Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas

Merry Christmas to everyone!

I hope you are able to spend some time relaxing with friends and family and are too busy having fun to be on the computer and reading this on Christmas day - I typed this ahead of time and scheduled the post for Christmas morning!

Thank-you to those who have been checking in regularly and providing excellent feedback.

Have a safe and fun holiday.

Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Christmas- A Needed Break

Maybe it was because it was the 9th exam in a week, or the accumulation of a 2 1/2 year mental marathon, but I was humbled by the difficulty of the questions on our final Botanical Medicine exam yesterday. I absolutely love Bot Med and it is never just about passing the course for me, so after the exam, I actually pulled out my notes and looked up the questions that I could remember.

I do need to put the books down for a while and celebrate because myself, and everyone of my colleagues, deserves to take a break and look at how far we have come. It doesn't seem real yet but, we have just finished the last set of Christmas final exams we will write for this program, since next year at this time we will be interns.

It is only 4 months now until clinic starts...where has the time gone?

Have a safe and healthy Christmas holiday everyone.

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Virtual Substitutes

The phrase, "Now that is a day at the Park" brings a lot of things to mind. For me, spending the day in front of a coloured, flashing box in the living room was not very high on the list. Yet, with Christmas approaching, and toy marketing fever beginning to peak, parents are lead to believe that the Fisher Price Smart Fit Park constitutes a day in the park. I don't mean to pick on Fisher Price particularly, as there are certainly other companies and some Fisher Price toys are valuable.

Unfortunately, I find a belief in Toronto that indoors is safer and cleaner than the outdoors. Neither are true and indoors is most likely contaminated with many times the level of toxic substances (carpets, laminate floors, glues, paints, plastics, air fresheners, cleaners...) than the outdoors.

This brings to mind an evening tobogganing with my son last year. Several other parents from the neighborhood came with their children and I heard one ask, "how many years have we lived here and never used this hill?" Simple, healthy, inexpensive pleasures right on our doorstep but too often traded for a virtual substitute.

When buying gifts this Christmas, evaluate the consequences your purchases will have on others. I believe that with some intention, we can all make better choices.

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Quote of the Month

“Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience"

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Friday, November 13, 2009

Formula has Risks

The slogan , "Breast is Best" over the last several years has formula companies comparatively recommending their product as a close second. Why anybody would choose to start their child on second best is interesting (I certainly understand those who are physically unable to breast feed). As Naturopathic Doctors promote patient education, informed choice in cases like this is what is important. I was surprised to learn in Maternal/Newborn Care today that most Medical schools have no training (zero hours) in their curriculum on breastfeeding. What was possibly even more surprising was the statistics on the percent of mothers who breastfed in Canada. In some provinces, only 65% of mothers attempted to initiate breastfeeding and only 20% exclusively breastfed until their child was 1 month old (BC is doing something right here as it's rates are substantially higher than this).

Research negating the benefits of breast feeding may include babies who have ever breastfed (even for a week) instead of comparing those who exclusively breastfed with those who were bottle fed. However, the evidence is now confirming what advocates have maintained for years that bottle feeding has risks. There is a growing body of research demonstrating increased rates of asthma, obesity, type 1 diabetes and even ulcerative colitis.

Note: Here in Toronto, as a result of the recent H1N1 pandemonium, the public breastfeeding support clinics were taken over as flu screening or vaccination clinics leaving new mothers who would access those clinics without any support. Certainly a situation without a perfect solution.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Stone Tree Clinic

As the start of clinic is quickly approaching, and graduation is just over a year away, I am beginning to seriously plan where and how I will practice. We have been very fortunate at CCNM to be able to hear perspectives from successful naturopathic businesses. Today, Dan Clements who operates Stone Tree Clinic in Collingwood Ontario with Dr. Tara Gignac, ND spoke to our class about the business model, operations and philosophy of their clinic.

