions. During this free forum, attendees can learn about mindfulness for a healthier relationship with food. Renowned nutrition expert, Dr. Jennifer Botwick will discuss how to improve your nutrition and how to make non-judgmental food choices that are best for your body right now.

*Webinar does not qualify for CE

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 .

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


About the Presenter

Jennifer Botwick, ND is a licensed naturopathic doctor in the state of Connecticut. She maintains a private practice in Woodbridge, CT and is an adjunct professor in the Department of Public Health at Southern Connecticut State University. Dr. Botwick recently retired as clinical supervisor and adjunct faculty from the University of Bridgeport School of Naturopathic Medicine. She continues to teach mindfulness to teen and adult learners. Bringing patients to a place of ease while helping them pursue optimal health is a core focus of Dr. Botwick’s practice.

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 .