Saturday, June 19, 2010

The [CCNM] Hour

As an ND intern, I have the privilege to spend an hour visit with my patients. Initially, I thought this would allow ample time to ask all the pertinent questions, perform a relevant physical exam and ensure the proper care was provided for the patient by the end of the visit. Although this may be true in some straight forward cases, I have found that patients often see us as a last resort and have an extensive story and medical history to share. Furthermore, I think patients find some therapeutic value in just being able to freely tell me their story, in full, without me limiting their responses or cutting them off to one or two concerns per visit.

As such, I have already listened to (while carefully charting) some extremely complicated cases and the hour flies by before unearthing all the potential contributing factors to the person's current state. And, I still need to remember to at least take the person's blood pressure! However, when I review the patients case, I recognize the tremendous value of the information I gathered to point me towards treatment options and areas where I need to research. Furthermore, I have realized that most patients with complicated cases (that have stumped other health professionals) do not expect me to have an exact solution by the end of one hour. Although that would be nice, my assurance that a health improvement - at the very least - in the near future is possible is more important.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Meet the New Naturopathic Interns

Come on down to the Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine (click for directions) on Monday June 14th at noon to meet the new interns. After 4 years of university and 3 years of naturopathic medical education, we are now entering our 12 month internship and are accepting patients. CCNM has one of the largest naturopathic teaching clinics in North America which has over 26, 000 patients visits per year.

During the event there will be an opportunity for everyone to learn more about naturopathic medicine through several short presentations including:

1) Brief intro to naturopathic medicine
2) Overview of services offered at RSNC
3) Pediatrics overview
4) Sports medicine overview
5) Adjunctive Cancer Care

Also, there are information tables and interns will be available to answer your questions.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

The first clinical impression

Keeping in mind that my first impressions of clinic are highly influenced by the kinds of health care issues the patients I have seen thus far have presented with, my first thoughts traveling home after my clinic shifts were much more melancholy than I was expecting. Some people are really in need of a significant amount of help. Another realization I have been continually reminded of is the critical state of our current health care system and the luxury naturopathic doctors have to spend sufficient time with their patients. We have the time to ask the detailed questions and actually listen to the answer (I truly believe that most family doctors do not prefer to spend so little time with their patients but are forced to do so in order to survive under the provincial health care billing system).

So far, my aspirations of the valiant hero who swoops in with the naturopathic coup de grace and instantly changes the person's health future have been shifted, I believe positively, to recognize that pacing myself will be critical. This is a learning process - it is called a "practice" for a reason! Even if I do have all the answers in a particular case, delivering those answers in a way in which patients will comply is an art in of itself. There are so many new realities now in clinic and it is a very steep learning curve. As such, the first couple of weeks have been somewhat overwhelming.

However, we do have a great amount of support at the teaching clinic. Each intern has at least 4 different supervisors, and is therefore exposed to 4 different styles of practice and patient case management. Additionally, we have a variety of health professionals available for consultation on site at the clinic including Laboratory Technicians, ND's, Chiropractors and a Psychologist. So, there is help when we need it.

This was just a first impression and is subject to change!

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Quote of the Month

“If you are traveling down a path without obstacles, it probably doesn't lead anywhere."

~Unknown Author