I realized the importance of being exposed to a variety of practice models which will ultimately shape what my practice will look like and how well it will serve the public. As I have already said before, I could not agree more with the idea that the profession as a whole is stronger, and we are able to help more people, when naturopaths are able to be successful in their practice. I really appreciated Dan's encouragement and acknowledgement of our skills as primary care practitioners as well as the skills he highlighted that set us apart from any other health care provider.

What was most inspiring to me was that the Stone Tree Clinic operating model allowed for a balance in life, time for family, keeping healthy and options like taking a working sabbatical in South America to bring health care to the less fortunate.

Visit, to see a different approach to health care.

For those interested Dan's blog specifically about practice management visit,

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Quote of the Month

“We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and the depth of our answers.

Carl Sagan

Monday, October 12, 2009

Canadian Thanksgiving

The pace of third year took me by surprise and Thanksgiving weekend could not have come at a better time. Next Monday, the midterm exams begin and the third year class has been so busy, with assignments and preparation for practicals, that it seems like we only have a week to prepare.

A walk through the forest this weekend calmed my mind (reminded me of the many things we have to be thankful for in this beautiful country) and rejuvenated my motivation to study for the upcoming botanical medicine midterm - known for being one of the hardest courses in third year. I found photography a great way to trick myself into studying!
Salidogo odora (Goldenrod)
This herb grows abundantly in open meadows and fields. The leaf is usually picked in the fall and can be made into a tincture or tea. Common uses are as a renal tonic, diuretic and carminitive.

Maple Forest Trail
Although third year is much busier than I had hoped for, clinic (internship) is only 7 months away. There is light at the end of the trail!

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

The Business Side

I have a huge interest in the business side of naturopathy. I think that if an ND can be successful in their business then they are able to help more people, positively impact their community, pay their share of taxes to this great country and donate to the charities they like. So when our business professor invited Dr. Eli Camp to speak about building a practice, I was sure to attend. Dr. Camp (a graduate of Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine) provided us with an overview of the extensive planning and work it takes to set up a business. She instilled that this is not something we want to try to figure out after graduation as there is so much to know about what happens on the business side of being an ND.

The course was filled with plenty of tools and tips from her business experience.

Check out Dr. Camp's business website:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Quote of the Month

“All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self evident.”

Arthur Schopenhaur (1788-1860)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

The Disappearing Male

Silicon in hair products to make our hair shine, vinyl toys for our children to chew on, phthalates to make colognes last all day, flame retardants in our pillows... the list goes on. In fact there are thousands of chemicals sold that end up inside our house and almost none of them have been tested for long-term safety.

CCNM was priveledged to have Rick Smith (who is the Executive Director of Environmental Defence and author of, Slow Death by Rubber Duck) speak on the effects of common chemicals. As he made clear, pollution is not something out there like big smoke stacks, but right inside us: we are polluted!
The Canadian Government's recent 180 turn on the hormone disruptor Bisphenol-A (BPA) is an indication that, with public pressure, changing the influence of the chemical giants is possible. Removing BPA from baby bottles is an excellent start, but the problem is much bigger. The problem is about a regulatory system that failed, about 85% of chemicals that have never been tested, and about the unknown (since it will take decades to see the effects of this toxic legacy).

The CBC documentary, The Disappearing Male, showed that baby boys are the first ones to be effected by chemical hormone disruptors. Even in adulthood, male reproductive problems can be linked to petroleum byproducts. However, consumers have great power and vote everyday with what they purchase.

Check out for information on how to go toxic free. Naturopathic doctors are very educated in this area and can work with you towards removing the pollution from your body and providing you with resourceful ways to minimize your exposure.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Book Review 9

The Truth About the Drug Companies by Marcia Angell, M.D.

This is one of the most powerful books outlining some of the major problems in the pharmaceutical drug industry. It is written in factual, unemotional prose by the former editor in chief of the New England Journal of Medicine. As a medical doctor, she supports the appropriate use of pharmaceuticals but is outraged at many unethical practices of the industry including: how extensive marketing is used to deceive people into believing new "me-too" drugs are superior to old ones, how doctors are given kick-backs, lures and bribes to sell drugs, how people are told that drugs are extremely expensive to pay for innovative research and development, and how clinical trials are biased and rigged by the drug companies who support the research.

