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, gouldingnd.com 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