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