Although some time in the book is spent on the unnecessary creation of drug markets, unlike other good books on this topic, the author does not allocate much space to side effects and harm many drugs can do, nor the potential for inappropriate drug dependence (especially with psychological drugs) - no conspiracy theories contained! Instead, the book, which is numerically tedious at times, highlights in great detail the outlandish "marketing" costs of industry. The author's point is supported by undeniable cases of corruption directly from within the industry. One of the main points of the book is drugs that work could be sold at a fraction of the cost and the pharmaceutical industry should be re-focused back to finding truly life saving drugs instead of creating and marketing dubious "me-too" drugs.

This issue is now directly important to naturopathic doctors in Canada as British Columbia's ND's have prescribing rights and more provinces will be on board in the future (some States in the US have also granted prescribing writes several years ago).

The Truth About Drug Companies

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Quote of the Month

"Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

Albert Einstein

Monday, August 17, 2009

Celebrating halfway from the top

To celebrate the completion of the first 2 years of Naturopathic school and NPLEX 1, some friends and I decided to climb Mount Temple which is the highest peak in the Alberta Rockies (11,000 feet). The day had many memorable moments including seeing a grizzly bear relatively close as we hiked above Larch Valley. Then, in the face of continual discouragement from teams returning, we were the first of only 2 teams to climb to the summit on what ended up being one of the most difficult and amazing adventures I have done in a day so far. Thirty-five to 50 cm of fresh snow took its toll on even the most fit mountaineers. Thanks to my brother and friends who maintained a positive attitude throughout the entire day, we worked as a team and completed our goal. Enjoy the pictures below:
Southwest Face of Mount Temple
with Sentinal Pass on the left
Navigating the Rocks
Open Slopes
Summit in Sight
Looking Down
Looking Up!
We Made it!

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Quote of the Month

“It is more important to know what sort of person has a disease then to know what sort of disease a person has."


Thursday, July 30, 2009

Paracelsus Herb Garden

I have always appreciated this little getaway at CCNM as a place to clear my mind and enjoy Botanical medicine from a practical perspective. Although the school is surrounded by busy streets, this offers more than some consolation! I took these pictures on a study break today. Only 5 days until NPLEX. All the best to everyone who is writing it.
View from across the yard.
One Entrance
Goldfish with the wetland plants.
Garden Path
Monarch and Echinacea
Blazing Star, Lavender & Calendula

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Not all Green plastics are Created Equal

With the longest recorded strike by Toronto city workers coming to a close, city services will hopefully resume soon. Although city run daycamps and daycares were shut down and the Center Island Ferry did not run, it was the garbage accumulation that got noticed.

Maybe now is a good time to take a serious look at our throw away society and cut down and look for alternatives. As such bioplastics have received a lot of attention lately. As with anything, not all products are created equal and some companies have their bottom line as a priority rather than actually contributing to the solution. Businesses looking to implement bioplastics need to be aware of how different composition of bioplastics actually breakdown, if at all.

For example, "while a material can be labeled biodegradable (referring to the process whereby microorganisms cause decomposition and assimilation), it may not necessarily be compostable, the process by which material biodegrades to produce carbon dioxide, water and humus..." Take a look at the article, The Truth About Bioplastics by Fiona Wagner for more details.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Book Review 8

The Secret History of the War on Cancer by Devra Davis

With the 7th annual, 8th annual, 10th annual (depending on the city) weekend walk to end breast cancer, the topic of this book is currently quite counter to the popular culture. However, Dr. Devra Davis is one of a growing number of writers and health experts to point out that there needs to be a refocus in our effort in regards to cancer research. The breast cancer campaigns have due concern since the Generation X women are twice as likely to develop breast cancer as their mothers were. Interestingly, Dr. Davis states that the aging population does not explain this increased rate nor the increase in childhood cancers.

This book is a thoroughly detailed account of the History of contemporary thoughts on scientific direction and public policy surrounding cancer. Dr. Davis shows what happened to derail programs intended to reduce cancer and how so much effort is spent on treating cancer ($100 billion a year is spent in direct cancer treatment costs) and finding a cure, instead of preventing it in the first place. For example, more than 80,000 chemicals are in use and complete toxicity tests are available on fewer than 1000.

Our society has been led to believe by cancer researchers that science will find a cure and money is wisely spent toward this effort. Unfortunately, the public is not made aware that cancers are highly preventable diseases. This is certainly an important and sensitive issue to all of us.

For more information:

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Quote of the Month

“DNA isn't destiny - it's history. Your genetic code doesn't determine your life. Sure it shapes it - but exactly how it shapes it will be dramatically different depending on your parents, your environment and your choices.”

Sharon Moalem
(Author: Survival of the Sickest)

Friday, June 26, 2009

Garbage In Garbage Out.

Toronto city workers are currently on strike. This affects many city services but most prominently in the news is the issue of garbage pick-up. Reports came in that people began dumping their garbage in rivers and parks after only one day of the strike!

Certainly baby diapers in an apartment without air conditioning makes for a very uncomfortable situation. However, now is the perfect time to recognize how many other things we purchase that are just thrown out. We will not need a list because we can see it. This "garbage crisis" puts us in an uncomfortable situation that forces us to stop our current out of site out of mind philosophy.

Annie Leonard does a really great job of comically getting our attention on this fun animation, When people positively change their buying habits, ecological and healthy change will happen.

Sunday, June 14, 2009

HBBH Business Workshop

Naturopathic Doctors (ND's) face unique business challenges after graduation including the fact that, in Canada, Naturopathic Medicine is not covered by the Provincial Government's health care system. This means that in order for ND's to do what they were trained to do, they are required to become an entrepreneur. The latest statistics show that about 20% of ND graduates do not work in the field. What is really sad is when an excellent, caring doctor has to close up their practice.

I cannot imagine trying to begin a practice without knowing what I learned this weekend (and this is only the 1st of 4 seminars). Health of Business, Business of Health (HBBH) is taught by Andre Belanger and Dr. Dickson Thom. These 2 men are very passionate about helping ND's succeed in their business and ultimately want to ensure that ND's are able to help others. Planning and preparation is key. Don't wait until you graduate to take these courses.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

New NPLEX study website

New this year is for ND students is, ND Online Learning Center (NDOLC).

Before I was aware of the NDOLC, I paid for both NPLEX 1 prep courses offered. As I am detail oriented, I value classroom learning for providing me with the big picture. Additionally, I bought the Healing Mountain study manual. As such, I think that my bases are covered and am not going to purchase this new online learning package. However, if you are currently using NDOLC, it would be great to hear your comments. "Written by ND's for ND's" and the $50.00 price tag does seem enticing.

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Journal for Naturopathic Medicine

The first publication of the International Journal of Naturopathic Medicine was just launched this June. The Journal's site states that subscribers will, "Receive an environmentally-friendly print journal and have access to state-of-the-art practice and research in the field of naturopathic medicine..." I'm familiar with at least 5 of the names on the Editorial Board (Faculty of CCNM or guest speakers in my classes) and am certain that the journal will be of the highest quality.

An arena for peer reviewed research will most certainly benefit the continued advancement of naturopathic medicine.

Note: Subscriptions are $149.00/year or 2 years for $129/year.

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Naturopathic Movies 11


This movie premiers on June 12 and from the looks of things, it will be a tremendous paradigm shift in the way many people view food. The timing is interesting for many reasons, one of which is that stocks in agriculture and agricultural loans are reaching an all-time high. Furthermore, people are becoming aware that their food selections do affect the availability of better food choices in the grocery store or local farmers market.

To view the trailer, visit:


After seeing this movie, it met my expectations and I highly recommend it!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Naturopathy in Hawaii

My family and I just returned from the beautiful island of Maui where I had the privilege to preceptor with a Naturopath there. Naturopathic medicine is regulated in the state of Hawaii and the people are very receptive to preventative and complimentary medicine.

On the beach we were talking to some amazing volunteers who were protecting the coral reefs, "for the future generations" by educating the tourists and providing coral friendly sunscreen for free (most sunscreens are petroleum based and toxic to the coral). Everywhere we went in Maui, we noticed the themes of beauty, health and peace and were very sad to leave.

Friday, May 8, 2009

NPLEX Preparation

Naturopathic students have 2 sets of licensing exams to write called NPLEX (Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Examinations). The first one is written after completing second year and includes the Basic Sciences: Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Immunology, Microbiology and Biochemistry. Then, after completing the 4 year program, the final NPLEX is for the clinical sciences.

This week, I am taking the first NPLEX prep course with many of my colleagues taught by Dr. Paul Anderson, ND from Bastyr University. The amount of information we need to know is phenomenal but exciting at the same time. Most students study full-time for the two months prior to the August 4th exam date and I plan to do the same. No rest for the dedicated!!

Monday, April 27, 2009

Naturopathic Medicine Week

Next week is Naturopathic Medicine Week in Canada (May 2-10).

Check out your local Chapters/Indigo, Coles or favorite health food stores during this week for Naturopathic Doctors giving presentations. Click here for a list of free seminar locations across Canada. This is a great opportunity to learn what naturopathy can do for you and to ask questions.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

It's been a year!

Although I did not have the time to post nearly as much as I would have liked, I was still surprised at the interest in this site. After one year, there were between 250-400 visitors per month and people asked some very good questions.

It was an exciting year for Naturopathic Medicine in Canada. Nova Scotia was the first province east of Ontario to provide legislation for ND's, Ontario is transitioning Naturopathic Medicine under the Regulated Health Professions Act, and of course the recent approval for prescribing rights in British Columbia.

Hopefully third year will allow for a little more time to publish as the second year pace was absolutely crazy. It seems like CCNM crams a 5 year program into 4 years!. Actually, CCNM's program is longer than the "standard" 4 year length. Analogous to university, the first 3 years consist of 2 semesters for a total of 8 months of school per year (what is not analogous to university is that the days are 8-10 hours spent just in class). Finally, the 4th year internship is a full 12 month rotation from May to May.

With one week of final exams to go, I survived 2nd year-barely! Next on the agenda... is more studying. Naturopathic students who completed 2nd year write the basic science board exams in August.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

A First

With some of the derogatory statements made lately by Medical Doctors about the training of ND's, I was beginning to wonder if there was something fundamentally missing from my training that would make me unable to practice as a primary care provider. My curiosity about what a GP learned about primary care that I was missing in my training abated after reading PalMD's final comments that arose from his "ND Challenge."

Occasionally I find myself agreeing, at least to some degree, with the frustrations that Medical Doctors express about Naturopaths. Certainly both sides have a vested interest in their training and have every right to defend it. But in this case, I was disappointed by the lack of substance to the attack.

The crux of PalMD's final post is where he states the naturopath is, "fanatically wrong." Then, he went on to write that this judgment was based on a point that he was not entirely clear about in the first place. Further on, the same mentioned naturopath is called a cult leader! I'm not sure exactly why but possibly because of her expertise in diabetes and selling a book on the same topic (A conflict of interest? Possibly).

So, this is a first for me... I read these blog feeds every day but have never specifically commented or posted my opinion. What I realized is that if there is a difference between MD's and ND's on the capability of being a primary care doctor, it is a matter of opinion and not the ability to function effectively and safely.

The primary care physicians and family GP's certainly have their territory infringed upon as Naturopaths continue to expand their scope of practice. I guess I can't blame them for digging in their heels. Ultimately, naturopathy needs the critiques and, although they may not agree, naturopathy influences them too (for example, nutrition is now being taught in some medical schools). My hope is that some time in the future it will all be to the patients' best interest.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

B.C. will set a precedent for Naturopathic Doctors

It's nearly official: British Columbia's Naturopathic Doctors will expand their roles as primary care providers as they attain prescribing rights and the ability to work with pharmacists. What may be more important is that Naturopaths will maintain access to certain botanicals, supplements, amino acids and other treatments that fall under the area restricted to a prescription. In regards to prescribing pharmaceuticals, Naturopathic Doctors are not limited to 9-12 minutes a patient and can spend the time determining the best way to deal with every presenting issue (and they have a wide array of treatment options). I'm certain there will be very judicious use of this privilege.

The British Columbia Naturopathic Association website is an excellent resource.

Friday, April 10, 2009

Nature in the City

Education is something I believe a lot in especially when it comes to the betterment of us and our environment. Unfortunately, many people picture the environment to be this pristine place hundreds of miles from civilization and throw their Tim Horton's coffee cup into the ditch. However, there are no boundaries on the environment, it is there wherever we are.

What I really liked about the presentation I attended the other day at school was the focus on nature right around us, even in the city. If we could only slow down to notice...

Maybe this will be a good summer to begin an appreciation for nature even if you are in the middle of the city like me.

Contact if you are interested in a guided experience in or near Toronto.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Toxic plastic toys

"Health Canada tests found three-quarters of soft plastic toys and children's items for sale in Canada contained toxic chemical additives known to cause reproductive harm in children."

Here is the entire article,

My little boy has been showered with gifts of plastic toys. I really appreciate the thought but can't help but wonder about long-term effects. We really need to get our children out into some fresh air!

Friday, April 3, 2009

Online learning

Recently I have seen a lot of advertisements for online naturopathic training in the US. I have even read where some people adamantly defend their online naturopathic diplomas. Although I am sure that they worked hard, and gained insight into some areas of natural medicine, I cannot see its applicability to becoming a doctor.

In contrast to online naturopath education, accredited schools train naturopaths to be primary care providers. As an example, this year (my second year at CCNM) we had the privilege to learn and practice physical & clinical diagnosis (PCD) of every body system. We had standardized patients for the male genital and female breast exams and our final practical exams this year will be on standardized patients. Next year our PCD training will include female gynecological exams on standardized patients.

Although there is substantial reading and preparation (including lecture time on theory) required before we attend the PCD practicals, the understanding and applicability of the theory is not complete until we work through the practical sessions, get feedback from supervisors and our colleagues, and learn from our mistakes. Many times subtle differences in technique can miss a diagnosis. Nothing can replace practical learning.

I can not imagine how online training prepares for practice as a doctor since doctors treat patients not computers. Certainly, one could learn about the theoretical aspects of medicine but be left without any idea of how to actually be effective with patients. Especially for those who live in the US, for your safety, please make sure you see a naturopath who graduated from one of the Accredited Schools.

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Quote of the Month

“Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better."

Albert Einstein

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Earth Hour

It is good to see the popularity of Earth Hour has hit mainstream. Although celebrity endorsements and more cities participating for the hour certainly help, more can be done to affect our choices on the remaining 8759 hours of the year.

While riding the bus the other day, a child looked out the window and exclaimed, "look at all the litter dad." I was impressed by her concerned observation and agreeably replied, "it's awful isn't it?" Then to my disappointment, looking straight at his daughter, the father asks, "Did you put it there?" "No daddy." "Then, you don't worry about it!"

Environmental stewardship is part of the naturopathic doctor's oath. “…By precept, education, and example, I will assist and encourage others to strengthen their health, reduce risks for disease and preserve the health of our planet for ourselves and future generations”. As such, this is our concern even if it involves fixing the mistakes of others. At your next visit, ask your naturopath for some environmental tips that are easy to implement.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Wild or Farmed Salmon?

With the tremendous health benefits offered by eating cold water fish, it is important to consider where the fish come from. Unfortunately, there are some major differences between Wild and Farmed Salmon. The arguments for Wild versus Farmed Salmon are somewhat analogous to that of Free-range versus Feedlot beef. However, the consequences with the fish may be greater. Both the Wild Atlantic and Wild Pacific Salmon are in danger from fish farms. As a David Suzuki Foundation Brochure points out, we are not saving wild salmon by eating farmed.

Below are links to some of the most important issues on the topic:

1. Cross breeding of farmed genetics with wild
2. Contaminants in farmed Salmon
3. Spreading Diseases from farmed to wild (Sea Lice and Parasites)
4. Chemicals used and Effect on the Sea bed
5. Excellent overview of all fishing practices

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Is Naturopathic Medicine a difficult program?

This semester has been exceptionally busy and I have not had any time to spend on this blog. Last week we had 9 exams in 5 days with some of the exams worth 40% of our final mark. March's quote of the month captures some of that feeling!

I have received a lot of questions recently asking if naturopathic school is easier than conventional medical school. Although I can't say for sure, because I haven't attended conventional medical school, what I can say is that it is much more work than a Bachelors of Science Degree. I did my undergraduate at the University of Calgary and my program certainly was not easy either. So far this year, several of my colleagues have dropped at least one course to continue at a part-time load and the program will now take them 5 years. I have often said that if it wasn't for the supportive atmosphere created by my colleagues (and certainly the support of family) the program would have a much higher dropout rate.

Actually, there are new curriculum changes planned for CCNM to streamline and make the program more tolerable. I have to give a little plug for the Boucher school here (and the other colleges that have a longer school year). There is certainly a tremendous learning benefit to an extra month (or 2 in the case of Boucher) of class time. Also, I noticed that Boucher now has a six year part-time program which is an interesting option for some people.

For more information, one of my colleagues just created a website, which describes in detail her experience at CCNM. I highly recommend reading, "Realistic Challenges of Becoming a Naturopathic Doctor."

Monday, March 2, 2009

Quote of the Month

“There ain’t much fun in medicine, but there’s a heck of a lot of medicine in fun.”

Josh Billings

Friday, February 13, 2009

Finally some good Press!

The submission for prescribing rights has envoked some resistance against this opportunity for Naturopathic Doctors. After reading several negative articles over the past month, it was nice to get this positive outlook from New Brunswick.

Take a look at The Daily Gleaner for their thoughts on how Naturopaths will help the Canadian health care system.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Quote of the Month

"It's bizarre that the produce manager is more important to my children's health than the pediatrician."

Meryl Streep

Monday, January 19, 2009

Naturopathic Movies 10


This award winning documentary highlights an issue that we so often take completely for granted in Canada - WATER. Fresh, unplolluted, drinkable water to be specific. Without drinkable water, there can be no life. Unfortunately, this neccesity provides an opportunity for tremendous control and profit for unscrupulous companies. Can anyone really own water?

I found that the film starts a little slow but end up presenting interesting perspectives from both scientists and community activists. Also, in case you were not ready for more bad news, the film does offer some solutions and includes ways that we all can help.

For a preview, visit FLOW online at:

Monday, January 5, 2009

CCNM Naturopathic Student Highlight

Rachelle de Jong is currently a full-time 3rd year student at CCNM. Rachelle was born on Vancouver Island, went to high school in Regina and then did her undergraduate degree at the University of Victoria in Biology.
After competing at the elite level in rowing for 11 years, Rachelle made the pinnacle of athletic dreams - The Olympics! Rachelle took last year off school to represent Canada at the 2008 Beijing Olympics in the Heavyweight Women's Quad Rowing class. CCNM is very proud to say that one of our students represented Canada on the international stage.

Next year Rachelle will take another exciting step in life by marrying her fiance who proposed on the Great Wall of China last year.

Although Rachelle likes sports medicine, she is currently most interested in other areas including Women's Health and Dermatology. She will graduate in 2010 and has an amazing, caring and approachable personality that will definitely bring patients into her practice.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Quote of the Month

"Now there are more overweight people in America than average-weight people. So, overweight people are now average. Which means you've met your New Year's resolution!"

Jay Leno